Are you interested in homeschooling, but find yourself hesitating because of the costs of the materials and curricula. I think that budgeting for homeschool can be one of the main reasons that people believe that they can’t do it. However, it is definitely possible to homeschool even if you have a very tight budget. Below are some ways that you can homeschool your family without breaking the bank.
Tip #1: Get Online
If you have access to a computer and the internet, you have access to a wealth of both free and affordable resources. There is so much out there for you to use! There are blogs (such as this one) and websites that not only teach you how to homeschool, but provide you with the tools and resources to do it. There are companies that have a mission of helping home educators to homeschool their children who have a wide variety of books, games, toys, printables, and curricula for you to choose from. There are also plenty of monthly subscription services such as ABC Mouse and Starfall that you can invest in to teach your child concepts in a fun way. With the variety of resources out there, you are sure to find things that can fit your budget. You can also join homeschooling organizations online that alert you to coupons and special deals that will save you even more money!
Tip #2: Get Connected
With the increasing popularity of home education, you might be surprised to learn how many people in your community homeschool. Look around to see if there are any local homeschoolers or homeschool organizations that you can network with. You can start at the state level and then work your way down to your city. Once you have connected with them, you might find that they are more than willing to share, trade, or pool resources. They might also have events like used book sales where you can stock up on things at a cheap price.
Tip #3: Go to the Library
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the fact that your local library is bound to have a lot of resources. For one, they have tons of books, DVDs, ad audiobooks that you can check out. Most libraries also have regular events like story time. Many also offer reading clubs, seasonal activities, and more that you can take advantage of.
Tip #4: Buy Used
I, for one, love a good sale. I frequent yard sales, online yard sales, Craigslist, Freecycle, garage sales, consignment shops, and thrift stores. You can really luck out sometimes by finding books, toys, movies, and supplies that you can incorporate into your homeschool. Just be careful when meeting up with people in real life if you decide to use something like Craigslist or Facebook groups.
Tip #5: Get Creative
You always have the option of putting together your own materials. Whether you are naturally crafty or have to depend on Pinterest and Youtube tutorials, many of the same things you buy from people online, you might be able to reproduce yourself. For example, if you have access to software as basic as Microsoft Suite, you can create your own worksheets and workbooks. And, of course, there are tons of arts and crafts you can do.
Tip #6: Know Your Community
Does your community have a central location where people post about local events? Perhaps a community center or bulletin? Does it have a local website, newspaper, or magazine that people check out to find out what is going on? If so, make sure you utilize it to learn about different things you can implement into your homeschool. You should also make use of local parks/playgrounds, the zoo (or pet store), museums, nature centers, aquariums, social groups/clubs, and school events that are open to the public.
Tip #7: Use What You Have
Often, we are so focused on figuring out what additional things we need to buy for homeschool that we forget about the things we already have. If you have cable, Netflix, or Hulu, you have access to several channels, tv shows, movies, and documentaries that you can watch with your kids. For example, you can watch channels like PBS, Sprout, HGTV, Discovery Channel, and Food Network to learn about a wide variety of things. You can also find a lot of book-to-movie adaptations that will enable you to do a compare and contrast with the book. The possibilities are endless. If you have a smart phone or device, you can also download several educational games and apps.
Check out these money saving ideas to help with your homeschooling budget!