6 Ways to Homeschool on a Budget
Before you head off to the Homeschool convention…stop…and think about a few things. Depending on how your brain works and how your children learn; you can homeschool with a limited budget.
One side of the coin are the families that homeschool with nothing but their library card and their family Bible. Ummm…I am not that talented nor have the time it takes to pull together all the reading material, supplies and or overview needed to pull this one off. But more power to the moms that are able to just pull today’s lesson out of their hat.
I need a plan. I make lists. Not that I may ever complete everything on my lists but they do keep me plugging in the right direction. And I also like having the whole year in one location for each class..LOL..I like textbooks and software programs.
I also need other moms around to keep me sane! Things like co-ops and group classes for certain subjects. There is no reason to do it all alone! Find a local co-op or homeschool group and join forces with other families. Not only are you sharing the burden but sharing the cost as most materials can be used for group settings without additional expense.
For those classes that you will be handling on your own, consider the following possible ways to save money while providing a solid education to your children.
This will be the best source for ways to save hands down! Not only do most libraries have special loaner policies for Teachers (yes as a homeschooling mom you are considered a teacher), they usually have longer renew dates, movies, music, videos and even equipment that you can check out.
Ask about clubs or classes that are available at your library. Grab a copy of your library’s calendar of events for classes that would fit in with your program of study. Our library has groups that meet for foreign language practice, bridge and chess clubs meet weekly as well as study hall time with local volunteer tutors for several subjects. They also offer concerts and presentations throughout the year.
At the library or from your home on your desktop, you can actually find online sources and classes that will allow you to homeschool for free. Just a couple to check out are: Allinonehighschool.com, FreeHomeschoolDeals.com, and KahnAcademy.org. There are other sites that have free curriculum, ebooks, lapbook directions, printable worksheets, and free educational apps. Simply run a search for free homeschooling lessons!
Librivox.org is another great site as well as other lending online libraries that provide free audio books from the public domain. Most you can download to your eReader or desktop.
We don’t write in our books as we use them for several children over several years. If you are looking for a book, ask around. Someone may have it and would be willing to loan it to you for the school year. Not sure if you want to use a particular book? Ask around.. someone probably has it and will let you try it before you make the purchase.
As with most things, you can purchase used curriculum online or at your homeschool convention. Sites like Ebay.com, Craigslist.com, HomeschoolClassifieds.com, and VegSource.com are great places to get started. Most local Homeschooling Associations offer a trade or sell day towards the end of the school year.
Trade or Barter
Just as with borrowing, look around for someone that would be interested in trading one level of a curriculum for another. Or barter teaching one class with another parent. I taught Accounting to the local high school group and my children were taught piano by one mom, pastry baking by another and English Comp by a couple of moms! WIN for me! Win for them! If you don’t feel competent to teach a certain subject, trade someone else for it. Perhaps the mom down the street needs a sitter on Friday nights so she and her husband can have a little couple time. Trade her sitting services for Math tutoring.
Forget the Curriculum
This is a widely used method for schooling; called unschooling, relaxed homeschooling, child-led learning, unit learning, lifestyle learning, or whatever you want to call it. It is based on learning without textbooks or formal curriculum. I have known several families that use these methods and have had all their children succeed and go on to higher education or professional schools with honors. This method, like the library only method would not fit my family. The most free flowing schooling we have done was unit studies for a year. That year we picked a topic for the month and learned everything we could about it. All the reading, writing and learning revolved around the subject for the month such as butterflies, baseball, gardening, cooking, etc. This lifestyle learning nice for the year we tried it, but I needed the more scheduled approach. You can learn more about this approach at ChristianUnschooling.com or LessonsfromtheHomestead.com.
Remember the saying.. Where there is a will there is a way? You may have to go on a search for what works for your family, but you can homeschool and stay within a budget.
Do you homeschool? Do you have any other budget friendly tips? Share them with us in the comment section below.