Have you heard of homeschool families homeschooling on less than $250 per year? That might be per child (which is great) or per family (which is amazingly great!).
Have you wondered how they do it? Here are some tips and a sample plan!
1. Make use of as many free homeschooling resources as possible
Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool offers a completely free program, and it’s a go-to for many homeschool families. Homeschooling sites like Educents offer many freebies. Of course, the local library is a huge resource.
Depending on where you live, your community might provide free offerings as well. Many organizations (museums, art galleries, etc.) offer free year-round admittance and/or free homeschool days.
If there is a local resource you’re interested in, and it isn’t free, can you (or your student) barter for it? My teen really wanted golf lessons so he volunteered at the local golf club. He works a few hours a week renting out carts and in return he receives free group lessons. Not only is he learning about golf swings, he’s learning about responsibility too.
2. Decide what you’re willing to invest in
You probably won’t get everything for free, and that’s OK. Some resources are so good, you’ll want to invest in them. When you decide to invest, check the prices on discount websites first.
Also, look at digital curricula – they tend to be less expensive than purchasing physical books.
Purchase normal school supplies (pencils, markers, crayons, notebooks, etc.) during the back-to-school sales. When you need something mid-year, check the dollar stores first.
Purchase one annual attraction pass per year. Browse deal sites like Groupon for great discounts on family memberships.
3. Buy curriculum you can use for years
If you are homeschooling more than one child, try to buy non-consumable texts and books you can use again and again. I appreciate curricula that I can copy and can re-use. To be honest though, I also like my kids to have their own workbooks. I think it gives a pride of ownership and a pride in their work. So sometimes I make copies, and sometimes I give each child their own workbook. I kind of go back and forth on this.
4. Buy “used”
Amazon is a great resource for used books, your library probably has an annual book sale, homeschooling support groups have used curriculum sales and swaps, you can browse consignment and thrift stores, and you can check out Craigslist from time to time. I just make sure the books aren’t marked up, as I find highlights and underlined passages in used books distracting.
Please leave any other tips you have for homeschooling on a budget in the comments below!