I’ve noticed that there is a misconception that it cost a ton of money to homeschool, especially when you have more than one child. I’ve heard many things like you have to buy the same material that’s used in your local schools, or that you have to use a school-in-a-box program, or that you must purchase textbooks that are only approved by some “higher power” within your department of education. Now, one of these options may be a requirement in your state, but it’s not in mine. That’s why I haven’t understood why people in my area think so.
Homeschooling should be budget-friendly so that any family who wants to take the reigns of their children’s education may do so, BUT YOU WILL NEVER EDUCATE YOUR CHILD COMPLETELY FREE. And I just made your bubble deflate. Let me pump you back up here. There is the cost of paper, pencils, planner, and other supplies. You can make it an inexpensive investment all around, but just as you would for any other school, you are going to need to purchase some items. So let’s not lose heart! So here are some tips to help you make the journey affordable
#1. If you are a person who needs to be able to have a hard copy of the material, then your local library could be a wonderful resource. There are books on almost any subject. You don’t have to use a formal textbook (though the library might have a few), and it only takes you signing up for a library card! The only thing is that you need to be sure that you keep very good record of what you’ve read and the subjects you’ve covered. You’ll want to make sure that you don’t leave any gaps in your child’s learning, so you will need to be detailed and thorough.
#2. Another place you can look is the internet. This may require monthly payment for local service, or heading to your branch library daily, but many are paying for internet in their homes already, so this is very feasible. There are many sites that offer free curricula, but here are some of them that I have used. When my kids were preschoolers, I used letteroftheweek.com. I felt that it was thorough enough that I knew what to do each day and that the information that I was teaching them was useful. We also used another site that had a membership fee, but my kids would do the same activity everyday instead of choosing one of the many others. I felt like the program would have been better if they set a timer for each subject.
When my oldest reached kindergarten, I used allinonehomeschool.com. I feel that it was a good program, but just not for us. My son was not absorbing the lessons and I don’t think it suited his learning style. We had the option to choose something else and did.
Mobymax.com was another program we started in kindergarten. It was fun and interesting to him, but I felt like some of the subjects should have had prerequisites explained prior to starting them. It kept track of everything that he did and recorded his grades for me. Overall, it was a nice program.
There are lots of other sites that I have seen that either is a complete course or gives you the resources to make a course, but you will need to do some homework to find what works best for your child and situation. FYI, online public schools are not home schooling. This is bringing school into your home. Your child will have a teacher that is not you, nor chosen by you. If this is what you want, by all means, go for it, but I have seen people get into some of these programs and are disappointed to find that they have a lack of control in their child(s) courses, grade level, etc.
#3. Purchase educational books from Dollar Tree. Say what?! Yes, I said Dollar Tree. Many still under estimate how much value there is in getting items from here because most items are $1. But Dollar Tree has an awesome section of stationery, office and school supplies, home decor and much more. The workbooks make a great text or can supplement your home classes. The books are small and usually only go up to first grade, but the material is relevant and fun looking. You will need to take the time to teach how to do the subjects, but it makes for great practice material.
So these are some of the tips that I have to get your homeschool going for free or nearly free. There are a few other ways that you can save money that may cost you up front, but will save you a ton in the end. You can come back to read about those in a later post. If you homeschool, have you thought about or tried to educate you children for free? What are some of the ways that you implemented? If you don’t homeschool yet, did you find any of this information helpful? If not, tell me what more are you looking for and I’ll try to help. Until next time,