You don’t need to purchase costly prepared curricula in order to homeschool. Home education can be affordable and there are many benefits to accepting the homeschool challenge of doing it for less.
Homeschool.com realizes how important it is to save money, so here are some ways to minimize your out-of-pocket expenses:
- Free online resources. You can find lesson plans, worksheets, classes, tutorials, science experiments and more, all online and all free of charge. Resources for every grade and age group abound.
- Online used curriculum sales. There are numerous online homeschool curriculum swap and sale sites. Just use your favorite search engine and start shopping!
- Local homeschooling support group used curriculum sales. Many local groups have curriculum sales and swaps. They are fun to attend because not only do you save money but you meet homeschoolers from your area.
- Teacher’s discount at book stores, teacher supply stores, and online sites. Here’s a newsflash–homeschoolers are teachers! If you have local bookstores, craft stores, supply stores, etc, ask if they offer a teacher discount. Have you heard of educents.com? It’s a discount flash sales site, especially for parents, grandparents, teachers and homeschoolers (no discount card necessary). Check it out.
- Trade classes with other homeschool parents in your area. Pool your talents and your resources with other homeschoolers. Take advantage of others’ expertise and share yours. This will be a socialization and a learning experience for your child.
- Barter with those in your community. Many homeschooling families have saved countless dollars through the use of bartering. Get your child involved in the transaction. What is s/he willing to do/provide in the bartering process? Just the act of bartering teaches commerce, free trade, responsibility, etc.
- Shop garage sales and thrift stores. What a wonderful resource! Used books…yarn…art supplies…clocks that need to be repaired…your options are endless. Garage and thrift stores are fun and $20 goes a long way! This type of shopping teaches your child thriftiness, recycling, and perhaps even how to think outside the box.
- Shop the dollar store. A fun place to pick up craft supplies, books, etc. Again, $20 goes a long way. Shopping here teaches your how to be child frugal…a very important lesson.
- Check out your library. Make sure you and your child have a library card and then make the library a weekly outing. Check out books, periodicals, CDs, educational computer games, foreign language tapes, etc. And with inter-library loans, you’re not just limited to your local library! What do trips to the library teach your student–respect and responsibility! And library book sales are great fun—you can purchase books for ten cents or a quarter. How many books can you buy for $5.00? There’s a math lesson in the making.
- Field trips and community resources. Your community has so much to offer–parks, museums, historical sites, businesses, etc. Some opportunities will be advertised, others you’ll happen upon, and others you will have to solicit . Being out in the community provides a chance for learning and a chance for socialization. You and your child will get to know people in your area and you’ll both find that networking can be explosive—one adventure/learning experience leads to another.
- Volunteer in your community. The rewards of volunteering are numerous and volunteering allows your child to give back to the community. And what will your child learn? Responsibility….empathy….gratefulness, just to name a few.
- Don’t forget your own home. Take a good look around your home. Common household items can perform double-duty. A ruler or a measuring cup can be used for teaching fractions, multiplication, division, etc. Large noodles can be used for teaching addition and subtraction. Be innovative. Maybe you can teach a math lesson in the morning and eat it for lunch!
- Turn on the TV. Educational channels, history channels, wildlife channels, videos—the television can be beneficial in supplementing your home teaching.
Homeschooling for less is not impossible—it’s not even difficult. All your student truly needs is a parent that is determined to provide learning opportunities on an ongoing basis.