Most homeschooling families are trying to balance life on just one income which can make meeting ends difficult. To be good stewards of the income we receive, homeschooling with a budget is essential. Sometimes this can be hard, but there are many ways to homeschool on a budget.
List and Track Your Supplies
Write a list of the supplies for each of your children. Work out what you already have and what you will need to purchase for the coming year. Keep a record of all your purchases and the prices you paid. By writing down what you spend this year, will help you have an idea of what you are likely to spend in future years. It will also give you an idea of what you already have and won’t need to purchase for the following homeschool year. You can even start putting a little money away each pay to be used for supplies when needed.
Creatively combine Subjects ~ Think out of the Box
You don’t need to buy each child their own curriculum for each subject. By combining subjects, and purchasing just one set of curriculum instead of multiple ones, you can really save a lot of money. Science, history and geography are great subjects that can be combined, just have each child work at their level on the same subjects.
Reuse and Borrow Curriculum
This is particularly useful when you have more than a couple of children. Photocopy pages or have your children complete the answers in a cheap notebook so that you can reuse the curriculum with the younger children when the times comes. You could also borrow curriculum from other homeschooling friends. This is particularly great when you are interested in a new curriculum and want to see if it will work for your family.
The Library and Field Trips
The library is a fabulous resource for homeschooling families. Borrowing books instead of purchasing them not only saves money, but also saves you space (storing books) in your house as well. Many libraries also supply e-books, audio books, dvds, or even free internet! So take advantage of this amazing resource! Our boys have their own library cards which they fill every time we go. This is also a great way to teach the responsibility ~ learning to keep the books in good condition and taking them back by the due date.
Field trips are a great way to learn. Many museums or places of interest are free to enter and offer wonderful educational activities. Many businesses also have open days, where you can learn how they operate which can be an amazing experience for kids. We recently visited a dairy farm on their open day where we learnt about how they use robotic machinery to milk cows! It was amazing to watch these machines milk the cows!
There is lots of free curriculum out there that for all ages. You can find free trials, samples, sales and classes from many homeschooling companies. The internet is one of the best resources for a homeschooling family! Check out this Mega List of Homeschooling Resources.
Some other great places you can find free curriculum from are:
- Khan Academy
- Easy Peasy All in One
- Easy Peasy Highschool
- Simple Living. Creative Learning
- Homeschool Share
- 123 Homeschool 4 Me
- Free Homeschool Deals
Shop the Sales
Look for sales! Shop at homeschool group used book sales, library sales, garage sales (yard sales), even Op Shops will sell second hand resources. Many places have sales throughout the school year as well, so have a list of things that you are looking for and when you see them on a good sale, grab them. Also, ask for discounts. Many places will give you a discount if you tell them you are using their products to homeschool their children. Check online for discounts or coupon codes as well.
I purchase many products online. Not only are PDF files usually a lot cheaper than printed books, you also save on postage which is getting rather expensive and unreliable these days. A lot of these pdf resources can be completed online, so no need for printing either, though a good quality black and white printer is all that is needed for the majority of printing.
At the end of the day, homeschooling is more about having a strong commitment and a loving environment, in which to help your child learn. Homeschooling on a budget is not difficult, and expensive curricula is nice, but not always necessary. Like many things in life, the best opportunities are free!