on How to Homeschool
on a Shoestring Budget
When it comes to homeschooling,
having enough money in the budget is certainly one of
the biggest concerns many parents face. For those who
may have been paying upwards of $10,000/per year for
private schooling, the choice to homeschool may be a
much more affordable option. However, for those in a
conventional school setting, taking on the full cost of
educating your children may feel a bit overwhelming.
Today, the average cost of homeschooling a child is
about $500/per year, depending on the type of program
selected. But keep in mind that this amount may be much
less for any additional children in the home since books
and supplies can be shared among siblings. For most
families, learning to live within a budget is well worth
the rewards of choosing to educate their children in a
safe and friendly environment. Homeschooling can
certainly be accomplished even on shoestring budget by
learning some simple tips that will significantly reduce
the cost of a homeschool education.
The main component to homeschooling
is the curriculum, whether it is in the form of
textbooks, software or online virtual lesson plans.
Curriculum expense is generally where most of the budget
will be used during each academic year, but this is also
the area where the greatest amount of savings can be
Here are some budget-friendly suggestions
to get you started:
Check out your public library. Not only
can you check out books and videos for free
on just about any subject you desire, but
you also have the expertise of the library
staff to help pinpoint you to find exactly
what you may be looking for in a particular
Borrow textbooks from other homeschoolers.
If you know of another homeschool family in
your area simply ask them if you can borrow,
swap or buy their used books once they are
finished with them. They might be very
appreciative to get rid of the extra clutter
in their schoolroom.
Join a local support group for homeschoolers.
Many local homeschool groups conduct yearly
book swaps and/or yard sales where you can
find lots of used and low-cost curriculum.
Use the Internet. There are literally
thousands of online materials and worksheets
you can find for use in homeschooling that
are completely free, minus the cost of
printing any of the materials out. The easiest way
to find what you need is to do a search by
grade and/or subject. Places like
About.com's Guide to Homeschooling offer hundreds
of worksheets to get you started. Also,
don’t forget to search for materials under
local or national museums, such as the
Smithsonian Education Website, which
offer numerous printable activity sheets.
Concentrate on the three-R’s (Reading,
Writing & Arithmetic)!
Focus your attention on the basics first,
then as the budget allows add extra subjects
throughout the year.
A good way to get started is by
purchasing materials like the grade specific
Comprehensive Curriculum of Basic Skills
workbooks, which you can easily find at most
of your local big-box stores, including
places like Costco, Wal-Mart and Staples.
These books cover the basic skills needed
for each grade level, and it is also a great
way to assess exactly where your child may
need additional help.
your local school district for their
discarded textbooks. Although some of
these books may be slightly outdated, the
concepts in subjects like math and English
have changed very little over the years.
Once you have your curriculum set,
there are other supplies you may need as well in order
to set up your homeschool class room.
Here are some
additional tips to help stretch out
Buy the majority of your school supplies in
August! This is the time of year when
the big retailers market school supplies at
major discounted prices in anticipation of
the new school year. During this time of
year is when you want to purchase all your
basic supplies, such as paper, folders, glue,
scissors, crayons, pencils, etc. You will be
amazed at the significant price difference
of these items compared to buying them later
Use the classifieds! If you are in need
of a home computer or furniture, such as
desks or tables, this is an excellent place
to come across items that fit in your
budget. Also don’t forget to check out
online yard sales, which you can find close
to home. Many local groups are popping up
all over on places like
Last, but not least, use your own resources!
You might be surprised on what you already
have around you if you put your mind to it.
Science projects can be easily accomplished
even in your own backyard or at your local
or regional park using the materials nature
has already provided. Teaching kids to cook
not only helps them to become responsible,
but it can help them in their reading and
math skills as they learn to read recipes
and measure ingredients. Participate in
local church functions, like VBS or sports
programs. This is also a great opportunity
for kids to get out and make new friends,
while learning new activities or exercises.
Another tremendous resource might be grandparents, or the elderly
couple next door. Not only are many of them
well experienced in various subject matters,
but they may be more than eager for the
company and the opportunity to share their
life experiences and skills with the younger
Copyright, by K.Thurston,
2011 - 2014