Cheap homeschooling? Is it possible? This is the question I get asked most often from my website.
Although as a homeschooler the cost of homeschooling is cheaper than the government spends on each child, you, as the parent, have to pay for your child’s education out of your own pocket.
This is difficult for most parents who live on a tight income. However, there are ways to keep the cost of homeschooling down and your pocketbook not feel so empty.
One of the keys to cheap homeschooling is planning ahead. Set a budget and STICK TO IT!! As with anything you purchase or decide to do, you need to know how much you can reasonably afford to spend.
If you gaze at the catalogs, homeschool magazines, or homeschool conventions to long, you could easily go way over you budget by just window shopping!! :)
Depending on your budge and the type of homeschooling curriculum you purchase, you could spend from as little as $100 or as high as $1100 per child.
1. Homeschooling on a Shoestring
This book was written by two homeschool moms whose families believed in cheap homeschooling. The thing they had in common was an intense love of homeschooling, their family, and a desire not to let small budgets stop them from homeschooling well.
2. Homeschool Your Child for Free:
Gives you access to free instructional material–from reading-readiness activities for preschoolers to science projects for teens–to help build a strong foundation that will last into adulthood.
You don’t need to empty your pocket book to guarantee a good education for your child. With a computer and the Internet, you have the largest library right at your fingertips–all for free!
This book is a homeschooler's guide to more than 1,400 free educational resources on the Internet. It’s organized into the following sections:
* Why we homeschool
* Homeschool How-tos
* Education Essentials
* Language Literacy
* Mathematics Mastery
* Art Appreciation
* History Highlights
* Music Marathon
* Social Studies Skills
* Humanities Home
* Science Scholarship
* Health Handbook
* Graduation Guidance
Because many homeschoolers have children in several different grade levels, teaching all the children the same subject can be easier and the cost of homeschooling is reduced.
History, Science, Bible, Music, Health, etc.. can be studied as a group and the homework assignments are given out according to each child's ability.
One particular year, I taught 5 children history using the Mystery of History. The grade levels were 1st through 8th grade. To this day, they tell me that the Mystery of History was their favorite history class because I taught it and we did it all together.
On one occasion, we studied the Egyptians, and we “mummified” one of the children with toilet paper. My younger children we made a map of Egypt and colored and the older children had to write a small paper on a topic on Egypt from the list I provided.
The benefit of homeschooling with only one History book saved me a lot of money that year.
The only subjects taught separately are math and reading. This is similar to the old school house concept used my many of our grandparents and great grandparents.
The unit studies approach gives a larger grasp of subjects revolving around a specific theme that may interest the child or that you want to child to learn.
This particular way of homeschooling uses the subjects science, math, geography, art, music, history, language, literature, drama, and creative movement.
Many parents will take a topic such at the Egyptians and build lessons around that topic using library books, activities, and crafts to help the child remember the lessons.
For younger grades, using hands on activities and crafts really help reinforce the topic with books being read out aloud.The older child benefits by researching, self studying band writing reports on the topic chosen for the day.
The advantage of homeschooling with this method is it can be wonderful for a cheap homeschooling experience, but the work load for mom tends to be a little bit higher. It can take a lot of planning and coordinating with trips to the library and locating all of materials. It is worth all the hard work if it will help you to have a cheap homeschooling experience! :)
If you are an extremely organized person, this method would probably work well. If you need a lot of structure as a teaching mom, the unit study method will be challenging for you as it is to me! :) These are unit studies you can look at to help you get started...
Do not purchase curriculum for every subject Some subjects do not necessarily need to have a "book" for the child to learn.
Spelling and vocabulary can be supplemented as easy as taking words from books your child is reading and making spelling lists and vocabulary list from that.
Handwriting is easily supplemented, by copying quotes from famous men or a verse from the Bible that you want your child to remember.
Purchase high quality materials that can be handed down to younger siblings. Make sure your children take care of their books and charts, so younger siblings can us them.
Some homeschooling reuse workbooks by having their children NOT write in them...they use a separate piece of paper. I have done this recently with books I can no longer purchase because they are out of print.
A cheap homeschool experience is not that hard to come by!! With a little ingenuity and creativity, you can still have a great homeschool experience and spend less money.