Many homeschooling families have found the need to budget their schooling expenses, especially if they are a one-income household. While there’s a tremendous variety of curriculum available for all grade levels, the money to purchase the homeschool curriculum may be harder to come by. If you are trying to save on schooling, here are some ideas that may help:
- Search for discount homeschool and teacher supply stores, both in your area and online.
- Consider purchasing used curriculum online. Ebay sellers post text books, workbooks, manipulatives, and other educational resources, except the teacher editions. You can save even more by purchasing your books in an “off” season, such as winter or early spring. Another online source to find curriculum locally is CraigsList.com. Vegsource.com also has a classified listing for homeschool books.
- Check with your area support groups about used homeschool book sales. Sometimes you can find curriculum for less than half the retail price. Libraries often have used book sales as well.
- You can often find school books for even less at yard sales and thrift stores. This takes a little more time for searching, but if you know what you’re looking for, you can discover a great bargain.
- Free curriculum is also available on the web. Sites such as Ambleside Online offer plans you can follow from kindergarten through high school.
- Don’t forget a valuable resource you have in your community: the public library. You can build a history, literature, and science curriculum using the books they offer. If you’re looking for a particular book that your library doesn’t carry, ask the librarian to request it using the Interlibrary Loan program. Instructional and non-fiction videos can also be used as part of your curriculum.
- Borrow the textbooks or videos you need from a friend who has finished with it for the year. Be sure to return them in good condition.
- Join a 4-H group in your area. Dues are usually minimal, and the activities range from horseback riding to painting to biology.
- Create a group with other homeschooling parents and offer the classes each feels confident to teach – a homeschool co-op. One may teach literature, another – astronomy, and another – music. You may use this time to have students work on presentations and public speaking as well. While some established co-ops require fees to join, you might set one up so the only fees you would need to pay are for supplies, if any.
- If your children will be taking private lessons, consider bartering for them. Teachers who have a lot of students often don’t have time for other household activities such as baking, cleaning, or gardening. If the teacher has younger children, you may want to offer childcare as a service in return for lessons.
- Check with your local state and national parks for programs that are free or low in cost to attend. These presentations can supplement your student’s studies in science and history.
- If you want to add zoo or science center visits to your curriculum, purchase a family pass instead of paying for the individual visit. These are usually accepted by zoos and science centers all over the United States. Some places even have passes that cover admission into both.
A good education for your children doesn’t have to be expensive. With a little more time and effort, you can find the resources you need. The quality of your school doesn’t depend on the amount of money you spend. Even with limited funds, you can teach your children well.
Photo By beX out loud