Many people say they couldn’t afford the costs of homeschooling. For some this may be true, but it all depends on your point of view, your expectations, and how resourceful you are willing to be. For us, we’re able to homeschool for a year for less than the cost of a school sweater, never mind the rest of the uniform, meals, outings, etc.
I haven’t yet figured out all of the costs – upfront and hidden in the costs of sending a child for a ‘free’ public education, but for us, homeschooling is definitely a lot less! I should sit down and figure out the difference in costs one of these days, it would be a good lesson for us in economics.
In the meantime, I’m just happy with what we’ve been doing. Of course things may change as the children grow. At the moment they are 5 & 7 and we’ve been homeschooling officially for 3 years.
How we homeschool on the cheap
1) The world of the internet makes everything so much easier now than it would have been 20 years ago. A world of free resources are at your fingertips! Now when my children ask a question and I’m not sure of the answer, they tell me to ‘Google it’!
3) Shop book sales. I haven’t had a lot of luck here, but Mom has sent us over amazing teacher’s activity books in a range of subjects that she’s found at sales. Usually they are about $1, but many of them she’s also found for FREE! Thank you for your support, Mom!
4) Make your own games and resources using everyday items. Your children won’t mind if they aren’t perfect. And you’ll get better with practice. I’ve gone from this to this. But honestly, we still make our own quick and easy games, you just won’t see them here as often because they aren’t “Pinterest Perfect.”
6) If you have a kindle reader, you can find loads of free books for the children on it. We went through a period of reading all about different countries, and anther time learning all about various animals. There are different books available for free each day!
7) I’m a member of The Schoolhouse Review Crew which has allowed us to try out dozens of products for a while for free in exchange for a thorough review. Of course some products work better for our family than others, but there’s no way that we’d be able to afford to ‘try out’ most of these products on our own. It’s given us a deeper insight into what does and doesn’t work for us.
8) Blogging has also seen us do some other educational reviews and learn about some of the resources that are available.
9) Field Trips are great ways to bring history, culture, and much more to life! We do most of ours for nothing, but if you’re going on vacation or there’s something special coming up, take the opportunity to explore new surroundings and have fun doing it.
10) Learn in the moment. If you see a fallen tree, talk about it – why did it happen, what kind of tree is it, how old is it? Learn about the clouds, graph how many vehicles go past in 5 minutes, why do grocery stores put the junk food at the tills? Answer all of the questions your children ask you…and if you don’t know the answer…see our first point.
A good education doesn’t have to cost the bank. All it takes is determination, creativity, a little time, and lots of enthusiasm. Let your children’s interests guide you. There’s no point in spending money on an expensive curriculum if it isn’t something your children are interested in. One of the beauties of homeschooling is that you can cater to your child’s interests and strengths.
These are just some of the major ways we homeschool on the cheap. Another day I’ll share some of the smaller ways we educate frugally. Every penny counts!
How do you keep the costs of your child’s education down, whether in school or at home? Let me know in the comments below.