Homeschool For Less

Homeschooling doesn't have to cost a fortune. There are many ways to cut costs and save money while not sacrificing the quality of your child's education. With a library card, a bit of work, swapping skills and some bargaining, you can homeschool your children without breaking the bank!

Homeschooling family

Here are a few tips our family has found helpful when working with a limited budget.

Visit the library

If available, use a library with an inter-library loan system to allow you access to a wider variety of books. Check with your local library to see if they offer workshops or programs for students. Visit the library often to take full advantage of the many resources available to you from e-books to printers, copiers, maps, movies and music.

Utilize the internet

Utilize the internet for free resources. By simply searching online, you will find free math, grammar, music, art and so much more. Don't limit yourself to homeschool sites as many teacher sites have wonderful selections of full, comprehensive curriculum. Free worksheets, printables, lesson plans and unit studies can also be found online.

Combine grade levels

Combine as many subjects as possible with your school-aged children. This will not only save you money but countless hours of planning and teaching as well! I combine history and science quite easily with our boys, ages 5, 7, 9 and 11.

Buy used

Do your homework and buy used or swap curriculum. Check to see if your local homeschool group hosts an annual book fair; you can find great deals on gently used curriculum at these curriculum fairs at the end of the school year. Thrift stores, yard sales, library sales, online homeschool forums and communities are all great places to find inexpensive gently used materials.

Create or join a co-op

A co-op does not have to be formal, expensive or extensive! One of the perks of a co-op is the benefit of parents joining forces to share their gifts and expertise in a subject. If one parent is proficient in Spanish and another had a perfect ACT math score, you can easily swap knowledge to teach well-rounded and smart children on the cheap!

Native Louisiana birds and plants nature trail at Audubon State Park

Field trips

Nothing beats hand-on, real life experiences! Do some research to learn about low cost or free educational institutions in your area. This year we have been fortunate to visit museums, plantation homes, educational zoo classes, colonial festivals, farms and a few state parks. The possibilities are endless when you start digging for local educational resources.

iTunes U - Learn anything, anywhere, anytime.

One of my recent finds is iTunes U. This is a free service hosted by Apple that allows instructors, administrators and affiliates to manage, distribute and control access to educational audio and video from K-12 to college courses. The content is free to download but you must have the iTunes software, also free to download. There are over 500,000 free public resources in the iTunes U catalog.

Free or frugal homeschooling is a real possibility. You can provide your children with an excellent education without having to spend a fortune!

Image credit: Tiany Davis - Native Louisiana birds and plants nature trail at Audubon State Park

More about homeschooling

Dos and don'ts of homeschooling
Set up a preschool classroom in your home
Understanding homeschooling laws

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Comments

Comments on "Free and frugal homeschooling"

Seeking Help January 16, 2014 | 4:40 AM

I'm wanting to start my child in home schooling, what is available and free? She is on an IEP programs now. Please help.

Juanita Ochoa January 23, 2013 | 8:18 AM

I am condidering homeschooling my child is not doing good in Catholic School and tuition is killings us we thougtwould be good for her because, of way the schoolsystem is. I just don't know how to start. Please help me.

Jennifer {StudioJRU} January 07, 2013 | 11:33 AM

There is just so much available now! What a wonderful list of ideas here!

Jen @beautyandbedlam.com January 07, 2013 | 9:20 AM

As a homeschool mom of five, these are great suggestions. Technology has truly changed the world of homeschooling from when I began 16 years ago.

kathy balman January 05, 2013 | 9:43 AM

Great job! You know me I am super frugal. We have been homeschooling for 2 years and I think the only purchase I have made is art supplies, paper and field trips!

Kori January 04, 2013 | 10:36 AM

I love this article. My kids are preschool age and we are just starting on our homeschool journey.

Bobbie January 04, 2013 | 7:57 AM

Well researched list Tiany. You have hit every age and every genre from unschooling to technology U, and everything in between! Keep it coming!

Rebecca January 04, 2013 | 7:22 AM

These are great resources - fabulous for all families!

Amy January 03, 2013 | 4:38 PM

Great read, thank you. I'm actually considering homeschooling as of recently. My kids are still babies, but public school systems just aren't what they used to be anymore.

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