Monday, June 23, 2008

Homeschooling On A Very Tight Budget

Homeschooling can be very expensive. There are curriculums, workbooks, textbooks, extra-curricular activities, field trips, zoo and museum memberships, notebooks, lapbooks, papers, printer inks, art supplies and so much more. One can literally spend thousands of dollars a year just on materials alone. (Well you can, but why would you?)
Believe it or not it is possible to homeschool on a tight budget. I'm talking like $50 per kid, per year tight. That is a total of $150 a school year.
Here are some of the ways that we keep from over spending when it comes to homeschooling.
  • First of all we do not purchase any pre-packaged curriculums. A pre-package curriculum is one that is already put together for you. Most come with outlined lesson plans and basically tells you what to teach, when and how. I don't think that pre-packaged curriculums are bad or anything it's just that I have really not needed them yet.
  • I do put together my own curriculum using a combination of my goals for the kids and their own interests. I like having the freedom of following my kids abilities and interests. I do not at this time want nor need the time-line or objectives of any particular company telling me what we should be learning and how to teach it.
  • We do not pay to participate in any formal extra curricular activities such as soccer, dance, karate or gym. It's not that we are against doing those things it is just not necessary for us to do theses thing at this time in our home school life. I do think that learning to do fun things like playing soccer or learning dance are important things for kids to do if they are interested in doing so. If they want to play soccer than they can pick up a soccer ball and go outside to the back yard and kick the ball around., If they want to dance then they can put together a dance routine and perform it for papa and I or the grandparents. There is no need for me to drive up and down from one activity to the next. I am not a taxi driver nor am I rich.
  • We do not purchase memberships to the zoo, museums and such. The reason for this is that we usually are able to go to theses places for free or at reduce prices during certain special promotion days.
  • We do try to take advantage of free admission days to the the zoo and other special places. Our local zoo has a free admissions day at least once per year and our local children's museum has free admissions for 3 hours during the 1st Friday of each month. Our local Seaquarium has many discount days when you could get in for half off. We try to take advantage of all the free admissions promotions we can get.
  • We do save money is by using the library system. We do go to the library at least once a week. We read a lot around here, but books are not the only things that we borrow from the library. We borrow movies, magazines, computer games, and music. We also have access to a local resource library that carries board games, hands on teaching kits, themed kits and just about anything you could possibly need to teach the early elementary subjects.
  • We do use our home computer and printer. A couple of years ago my husband's uncle gifted us his old laser printer. Laser printers cost less to operate because a laser cartridge last longer than ink and therefore cost less to use. We've had our printer for 2 1/2 years now and we are still running on the same laser cartridge. Because of this printer it is cheaper for us to print out worksheets, and lapbook stuff when needed instead of buying workbooks, ebooks and such...

These are just some examples of the many things that we do to help keep the cost of homeschooling down. We use the Internet a lot and I am always searching for good free materials.

Homeschooling on a very tight budget is not always easy but it is possible to do. We have been schooling for 3 years now and we have always been able to keep the cost to $50 or under per kid.

Until next time, bye


ohhollyf said...

Good post, i like to think i'll not spending extra $.

Ann@His Grace To Me said...

We're on a very tight budget as well this year. I've spent lots of time on the internet tracking down science curriculum and history resources to keep our expenses down. I'm hoping to spend no more than $70 on books this year. Other than that, we're using the library, internet and free local resources.

Ana said...

Wow Mama! What great ideas. I don't homeschool (not yet...waiting on God's direction) but I can still use these suggestions.

Lol at I am not a taxi driver or rich. Do I ever feel you!!

Ana said...

Btw - I didn't see your email addy on your blog. Here's mine:
adrian090501 [at] yahoo [dot] com. Email me when you get a chance.