For years I thought I needed every curriculum book, art supply, journal, game and membership to homeschool our children. Let me just tell you…this is not the case at all! I have actually found the more I have in our school room, the more distracted everyone becomes. I jumped from one thing to the next and never finished the books we set out to read and enjoy together. I spent way too much money, had way too much in our house, and overwhelmed myself from the start.
It doesn’t have to be that way. You don’t have to cash out your 401K in order to homeschool your children. Below you’ll find 10 ways to homeschool successfully on a budget.
10 Ways to Cut the Cost of Homeschool
1. Shop at thrift stores!
This is my biggest tip when it comes to finding read aloud books and books for your older children to read on their own. I normally spend $.50-$3.00 for a book we read. You can find good quality living books by going to your local Good Will, Once Upon a Child, or other thrift stores.
During my most recent haul I found the following books at the price point above:
· Charlotte’s Web
· Adventures of Huckleberry Fin
· Tom Sawyer
· Percy Jackson and the Olympians
· A Little Princess
· Old Yeller
· and more!
2. Use coupons.
I’m not talking about being the world’s best couponer here. There are some really great coupons out there that can save you money, especially on those art and writing supplies. Markers and pens prices can really add up when you’re buying supplies for 4, 5, or 6 children. We all know that even though we try hard to keep supplies nice, crayons get broken, pens and pencils are thrown all over the house, and markers dry out around the second time kids use them.
I normally find my coupons in the newspaper, Valpak from the mail, or print them from Coupons.com. Another great way to get great coupons is though signing up through email subscriptions. I know for me; I email my subscribers exclusive coupons on my products in my shop. Many companies will do this for those loyal customers to show appreciation.
3. Shop the sales.
I pay close attention to weekly store flyers from my favorite stores. I use an app called Flipp and pull up the ad on Sundays. Most stores come out with new sales on Sunday so it’s a perfect time to take a look.
Some of the items we bought through watching flyers are listed below:
· Seasonal items such as gardening supplies, camping gear, lunch bags for the park, workout gear, etc.
· Baking utensils and ingredients
· Outdoor equipment
· Handicraft supplies
· and more!
4. Go to a curriculum fair.
Many of the curriculum fairs I have been to are wonderful places to find curriculum for your children. It can be overwhelming though so a tip I have is to have a few options in mind before walking in. Do your research prior to stepping foot in the fair and you won’t get so distracted.
Often times, these fairs have special launch or sale prices on their materials. My husband and I picked up our entire Apologia up at the curriculum fair we went to.
5. Use your local library.
We use our library constantly. I don’t know what I’d do without this option. You can find documentaries, audiobooks, read aloud books, and so much more through the library.
6. Find printable curriculum.
Often times printable curriculum is discounted at a cheaper price because the creator doesn’t have all of the printing and shipping cost. You can actually find quite a few options that are free or low cost just by signing up for email lists or following homeschool accounts that you love.
7. Take good care of your items.
Especially if you have multiple children you’re homeschooling, keeping them nice will allow you to use them throughout your entire homeschool journey. We purchase our math curriculum for example, with the mindset that we will be using them (hopefully) four times. We use the Math-U-See DVD and teacher’s manual year after year and simply buy the workbook for each child when they’ve hit the grade level to start.
8. Sell what you don’t need anymore.
When all of your children have used the curriculum and grown out of your books, sell them to other homeschool families. It’s a win, win for everyone. You’ll make some money and help someone else find lower cost curriculum as well.
9. Grow a garden in your backyard.
Whether you like flowers or edible plants, growing a garden can be a low cost way or teaching so many skills. By growing on pumpkin plant in our garden, our oldest has been keeping a nature journal, measured and charted growth, tested the soil, researched natural ways to fertilize, baked, and so much more. There's so much learning potential with one little seed.
10. You don’t need it all.
Just remind yourself when you’re tempted with a new book or game, you don’t need it all to homeschool your children. Stay focused on the things that you’ve careful chosen and are working for your family.
Let me know below if you and your family have any other tips to share. I'd love to hear what's working for you and your family.
Remember to willfully serving His children throughout your homeschool day.