As a frugal mom of 11 kids- 10 who are actually being homeschooled- I’ve turned my money-saving skills into an art. I mean, really, who actually wants to spend thousands of dollars on curriculum each year if they don’t have to?
Of all the years I’ve been homeschooling, our second year was the year I spent the most money because I was going through the “homeschool has to look like school” phase and bought individual boxed curriculum sets for each kid.
Thankfully, I learned my lesson after that, and I’ve successfully managed to spend less and less money each year, until this year when I finally spent no money at all.
I’m so proud of myself.
It was so much easier than I ever thought it would be, so today I’m going to share with you:
7 Reasons I Didn’t Need to Buy Curriculum This Year
1. It’s cheaper to write my own.
If you would’ve asked me a few years ago whether I believed I’d ever be writing my own unit studies, I would’ve laughed. I never realized how simple it could be. Yes, there are some intricate curriculum resources that I wouldn’t have the time to write in a million years, BUT the nice thing about unit studies is that they can be as basic or as involved as you’d like. I’d rather spend a day or two writing up some activities than spending loads of money needlessly.
2. I learned to stop looking for the next best thing.
Let’s face it. It is fun to shop for curriculum, and there are so many choices out there. Unfortunately, this can lead us to drop a curriculum that has been working wonderfully for us with the notion that maybe there’s something even better. It’s kind of like people who keep upgrading their phones. We keep “upgrading” our curriculum, while, meanwhile, our kids are our guinea pigs who all too often just want to stick with what they know works.
With this in mind, this year I will be using the tried and true resources that are already on our bookshelf.
3. Notebooking requires no curriculum.
Our homeschool has gone through some pretty drastic changes this year with our introduction to notebooking (Click here for a video I made describing how we notebook.). One nice thing about notebooking is that it doesn’t have to be accompanied by any curriculum. You can use library books, read-alouds, inspiration from hands-on activities, and even movies/documentaries as a jumping off point. With notebooking, anything goes.
4. I stopped buying consumables.
I honestly don’t know why I ever thought this was a good idea. Yes, it’s convenient to have your kids write directly in a workbook, but if you have several kids, boy, does it get expensive. Since I bought all non-consumable curriculum for the past few years, we already have everything we need. Yippee!
5. The library is free.
If you live anywhere near a good library, I beg you, use it. Library books are so much more enjoyable than textbooks, and the choices seem limitless. Not only that, the library can be used for so many things beyond just borrowing books. I am fully confident that it is entirely possible to homeschool every single subject just by using the library. Make sure you check yours out ASAP!
6. Life presents ample learning opportunities.
Why learn everything from books? Life offers so many choices for real life, hands-on learning. There’s just no comparison between getting dirty in a creek or just reading about frogs in a book, is there?
7. There are too many free resources available not to take advantage of them.
The internet is filled to the brim with free homeschooling resources. Use them! That’s why they were created! No matter what topic you’re looking for, I can almost guarantee you’ll find it with just a bit of browsing.
There are really so many options out there when it comes to homeschooling. Always try to remember that it’s not the curriculum that makes a homeschool successful, but what you do with your fleeting time together. Remember that, and you’re well on your way!