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?
As a homeschool mom, I can attest to the fact that there are so many amazing products out there to use in a homeschool setting. As a homeschool mom of many on a limited income, I can also attest to the fact that those beautiful supplies can easily add up to spending an obscene amount of money- something that I’m neither willing, nor able, to partake in.
If you ever decided to poll a large group of homeschoolers to ask what the most difficult subject to teach is, math would undoubtedly be at the top of the list. The most crucial time to get kids on board with this harrowing subject is in the primary years while hands-on learning activities can still be incorporated to learn basic computing skills. Homeschooling parents seem to realize this and search the internet for (often expensive) math manipulatives to use in their lessons. Continue reading “10 Toys That Make Fantastic Math Manipulatives”
(Click here for a downloadable PDF of this unit study and other free resources.)
As February quickly approaches, now is the perfect time to share with you a new unit study on Thomas Alva Edison, who happened to be born in February! My kids love anything science and invention related, so last year they were elated when I came up with my Famous Inventors/Inventions unit study. Of all the people we learned about, Thomas Edison was, by far, their favorite, so I think it was only appropriate that I would write a new one focusing only on him.
Homeschooling on a limited budget can be a tricky thing. Sure, the library and the internet are both great free resources, but it’s impossible to homeschool without a cache of supplies at your disposal. As a family of 12 living on one income, we usually only do any major school supply shopping twice a year, so the local dollar store has become our go-to place for those times we need to stock up but don’t have hundreds of dollars to do it.
Before I share with you the frugal deals we find there, I’m going to be honest and point out that there are some supplies that you should stay away from there because the quality just isn’t what it should be. There aren’t many, but I’m hoping to save you the trouble of purchasing these items there and regretting it later. Continue reading “50 Homeschool Supplies You Can Get for One Dollar”
I love the library. There, I said it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told the librarians at our public library that if they’d just get a snack bar, I’d move the whole family right in. And I’m serious about that. So many books, so little time.
On top of that, it is the backbone of our homeschool curriculum.
Without the library, our homeschool wouldn’t just be dull- although it certainly would be- but it would be expensive. Way too expensive for a one-income family of 12 to handle.
The high costs associated with homeschooling are often one of the reasons people choose not to do it. We can’t afford it. We only have one income. We have too many children.
It’s true that there are a good many homeschool curriculums out there which are high quality, with the high price tag to prove it, but today I’m going to let you in on how we homeschool 10 kids for under $1000/yr.
Since we are a one income family of twelve, it is absolutely necessary that I am resourceful enough in acquiring materials so that homeschooling will not be a financial strain. At this point in time, we plan on homeschooling all of our children through high school, so it is crucial that I find something affordable that works for our family.
Believe it or not, this is easier than you think. In fact, $1000 is actually a high number. I believe that this year we were able to keep our costs to below $500 for curriculum for all 10 children, but I’ll say $1000 just to be conservative!
Today is Part 2 of my Homeschooling on One Income series. Part 1 described how our family manages daily living on one income. Before homeschooling, it is essential to work out a budget plan for day to day living if you have a limited income.
One of the many arguments I see coming from opponents of homeschooling is the myth that only affluent children can be taught at home because of the costs involved. This is laughable to me. We homeschool an extremely large family on a welder’s income, so there goes that idea. To make matters worse, many prospective homeschoolers buy into this reasoning and begrudgingly enroll their children in public school because they feel they can’t afford it.
I’m here to tell you today that, no matter the homeschooling method, there are enough resources out there that, given the right amount of research, almost anyone can afford to homeschool.
Here are resources that we have used for homeschooling that have been very affordable, if not downright free!
– There is such an abundance of free homeschool printables covering pretty much every subject online that I really could just stop right here. There are also wonderful unit studies available- again, for free! Take time and look through homeschool blogs. There are so many writers who are excited to share their wonderful ideas with you at no cost.
– I have gotten my younger children workbooks at Dollar Tree. Yes, Dollar Tree. This store is actually where I get most of my school supplies throughout the year.
– More expensive does not always mean better. Do your homework. Our family used Konos unit studies for years. The initial price tag of $110 might sting a little (although this is considered inexpensive compared to other curricula), but you have to look at the big picture. There is enough material to cover 2 1/2 years of schoolwork, and there are activities included from K-8. So this is perfect to use with multiple children; you could even have the younger children go back through it again when they’re older because there’s that much material in there.
– Instead of buying Language Arts curriculum, use lapbooking to fulfill that area. And I don’t necessarily mean those lapbooking worksheets that you print out and just have them fill in. Let them decide what they will put in it. Encourage them and give them ideas, but let them have the final say. I promise you, they will enjoy it so much more, and they will remember more.
– Don’t forget the library! Even before we started unschooling, the library provided the abundance of our learning tools. It’s not just for books anymore! (although that’s my favorite part :))Our library has movies, music, free online foreign languages through Mango Languages, story times, and toys that you can borrow and take home. Devin and I always jokingly say that if the library starts selling food, we’re moving in!
– Buy used. Ebay, Craigslist, and Amazon are but three of dozens of places where used curriculum can be bought and sold.
– Let life be your curriculum! That’s right…life…because every waking minute of your child’s life…of our lives…we are learning. Let them explore! Let them collect rocks and salamanders and leaves! Teach them to use search engines (also free!) to identify and classify their finds. Even watching the dreaded TV will provide learning. (I’m not one to let them watch unlimited TV, but I will allow it 1-2 hours a day if they wish to watch it. Sometimes they don’t.) Just the other day, I overheard Caollin correctly use a scientific term that I knew I didn’t teach her. Where did she learn it? Spongebob!
This is how we’ve afforded to homeschool in our household. We are so blessed to live in a society in which we can find an abundance of learning resources in as little as the click of a mouse. So before you nix the idea of homeschooling for financial reasons, I say stop. Take a step back, and rethink it. The world is at your feet.
What are some ways that you have cut costs in homeschooling? Leave a comment…you just might give the advice someone desperately needs!