Homeschooling Moms

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kirbymom
Homeschooling = Saving Money
July 29, 2013 at 11:34 PM
Here is an article that I thought would be a bit helpful and interesting...

Insider Tips for Homeschooling Your Kids Without Spending a Dime
DOLLARS & SENSE on 04.25.12

Alexandra Martinez
Contributor
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Image: 401K/ Creative Commons

I nearly fell over when my neighbor told me that sending her daughter to a private kindergarten would run them $18,000 for the year! We have convinced ourselves that "good" parents are willing to spend whatever it takes to ensure their children receive a top-notch education, and who can blame them? But what if your child could have that same opportunity and at no cost? Welcome to the wonderful world of homeschooling.

When my husband and I finally committed to the idea of homeschooling, we began to wonder how much it would all cost. It certainly couldn't cost as much as a private school, but could it be free like public education? Believing that this would not be a cost-free endeavor, we began to search for thrifty ways to save big on our educational materials, and we were quite successful.

But spending a little here and there has started to add up and we wondered if we could cut back further, without sacrificing our children's education. The great news is, we can!

The Three Sources of Free Materials
1. The Internet

Seasoned homeschoolers tell me that before the internet, not only was homeschooling harder-- it was expensive. These parent-teachers have joined together in sharing their ideas and resources, and all at no cost to you--but you need to know where to look. Homeschool Share is one great place to start. Their motto is "many minds make light work". With tons of lesson, unit, grade, and subject plans, you could plan out years' worth of materials from this one site alone. Take for instance their chocolate unit plan (yum), which incorporates subjects like math, English, home economics, and social studies all into one neat little package. All you have to do is either print the materials or read through them and incorporate them into your own homeschooling style.

My other top internet pick is Homeschool Freebie of the Day. The Erskine family posts a new freebie Monday through Friday, each and every week. With downloadable books, free printable materials, and tons of other helpful tools and tricks, the site is a must-read for both rookie and veteran homeschoolers.

If you'd like a complete list of hundreds of free websites, check out the book Homeschool Your Child For Free. It's an invaluable tool in connecting you with sites across all subject areas and interests. Of course if you're really being frugal, you should just borrow it from the library (like I did).

2. The Library

It may seem obvious that the library is a homeschooler's best friend, but be sure you are taking full advantage of all they have to offer. My local library not only allows me to borrow all the books they have, but they will interloan books from other locations, and occasionally even purchase books that we want. Be sure to make friends with your local librarians, because they are a huge asset to leading a free homeschooling life.

Libraries also often have DVD's, educational CD-ROM games, and access to databases and e-books through their website. Another often overlooked library benefit is free museum passes. Be sure to ask what passes they have available and which they hope to make available in the future (hint: you may want to make suggestions). My library has more than ten museum passes that we borrow on a regular basis, saving us a lot of money when we take field trips.

3. Swapping

If you're looking to pick up some new curriculum or educational tools, then you may need to consider this last insider tip: Homeschoolers are not only quite frugal, but also very generous -- willing to loan or give away unused materials. A few months ago I walked away with ten boxes of elementary educational materials from a mom whose children were entering middle school. I kept what I needed and am now passing on the rest. So contact your local homeschool network and host a curriculum swap day -- you're sure to walk away with new or gently used materials without getting out your debit card.

Replies

  • Boobah
    by Boobah
    July 30, 2013 at 9:04 AM
    I'd like to start swapping more, I mean how ideal would that be? You get to use a curriculum, send it on to the next person, eventually get it back for your next kid - and in between you get to try new curric for free. The only problem is, not many homeschoolers are using my method around here.
  • AutymsMommy
    July 30, 2013 at 11:10 AM

    I think that "free homeschooling", and the success or failure it could bring, relies on too many components to truly say one CAN homeschool successfully, for free... always.

    There are very few FULL, sincerely comprehensive, rigorous free programs, and of those, they are very specific to certain learning styles/teaching methodologies (often lit based, which doesn't work for every student). There are only a handful of free math programs, and most of those were only ever meant to be supplements, not standalone programs (like Kahn)

    It assumes one has access to a good library.

    I've never run across anyone locally who has materials that I need or want, at the LEVELS I need or want, to swap with.

    Sure, homeschooling is cheaper than private school, but I wouldn't say it's cheaper than public - and since public is usually the alternative to homeschooling for most families, I wouldn't say it's necessarily cheaper than public, at least not the way many do it.


  • lucsch
    by lucsch
    July 30, 2013 at 1:33 PM

    I am starting to do this. Our curriculum so far has been easily found used, so I've saved money that way. I resell and get most of my money back. However, I have loaned one level which I own but have not used yet to a friend. She is buying an upper level, which I hope to borrow in a few years. The high school levels of our curriculum are pricey ( $1200  new). So, hopefully, my spending on curriculum will go down.

    This is my friend's first year with HOD, and I know absolutely no other local homeschoolers using my curriculum. I've been bragging on it at the co-op, but it took my friend meeting the author at a convention to get her excited about it enough to buy it. LOL I do hope she sticks with it.

    Quoting Boobah:

    I'd like to start swapping more, I mean how ideal would that be? You get to use a curriculum, send it on to the next person, eventually get it back for your next kid - and in between you get to try new curric for free. The only problem is, not many homeschoolers are using my method around here.


    play

  • lucsch
    by lucsch
    July 30, 2013 at 1:37 PM


    Unless you live in Indiana, where the book rental fees, iPad insurance, field trips, and school lunches easily outpace spending over a decent boxed curriculum. I was shocked when I moved here.

    Quoting AutymsMommy:

    I think that "free homeschooling", and the success or failure it could bring, relies on too many components to truly say one CAN homeschool successfully, for free... always.

    There are very few FULL, sincerely comprehensive, rigorous free programs, and of those, they are very specific to certain learning styles/teaching methodologies (often lit based, which doesn't work for every student). There are only a handful of free math programs, and most of those were only ever meant to be supplements, not standalone programs (like Kahn)

    It assumes one has access to a good library.

    I've never run across anyone locally who has materials that I need or want, at the LEVELS I need or want, to swap with.

    Sure, homeschooling is cheaper than private school, but I wouldn't say it's cheaper than public - and since public is usually the alternative to homeschooling for most families, I wouldn't say it's necessarily cheaper than public, at least not the way many do it.




  • AutymsMommy
    July 30, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    Autumn did a year in public and I don't recall ever spending on anything more than basic school supplies field trips, and lunches (although we generally packed lunches)... so yes, when I look at what I've spent on her curricula alone this year, I find it laughable that homeschooling is cheaper, lol.

    Of course, our schools do not go the ipad route yet.

    Glad I wasn't in Indiana :P


    Quoting lucsch:


    Unless you live in Indiana, where the book rental fees, iPad insurance, field trips, and school lunches easily outpace spending over a decent boxed curriculum. I was shocked when I moved here.

    Quoting AutymsMommy:

    I think that "free homeschooling", and the success or failure it could bring, relies on too many components to truly say one CAN homeschool successfully, for free... always.

    There are very few FULL, sincerely comprehensive, rigorous free programs, and of those, they are very specific to certain learning styles/teaching methodologies (often lit based, which doesn't work for every student). There are only a handful of free math programs, and most of those were only ever meant to be supplements, not standalone programs (like Kahn)

    It assumes one has access to a good library.

    I've never run across anyone locally who has materials that I need or want, at the LEVELS I need or want, to swap with.

    Sure, homeschooling is cheaper than private school, but I wouldn't say it's cheaper than public - and since public is usually the alternative to homeschooling for most families, I wouldn't say it's necessarily cheaper than public, at least not the way many do it.






  • Britty1987
    July 30, 2013 at 2:40 PM
    Where we moved from (in Kentucky) the school paid for all the school supplies. Where we live now (in Iowa) they have an outrageously long list (and it includes things like dry erase markers). We spent less on our curriculum this year than we did last year for just supplies :-/ it's funny how every place is different


    Quoting AutymsMommy:

    Autumn did a year in public and I don't recall ever spending on anything more than basic school supplies field trips, and lunches (although we generally packed lunches)... so yes, when I look at what I've spent on her curricula alone this year, I find it laughable that homeschooling is cheaper, lol.

    Of course, our schools do not go the ipad route yet.

    Glad I wasn't in Indiana :P



    Quoting lucsch:


    Unless you live in Indiana, where the book rental fees, iPad insurance, field trips, and school lunches easily outpace spending over a decent boxed curriculum. I was shocked when I moved here.


    Quoting AutymsMommy:

    I think that "free homeschooling", and the success or failure it could bring, relies on too many components to truly say one CAN homeschool successfully, for free... always.

    There are very few FULL, sincerely comprehensive, rigorous free programs, and of those, they are very specific to certain learning styles/teaching methodologies (often lit based, which doesn't work for every student). There are only a handful of free math programs, and most of those were only ever meant to be supplements, not standalone programs (like Kahn)

    It assumes one has access to a good library.

    I've never run across anyone locally who has materials that I need or want, at the LEVELS I need or want, to swap with.

    Sure, homeschooling is cheaper than private school, but I wouldn't say it's cheaper than public - and since public is usually the alternative to homeschooling for most families, I wouldn't say it's necessarily cheaper than public, at least not the way many do it.









  • kirbymom
    July 30, 2013 at 3:27 PM
    I know that outside of paper, pencils, markers and supplies if this nature, I never ever spend more than $100 for school. I really do not know of a public school that can say the same thing.

    Quoting AutymsMommy:


  • celticdragon77
    July 30, 2013 at 4:15 PM

    aww man, when my kids attended school in Texas for 6mths last year, I was SHOCKED at how much you had to buy!!! I spent $1,000 for three kids JUST to send all the supplies into the school, on the first day. You are required buy the kids AND the teachers supplies!!! Thankfully, Pennsylvania does NOT pull that kind of shit!

    I should add, that after three days of ranting about it, I went and returned all of it, and sent a letter instead. I bought my kids some pencils, notebooks and some other NEEDED materials - spending only $100

  • almondpigeon
    July 30, 2013 at 11:02 PM

    we buy boxed curriculum, so the initial cost is there....but with 4 children very close in age, i can reuse the books several times, which drastically cuts the cost IMO.  i also factor in the fact that i'm not having to buy "school clothes" or pay for school lunches. supplies would be necessary either way, so i don't count that at all.  in my family, it's definitely cheaper for us to homeschool.

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