When we embarked on our homeschool journey, I was so excited that I literally started buying up curriculum like it was falling off the face of the earth. I bought anything and everything I thought we needed, might need, or could ever possibly need! Unfortunately, all it did for me was give me a lot of curriculum that I never touched and money I would never recover.
If you’re not careful, the cost of homeschooling can add up quickly. But, it doesn’t have to be that way! With a few simple steps and some creativity, you can homeschool on a budget without compromising the quality of your education or materials!
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Track Your Spending
After you’ve done the research and found the curriculum you want to use, track your spending. Tracking how you spend your money will give you insight in to how much money you’re spending and where. When you know what you’re looking for and have a budget in mind, it’s easier to find sales and watch for used products to purchase. By using a spreadsheet or a list of the curriculum you want to use, you’ll be able to buy curriculum at any time and know what you can spend!
Use Your Local Library
The local library is an invaluable resource for every homeschooler. Not only are there thousands of books to choose from, often times you can find books to enhance your curriculum. Many libraries also offer classes during both the summer and school year in which your children can participate. This is a fun way for them to meet other children their age, expand their horizons and possibly even find a new hobby!
Organize Free Tours and Trips
Taking fun and unique field trips is one of our favorite parts of homeschooling. Not only can we pick and choose what interests our children, we can also work them around our schedules. Field trips don’t have to be expensive either! Check out this list of 10 Field Trips Anyone Can Do.
Find Free Resources Online
You can get a ton of free and valuable information online. For instance, there are dedicated YouTube channels and podcasts for homeschoolers. These channels provide great advice, tips and tricks to survive as a homeschooler. You can also read blogs, such as this one to find free printables and resources on a variety of topics. Or check out our sister site, to follow other homeschoolers as we offer share about our journey, challenges, struggles and triumphs and over 500 printables to date!
Watch for Sales, Discounts & Coupons
Since you have already created a spreadsheet or list to track your spending, it will be even easier to watch for sales, discounts and coupons on your favorite curriculum choices! Scout for discounts and sales online and around your neighborhood to get good quality homeschooling resources at a great price. For instance you can check out garage sales in your community and buy craft resources for your kids. Flea markets also contain great stuff you can use to buy and use in your homeschool.
Be sure to note the dates of annual sales as you shop around, that way you can watch for them to come up the next year!
Buy, Rent or Exchange
You can connect to other homeschooling families in your community and offer to buy, rent or exchange resources with them. Most will be willing to swap as they are also looking to homeschool on a budget. The kind of resources your will receive from this will be high quality, tested and proven.
Re-use Textbooks and Curricula
Old text books still contain valuable information that you can apply to a current education. Most curriculums do not change their content drastically, so if you bought a product that turned out to be a wonderful fit, keep it to use with a younger child! Recycling old books and curriculum is a great way to save money, especially since some of these curriculum choices can run into the thousands.
If you choose to re-use some curriculum, make sure the books, resources and curriculum you are intending to use are still applicable to the current form and education requirements in your state.
Homeschooling on a budget doesn’t mean you have to compromise quality, so long as you take the time to do your research and a little planning ahead!
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