With all the boxed curriculum's and programs out you start to wonder if you can afford to homeschol. I will say that after homeschooling for the past 61/2 years I have spend very little money. You can spend as much or as little as you like depending on what you want to use. I will list a few resources and techniques we have used over the years that have saved us lots of money.
1. PUBLIC LIBRARY the library can be one of your most vital resources. It's free! You can find any book on any subject that you are working on. Most libraries are also accessible online and that's a time saver. Instead of taking hours physically searching in the library, you can find the books you want online and place them on hold so that you can go and pick them up. Alot of libraries also give homeschoolers the same advantages as teachers allowing you to tap into more resources not generally available to the public. The library is also a great way to meet other homeschoolers. You can take the opportunity to print out worksheets, make copies and some libraries have laminators. Your tax dollars help maintain this vital resource so take full advantage.
2. INTERNET The educational possibilities are endless. There are dozens of websites that offer free worksheets on every subject in every grade. A lot of the material you will find in some of the workbooks on the market can be found online. There are a lot of sites that offer memberships which allow access to thousands of worksheets, lesson plans, unit studies etc. Most offer a one time fee between $20 and 40 for the entire year which is not much considering all the frivolous things we spend our money on at a moments notice. The only downside (if you want to call it a downside) is that you will consume a of of paper and ink. I would only print out what I know I would use so that unnecessary paper and ink are wasted.
3. Building an In Home Library I posted a blog about this in my earlier postings. You can purchase books used and save a lot of money. There are some reference books that you may want to keep in your home such as a dictionaries (1 child, 1 adult), thesaurus, spelling aides, encyclopedias and books of that nature. You can also purchase books based on the subject matter you are working on. The more literature you have in your home, the more they will want to read.
4. Your Community I'm sure there are a lot of places that you have never thought of visiting or even knew were there. You may want to take your child on a field trip to your local recycling plant, or volunteer at a nursing home. If you live near a farm, that is a great place to take you children so they can see how food grows and the hard work it takes to make the farm function. Most towns and cities have a website providing information on activities that are being held (most of them being free) or very inexpensive. If their are no activities being offered in your area and you have neighbors and friends with children, try coming together and planning activities. There are many learning opportunities within our own neighborhoods, we just have to be creative and resourceful.
EBAY If you choose the boxed curriculum route, you do not have to spend large amounts of money. If you go on Ebay, there are many people who have complete boxed curriculums, text books, workbooks etc, that they have not used or slightly used and want to get rid of at a fraction of the retail price. Craig's list is also has a wealth items for sale. Some boxed curriculums can even be bought in segments instead of all together so you can purchase as you go along if you can't afford to purchase all at once.
THE DOLLAR STORES Don't sleep on the dollar stores because they have really upgraded in the past few years. Dollar Tree carries educational posters along with most of the supplies you will need.
When it comes to homeschooling on a budget, money management, it crucial. If we can spent $100 on sneakers, $30 on nails that only last a week or 2 and things like that, we can invest in our children's education and not break the pockets. ~Peace~