With a little creativity, you can provide both a quality and inexpensive homeschooling experience for your children.
Homeschooling in itself, is affordable because you control how much you spend, and decide what to spend your money on.
You can spend as little, or as much as you want. Some families purchase full-service programs for each child in the family, while others spend little to nothing on materials.
For our family, the amount we spend varies from year to year; depending on what we want our children to learn, or high school courses they needed to complete. Some years we have spent more, while other years we have spent almost nothing.
Since most homeschooling families live on one income and need to stay within a budget, below are some ideas to stretch your homeschool dollars further.
When teaching your children at home, it really doesn't matter what you wear. There is no pressure to wear designer clothes or worry about getting noticed in "that outfit" again.
I know when I went to public school, I had the pressure to always wear a different outfit and wear the latest styles. It was not cool or "hip" to wear the same thing too soon, or the same pair of jeans the next day. You had to rotate your outfits, being careful to space them apart! Remember those headaches?
At many thrift stores, you will often find brand new garments from high end clothing stores, with the tags still on them!
Fun Thrift Store Find!
This cute little skirt sold at Nordstrom's for $53.
Many of the items we buy are new or barely worn, and no one knows (until now! :) that most of our clothes are thrift store purchases. (Shhhhhhh...)
(It may be a little awkward, though, when someone loves your outfit and asks you where you got it.)
With a little creativity, you can buy used and still look stylish!
(You can save even more with your homeschool student id card! Participating Salvation Army Stores around the US give students up to 50% off purchases on select days!
Your kitchen table and chairs are the solution for money-saving homeschooling furniture.
Look around your house. With a little reorganization, often you can find a way to make better use of baskets, drawers or bookshelves, or free up a cabinet to house your school supplies and notebooks.
If you do not have a spare bookshelf, cupboard or storage container, to organize your supplies and books, then you will need to make a small investment. Keeping your things organized is a key to successful homeschooling. Disorganization wastes your valuable time and money.
Make use of your back yard, local parks and free area attractions. Many times you don’t have to go far, or pay a lot of money to find fun, interesting or educational things to do.
At the end of the school year, local public schools get rid of desks, tables and chairs for free or for only a few bucks. Many are still in great shape.
Keep your eyes and ears open for a notice or ask a neighborhood friend or teacher to notify you when the sale or give-away takes place.
My husband and I were out one day treasure hunting and found an antique double wide science desk, complete with two drawers – perfect for our schooling area. I stripped, sanded, and refinished it, with a deep red stain to match my kitchen, and applied a couple coats of polyurethane.
Our antique desk gets compliments all the time and the best thing about it? It only cost me $10!
(See my used curriculum warning below!)
A library card is invaluable to a homeschool family.
If you haven't found out yet, the library, next to the internet, is a home educator’s best friend. From reading groups to internet access, from story time to enrichment classes, you are sure to find many resources, besides books to supplement your home education.
If you are just starting to homeschool, you may want to invest minimally in homeschooling resources until you know for sure your commitment will be long-term.
The first year I homeschooled, I spent around $150 the whole year on school supplies and homeschool curriculum. We got almost everything we needed through our local library to keep our home schooling costs to a minimum.
Oh, yes... one more money-saving tip...
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