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Homeschooling On a Very Tight Budget

Beth Hodgkison 0

How can I make homeschooling affordable?

One growing aspect of the homeschooling community, which is both a blessing and a curse, is the profusion of curriculum haul videos and blog posts available. While on the one hand, these can be useful, informative, and even fun to explore, on the other they can be off-putting for parents only just looking into homeschooling. When they discover that other families spend hundreds and even thousands on their curriculum each year, they may feel that they could never provide the same standard of supplies, and their children may be better of in well-funded public or private schools instead. This is, even more, the case for families where one parent would leave full-time work to teach, losing one full paycheck before even turning their mind to textbooks.

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I’d like to help reduce those feelings of inadequacy by giving you a breakdown of how it’s possible to put together a full and enriching programme on very little money at all.

Ideas for cheap or free homeschooling activities:

  • Galleries, museums, and other public displays with free entry. -Free or small donation
  • Libraries and their events, such as author readings, writing clubs and reading groups. -Free
  • Religious schools and groups (eg. Sunday schools) -Free or small donation
  • Kid’s clubs such as scouts, music, drama and art groups. Also, consider social/hobby groups usually meant for adults! They may take children if they are accompanied or proven sensible. -Usually a few pounds/dollars a week
  • Books, educational toys and board games from charity shops. -One or two pounds/dollars a pop
  • Free Curriculum‘ put together by other families, available online, with the only cost being printer ink and paper. -A few cents/pennies
  • Read or watch something they are interested in, and then find related worksheets to print, websites to read and games to play. Most classic kids books and novels now have corresponding online unit studies.
    Eg. for Harry Potter you could look here, here, and here.
    -A few cents/pennies for printing. Some unit studies will cost a few £/$
  • Kindle e-books- there are hundreds of free classics available. And even audio books! If you have Amazon Prime you will find thousands of additional free books available in the Kindle store. -Free
  • Go for long walks. You can turn this into a nature walk for biology, bring paper and stationery or a camera for an art class, or take a frisbee and football for exercise. Some areas also have walking groups who organise trips to sites of interest. -Free
  • Check radio and tv guides for educational programmes coming up, and plan these into your week. Reinforce their learning while watching/listening by asking them to make notes or write a report.
  • Pound/dollar stores are great for workbooks for early years learning, as well as cheap stationery and art supplies. -A few £/$ a pop
  • Check your council website and local newspaper for information on free local events to attend. This is best done in one sitting, to prepare for the next couple of months, so you don’t miss out on anything. -Free
  • Volunteering. If they are old enough, they could get a part time position in a place they would benefit from, such as a nursery, garden centre, or animal rescue. -Free
  • Sign up for websites offering second-hand goods for free, such as gumtree and freecycle, then keep an eye on them. You will occasionally find a listing for children’s desks and bookshelves, or job lots of books. -Free
  • Search eBay for bulk curriculum, job lot children’s books, etc. -Not cheap, but heavily discounted materials
  • Join a homeschool co-op and share resources. You will have access to other’s stuff, while they benefit from yours! -Free or a small fee
  • Charities for national heritage and nature conservation across the world usually offer free resources to educate children. Have a look at the biggest groups active in your country. –Free
  • Look into government/charity programmes for health and wellness education. They often offer nutrition and exercise activity packs. -Free

Finally, here are two excellent articles I recommend if you’re looking for further reading on cheap homeschooling:

1. Free home-ed resources in the UK

2.List of over a hundred extra-curricular activities

You can also check out our article on free education resources here.

If you have any ideas or experiences of your own, please share them below and I’ll add them to the list- I want to make this as comprehensive as possible 🙂

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