Have you taken a financial hit this year? Are you struggling to pay for your homeschool supplies, curriculum, field trips, etc…?
Maybe, like us, your spouse lost their job at some point during the year. Or maybe, like us, you have a new addition to the family. Or like us, your children are growing and consuming more and more. Maybe you have been struggling for awhile, ever since mom gave up her job and agreed to stay home and homeschool the children.
I am here to share with you our own experience and encourage you – you CAN homeschool for as little as $20 a year per child.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
If you don’t accept where you are at, that you simply don’t have the money for all those shiny, new homeschool books this year, you can waste a lot of time and energy and you will have trouble moving forward and actually get going with your homeschooling.
Once I accepted that the money just wasn’t going to be there for workbooks, textbooks, learning toys, etc… this year, I was able to shift gears and get creative with what I did have, and I started to brainstorm what I COULD do for homeschool this year.
Get Basic Supplies
Most of your budget will to go to the basics: binders / notebooks, paper, pencils, erasers, glue, scissors and crayons.
If you opt to go with some of the free online options (see below) for homeschooling, then instead of the supplies above, you will need to invest your budget in printer ink and printer paper. We choose to make sure our children are doing some writing by hand and we are doing some learning online, so we got all the supplies – notebooks, paper, ink, etc… With the cost shared across 3 children, we are still well under our $20 per child budget.
We purchased the printer ink online with Amazon, the paper (both writing and printer) at Walmart, and the supplies at Walmart during their back to school sales.
Search The Thrift Stores
Next, find your local thrift store, especially any outlet stores, and take a few hours to go through their books.
I did not even come up with this idea. My brother-in-law, knowing that we were struggling this year, went to our local thrift outlet store called the Youth Ranch Outlet. He and his significant other spent an hour or so going through the large bins of books and came up with a dozen or so very useful books. Things like science encyclopedias and science experiment books, old math textbooks, barely used kindergarten workbooks and a great math games book.
We will make use of these by reading the science books, doing experiments with stuff we already have, having the children copy passages from the books, practicing spelling words, and more. They then get LA / English out of this too. We will use the kindergarten books for our kindergartener. I did purchase three kindergarten workbooks from Rod and Staff. They are only $3.60 each plus shipping. If you are a Christian based homeschool, they have some inexpensive curriculum available through Milestone Books.
I will state that we have half of our Story of the World History curriculum leftover from last year (which was given to us free), so that is how we are doing history.
For art, we are doing play-dough, creating our own paper dolls, coloring in dollar store coloring books, practicing drawing, making cards and looking for ideas all around us.
Find The Free Online Apps and Printables
For Math, there are LOTs of free online options. You really just need to decide which option you want. You could also use old textbooks for a baseline and write your own math problems weekly.
We have found some free online tests and games, free online printables, and we are also going to give Khan Academy a try, although as of this writing, we haven’t started yet.
There are many more apps and online learning sites to explore – more than you could ever visit in a lifetime. Just start with a topic and do a search. For example, if you want to teach your children about bugs, just Google “learn about bugs” or “homeschool bugs free printables or lessons.”
And Then There Is The Library
Even if your children don’t read yet or don’t like to read, you can read to them. Everything you would ever want to learn and teach your children is available. Have them copy passages of important information or summarize what they read.
I hope this helps you homeschool your family this year and you will be able to see it as a joy and an exciting challenge. This isn’t everything we are doing, so please ask questions about what you are wanting or needing in the comments below.
If you would like some additional encouragement, check out my post: Homeschooling From The Bottom 10%.
If you have a little more budget to purchase curriculum this year, I have curated some Books, Homeschool Curriculum, and School Supply Deals, Discount Codes, and Coupon Codes for you at: I’ve Got A Deal For That!