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I love homeschooling my kids and I will admit when we started homeschooling I went WAY overboard on everything I thought we NEEDED. Half way threw the year we hadn't used half of it. Heck 2 years in and some of it we still have yet to use! While we have settled in to a curriculum we love it isn't cheap. If you are blessed to be able to homeschool or think you possibly can't because of the cost factor I wanted to share some of my best tips for homeschooling on a budget, so your family can enjoy those overall benefits and not blow your budget!
10 Tips for Homeschooling on a Budget
I share a post a while back on 13 ways to score free or cheap homeschool curriculum. As many homeschoolers know this is only part of the battle. Books, craft supplies, pens, paper, and more add up out side of just your curriculum choices. Check out some more budget tips below.
#1. Curriculum share
Team up with other homeschooling parents to share the cost of a certain curriculum. Sharing curriculum can help save lots of money overtime. This works best if you choose to share curriculum with students who are about the same age as yours. There are online groups to help you out if you don't have a local curriculum share group, sites like Homeschool Buyers Co-Op.
#2. Use the Internet
Not everything you use in your homeschooling curriculum has to be printed. Feel free to use the Internet to fill curriculum gaps. You can use Pinterest for ideas or just spend time Googling ideas that will work for your students. YouTube has a wealth of homeschool videos to compliment any subject!
#3. Trade curriculum
There are tons of online trading groups on Facebook where you can trade your current curriculum for what you need for future use.
#4. Go eBay style
There are still tons of curriculum choices to be purchased through eBay. We go to the curriculum fairs and make lists of what we want to use them come home and check eBay and the Facebook homeschool selling groups.
#5. Create your own
If you have the time, then consider creating your own homeschooling curriculum. This is a great idea, especially if you plan on homeschooling multiple children. I put together my own unit studies on subjects my kids are wanting to learn at the time. Their favorites so far have been dinosaurs and the Solar System.
#6. Always buy used
I understand that sometimes you cannot always find used homeschooling items that you want to use. However, it’s wise to buy used as often as you can.
#7. Take care of your items
The items you use for homeschooling will last longer the better they are taken care of. Make sure you take care of your items to the best of your ability and encourage your students to do the same. I laminate anything I can, anything I plan to use over and over that doesn't require writing on.
#8. Attend a CO-OP
So many positive stories have come from homeschooling co-ops. It’s a great way to meet new people and save money on part of your homeschooling fees. Attending a CO-OP means you get the opportunity to give your time and knowledge in exchange for someone else giving theirs. Your kids can benefit greatly from a homeschool co-op (so can mom and dad). This is particularly great if you have a subject you are weak in, for me it's math. As we get into Algebra and above my kids can get help from someone who is good at math and I help help in my strong points, like history.
#9. Plan ahead
Anytime you do not plan for the future, you’re going to spend more money. Always map out your homeschooling plan to know exactly what’s going to happen down the road. I started the beginning of this school year off knowing what I wanted to buy for NEXT school year so i could start buying as i saw deals, as I found stuff being sold on the Facebook groups ect. This allows me to get great deals and not have to scramble over the summer to find things.
#10. Get creative
Having a budget is one thing, but don’t be afraid to be creative with your homeschooling budget. Think about the long run and what you can do to make your homeschooling budget last for years to come. The expenses of homeschooling do add up, but if you’re smart about it, you can stretch your resources.
If you are thinking about homeschooling or just want to slow down on your budget, keep these tips in mind. What are some ways you save money in your homeschooling budget?