Although this is our first year officially homeschooling (as in, I submitted an Intent to Homeschool form to the school district), I have been homeschooling Christian for a few years. In that time, I have heard many people say that they have considered homeschooling but some set of circumstances or another makes them feel as though they can’t (or shouldn’t) do it.
While I agree that homeschool is not a viable option for everyone (nor do I feel like it is the best option out there- it’s just my personal choice), I do hate to see people who really want to give it a shot count themselves out over obstacles that are actually surmountable.
That’s why for the next several roundups, I wanted to focus on some situations that can be challenging for people who want to homeschool, but that can be overcome. I hope that by seeing tips, tools, resources, and testimonials dealing with how to overcome these obstacles, they may feel more hopeful.
So let’s get started! I think it’s only fair that I start off with the one tangible thing that probably deters people the most: money.
Homeschooling on a Budget
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“I couldn’t homeschool. It sounds like it would be too expensive.”
Let me just start by saying that I am neither rich nor “well-off”. I am also frugal, so even if I had a ton of money, I would still sit here trying to figure out how to use the least amount of it possible. And there are tons of ways to save money when homeschooling. For one, you can find so many FREE resources online, it isn’t even funny. There are also plenty of homeschool communities where you can find people willing to sell their used homeschool materials at a discounted rate. Plus, homeschoolers can get some pretty cool discounts with various stores and businesses. I know that a lot of family-focused businesses in our area offer discounts for homeschoolers for thing like dance classes, gymnastics, and martial arts. So even the extracurricular activities can end up being cheaper than they would be for public school students.
Plus, there’s always the library. Libraries are chock full of free books, internet, and even activities. You can even usually request that they get books that they don’t currently have in stock. Our library hosts story times, crafting hours, movie showings, after-school programs, and more. And that’s just during the school year. During summer, they have petting zoos, magic shows, and a ton of other really fun activities for kids (and teens). If you’re not taking full advantage of your library’s resources, you should be.
Anyways, let’s check out these resources, shall we? (Quick note: Click on the pictures to check out the resources)
If you love getting things for way cheaper than the retail price, you should definitely check out this site. The mission at Half Price Books is to promote literacy and save the environment by buying and selling used media. I, for one, am totally here for it. They have an entire section dedicated to homeschool (though it’s not perfect – I caught Mean Girls in there, lol). They also offer an Educators Discount Card that enables teachers, librarians, and homeschoolers to save an additional 10% on purchases.
In the homeschool community, a co-op is a community of families who help each other. The same holds true for this online resource. The Homeschool Buyers Co-op is the world’s largest buyers club for homeschooling families. Founded in 2005, is is a family-owned and operated business dedicated to providing top-quality curriculum at the lowest price possible. When you sign up for their mailing list, you get emails loaded with savings on a ton of products for homeschoolers.
When it comes to finding products at a great price, Amazon is really the place to go. It has the benefit of being a highly reputable business. It’s really easy to find a wide variety of Used Homeschool Books. Plus, if you have Amazon Prime, you can save quite a bit on shipping.
How Much Does Homeschooling Cost?
Educents is an online marketplace where you can buy directly from thousands of individual content creators, small businesses, edtech companies and publishers With a mission to make education accessible and affordable for all, Educents has saved educators over $25,000,000 since thy launched in 2013.
This blog post is a good read! It talks about the downside of focusing too much on saving money as a homeschooler. It gives valuable advice on how you can pursue homeschooling on a budget without risking the quality of your child’s education.
HSLDA- Homeschooling on a Shoestring
The Home School Legal Defense Association has put together an article that has plenty of great tips, tools, and resources for saving money on homeschool curricula and materials.