My first idea of homeschooling was that it would be fun. I'd still get to learn new things, and I would be homeschooling on a budget. Oh, and not to mention I thought that it would totally not be expensive (at least too terribly expensive).
Uh, let me just say… That last one? Yeah, I was completely wrong.
Or was I?
See, I was looking at ALLLLLL of these different types of curriculum. The ones that had “all the things” and it was overwhelming.
How could I afford to homeschool my son and my daughter?
Some curriculum were $800 to $1200 a piece! That would mean I'd have to multiply that by two because they're not twins so it would be two different grade levels.
And, while I could save up for that each year, it still made me question my decision. Public schools weren't that bad. Public schools would socialize them, right? They need public schools, right?
No. No, they don't. And, every time I thought about sending them to a public school I physically cringed (inside and out).
So, I set out to find a way to start homeschooling on a budget. Which meant way less than the $400-$800++ I had seen on sites. Thankfully though, you can even homeschool for free (which I'll go over below)! If you had to that is.
Below I'll be going over the different ways you can successfully homeschool even on a super tight budget. You don't need everything out there and you can definitely make up your own curriculum as you go along.
Don't let all those numbers get to you, and don't let the vast curriculum choices scare you!
What To Do When You're Homeschooling On A Budget
Homeschooling doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. You can find many women on Pinterest that post many activities that are budget friendly and also talk about doing most of their curriculum shopping at the Dollar Tree!
It is possible to homeschool and you don't have to break the bank to make it happen. Or ditch your favorite ice cream or latte. None of that mess.
Here are a few options when homeschooling on a budget:
1 Go the Free Route
You don't really have to pay anything to homeschool your children. This makes homeschooling on a budget super simple. But, it's easy to get lost in the sea of “but, other moms are using this and it looks amazing.”
Believe me… don't go there.
You can read books to them that you pick up at the library. You can create science experiments in your kitchen and use YouTube videos for information. Math can be done through cooking, counting objects, playing with rocks or even toothpicks… really it can be anything you want. History can be read from online to your children and you can make field trips to historical places.
Here Are Some Free Resources for Your Budget Friendly Homeschooling Needs
AmblesideOnline.org for Charlotte Mason Method homeschooling
Reading & Learning to Read
Mathematics Enhancement Programme – This is something that is suggested in the Charlotte Mason Method circles, but I'm not finding it very…. easy to teach with. It is free though and goes all the way up to Year 6, so that's helpful. Right now, we're using it as a guideline, but also interjecting our own flare.
Science & History
Books, YouTube, History Channel, Nature Walks, Plant/Animal/Insect Identification and plenty of field trips.
You can grow a little garden to teach the life cycle of a plant, and teach your children about herbs using this introduction from Herbal Academy.
Have fun with teaching your kids new and useful skills that will last them a lifetime. If you need some ideas try these: crocheting, knitting, whittling, carving, survival skills, baking, carpentry, or anything else.
Here's something else you can introduce them too: Pluralsight for kids is where they can learn coding, design, or photography for free. They're intro courses that will give them a chance to see if it would be something they'd like to pursue.
2 Find Budget Friendly Curriculums
I've already mentioned that I love the curriculum by A Humble Place. We're currently working through this with some minor adaptations.
Jenny Phillips has some literature curriculum that is very budget friendly and downloadable too.
Shiller Math has a great Math kit that we've been eye balling for a couple weeks now and might invest in, but it's kind of pricey. But, it's pricey in a good way actually. It's a 5-year program and that makes the price very worth while.
Math Lessons for Living Education is relatively inexpensive and supposed to be pretty awesome. It's on our list if we don't get the Shiller math.
Science & History
We're going to be using Handbook of Nature Study and Nature Anatomy: The Curious Parts and Pieces of the Natural World (Julia Rothman). I'm also considering getting Exploring Nature With Children by Raising Little Shoots.
3 Amazon Prime and Kindle Are Your Friends
If you already have Amazon Prime then you're already way ahead of others. Prime will allow you free shipping on so many of your orders. If you don't have it then I would suggest going to Amazon Prime and checking out the cost and weighing the options. It has saved us way more than what it costs us so that helps our decision.
Right now you can get Amazon Prime Free for 30-days!
In regards to Kindle, we LOVE the fact that there are so many titles that you can get for FREEEEEE on Amazon Kindle. Get your first month free now!
With Amazon Kindle, you can get Kindle Unlimited, which in itself is amazing! There are many more books here that you can read for free without having to purchase! If you don't have Unlimited you'll have to pay for the ones you'd be able to read for free with Unlimited. Get your first month free now!
4 Free Sites & Thrift Sites
Gutenberg.org is a great place to find classic texts and sometimes things you can easily read to your children. It's also a great place to find books for older kids as well.
Another great site is ThriftBooks. This site my mother-in-law actually found while we were trying to flesh out my sons Year 0.5 with the Charlotte Mason method.
5 Check Facebook Groups For Book Purchases
I scored a great selection of books for my son by visiting this Facebook group. I'm talking 40 books for under $100!
Ok, that might seem like a huge cost upfront (and I almost didn't do it), but these aren't books my son will out grow this year! He might not even out grow them next year… or the next if I play my cards right.
We're homeschooling on a budget, and are making sure we can get a lot of bang for our buck. Granted, I have purchased some things new and am glad for that.
You can score some great finds on Facebook book swaps for homeschoolers! Go on and see if you can find a few to join and start looking at the books. Once you have your curriculum laid out on paper you can start finding the books you're wanting to incorporate.
I also found this one here and will be poking my nose around there soon.
As An Added Bonus
Check out these books as a momma. They're super inspirational and will help solidify your decision to homeschool 🙂