Many factors can affect the costs associated with homeschooling, ranging from curriculum choice to where you live; the number of children and their ages; and a million other little details that may pop up along the way. Here’s a list of recommendations to contemplate in order to help you save a little to a lot without too much effort.
While this first suggestion might seem obvious, simply reuse instructional materials as much as possible. If you have multiple children, often books and curricula can be reused by younger students as they advance, whether close in age or not. Give some thought to utilizing what you already have at home for various manipulatives rather than buying special items. You’d be amazed at the creative teaching tools that can be found in your kitchen! Also, don’t forget to ask friends if they have anything you can use, particularly if they, too, are homeschoolers.
Similar to reusing supplies, consider sharing resources among your local homeschool community. Second-hand items can greatly reduce stress on anyone’s budget. Everything from used desks, chairs, tables, bookcases, storage cubicles, as well as smaller supplies, can be a blessing and save a budget. Get involved with your local support group in order to meet other families who might be offering gently used resources for sale or give-away. Should a couple of families decide to swap materials back and forth, that’s the perfect opportunity to practice the words of our Lord Jesus: “If you are not faithful with other people’s things, why should you be trusted with things of your own?” (Luke 16:12 NLT)
That same principle applies, of course, to borrowing books from your local Public Library. Thousands of home educators handily keep costs down by taking advantage of vast library resources of great histories and biographies, supplemental works of fiction and non-fiction, research journals, how-to guides of all sorts, and even expensive “coffee table” books that highlight art styles or travel destinations, for example.
Don’t forget to look for sales and try to buy in bulk, when possible, a strategy which you probably already employ for other purchases to stretch your budget. For bulk purchasing, you might reach out to area homeschoolers or even your local co-op to help multiple families at one time.
Much like scouting around for sale bargains, bulk suppliers like Amazon (click in right sidebar), Christianbook.com and similar online suppliers can save you money!
Lastly, believe it or not, a significant number of free homeschool resources can be found online. From sites like amblesideonline.org to easypeasy homeschool (allinonehomeschool.com), curriculum can be completely free! Rewarding supplemental resources abound as well. Start with this Pioneer Woman blog post for a huge list. Other online-found resources are in the form of second-hand items that can be picked up locally for free, or assorted original resources which other homeschool families have put together. Pioneer homeschoolers didn’t have such resources at their fingertips, so count your blessings and enjoy the progress!
First, finally, and everywhere in between, it’s worth reminding each other to stop and thank God for His abundant provision! Because Jesus desires the best for us and our children, whom we are ultimately teaching and training for His glory, why not invite Him to direct your decisions as well as give you witty inventions where homeschooling expenses are concerned? He is faithful to supply your needs as you trust and acknowledge Him in all your ways.