Are you wondering what it costs to homeschool your children? Are you spending too little? Maybe, even, too much? The answer to this, like many things in life is, “It depends”.
The cost of homeschooling can vary greatly with each family. I’ve known some families that spend thousands of dollars each year and I’ve known some that spend less than $500. It all depends on what method you choose to use, what grade level your child is at, how much you feel comfortable doing on your own when it comes to the lesson plans and how resourceful you feel like being.
Naturally, there are the standard school supplies you’ll need. Paper, pencils, glue, tape and all those fun things. You’d have to buy those whether or not you would homeschool, so I’m not considering this a “homeschool expense.”
What you will need, at some point, are teaching materials like textbooks, workbooks, and during the science years, lab materials (not to mention project materials, too).
If you don’t feel confident developing your own curriculum, then you’ll want to invest in one that includes a teacher’s lesson plan, preferably a daily one to make the educational process more convenient for you.
Purchasing lesson plans can be quite expensive. To help cut costs, find out exactly what you need for your child’s curriculum and check with the local public school to see if they will lend you some of their textbooks.
If not, check your local library for resources to use to teach your child’s lessons. You can purchase new books for your child to use, but you might also be able to get by with buying used texts from a family whose kids are past that stage of learning.
The Internet is an area with a vast amount of free resources. Don’t be afraid to search for some daily lesson plans that you can print out – as well as project ideas you can assign to your child to make learning fun and interactive. Don’t forget to check out the free lesson plans and printables right here on Modern Homeschool Family!
Network with other homeschooling parents. Many have book trades, where they either sell or give curriculums to other families who need them. You may have to change a few things to make it more personalized for your child, or supplement it with something you find at Barnes and Noble, but used materials can shave hundreds of dollars off of your expenses.
Maximize your field trips. Sometimes lessons can be taught at a museum or zoo by asking the guide questions. If you’re learning about monkeys in your lesson plan, then why not learn about them at the zoo instead of looking at pictures in a book?
Learn through nature. Nature hikes at your local parks can teach a lot about our environment and can make learning more fun for your child. It’s more interesting to get outdoors and walk, run (and even play) while you learn something, and it helps the child retain the information better, too!
Join a homeschooling community or start one of your own. Sometimes a community of like-minded people can get donations for some of the equipment needed, like chalkboards, textbooks and more from the local schools or other organizations.
One of my favorite things to do is to check garage sales, local thrift stores and flea markets for books equipment to use. You may be able to find chalkboards or notebooks for cheap. You may want to look for a sturdy bookcase to hold all of your treasures too!
Don’t be afraid of the cost of homeschooling! Getting creative & resourceful can be fun. Bring the kids into this too. When shopping, or after you’ve bought something, turn it into a consumer math lesson by comparison shopping. If you’ve purchased something used, look up the original price and do the math to calculate the savings. For older kids, you can show them your homeschool budget and let them help you make the purchase decisions to stay in budget.