Saturday, 5 October 2019

How to Homeschool on a Budget


Often, when people start to think about homeschooling their children, they worry that they won't be able to afford it. They are concerned about the potential cost of resources, homeschool groups or coops, and the loss of income if one parent has to give up work to stay home with the children. 


Let me tell you, it does NOT have to be expensive. In fact, it can be cheaper than sending your child to school. Just think, when a child goes to school there is the cost of the uniform, school shoes, school dinners and possibly a school coach. Then there are the extras such as extracurricular classes and sporadic day trips or trips abroad. All these costs add up and may exceed the costs of homeschooling. So, how much does homeschooling really cost?

Well how much it costs really depends on how much you want to fork out. You can purchase all the expensive curricula, books and resources or you can get things for free. You can pay for your child to go to expensive clubs like climbing and horse riding or you can choose not to. You are in control of how much you spend on homeschooling. It could cost a lot or a little, the choice is yours. So many people are on a low income these days . particularly home educators who are living off one, or half, an income, so let's take a look at how you can homeschool on a budget.


Get outdoors



One of the best things about spending time outdoors is that it is completely free! Nature offers so many benefits to health, education, communities and the environment so why not make the most of this fabulous resource. Head to a local park or woodland and spend some time in nature. Allow your children to explore and see what they can discover. Sit back and observe, intervening only when they ask a question or for help. You will be amazed at the things they can discover about the world around them!

Visit museums


Museums are often free so why not check out the museums in your local area. Museums are a great resource as they are packed full of interesting things to look at and find out about. Our local museum also occasionally offers workshops for home educated children and, although these are paid for, they tend to be quite reasonably priced and can be really beneficial once in a while.



Use the library


Buying books is probably my biggest expense so if you don't want to spend much on these, make use of your local library. They may not have the books you need at first but you can request them from other libraries in your area. If you are reserving books it can be useful to order these in advance so that they are available when you start a new topic as waiting times may be quite long. Preparation is key! Also, some libraries have special cards for home educators that allow you to borrow more books at any given time, sometimes up to 50 books! It is worth asking at your local library to see if they have this scheme.

Create your own co op



The biggest expense after books is probably paying for homeschool groups. This can get expensive if your child attends a number of groups each week or if you have more than one child. A cheaper way is to create your own group or coop. If you create your own, you can decide the cost or lack thereof. Personally, I have created two free groups for my children. The first is a fortnightly project group. Each fortnight we get together with a few other homeschooling families and parents takes it in turns to host the group and run the session. This means that it does not cost me anything except the resources which I need when I run the session once every two months. I also created a nature group which is free and each family chips in with a few resources each time. I am a big fan of creating your own co ops.

Keep close to home


If possible, try to stay close to home so that you do not spend too much on transport. This may be easier said than done, particularly if there are few homeschoolers or homeschool meets nearby. However, if there aren't any nearby then you could think about creating your own.



Search the internet for free resources


There are many useful websites which offer subscriptions for their worksheets and other printables. However, there are also many websites which offer printables absolutely free! It is always worth searching the internet for free printables based on the topics you are working on. I have managed to find excellent printables on personal blogs as well as specific educational website. Pinterest is also useful for finding such resources.


Create your own resources


Creating your resources is a lot simpler than you think and can save you so much money. Many can be put together with just some paper, card and a set of felt tips or pencils! Furthermore, creating your own resources means that you will be able to tailor them to your children's specific needs. 




#handmadehomeschool


I am starting an Instagram series to bring you the best handmade homeschool resources. My aim is to inspire you to create your own and save money in the process! I hope you will join me every Wednesday to share your favourite creations. Follow me on Instagram and use the hashtag #handmadehomeschool to join in! 

So there you have it, my top tips for homeschooling on a budget. I hope they give you some ideas of how you can spend less on homeschooling. Do you have any tips to add? Let me know in the comments below.



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