10 Money Saving Tips For Homeschooling
One of the things that I love about homeschooling is that we can explore the world; learning together as a family, another is that you have control over so much of it- including where and how much money you spend. I myself have had only a shoe string budget at times to spend for our homeschool, and surprisingly we have found we often come up with the best ideas that work for us, because we have to be creative and think of other ways to achieve the same goal.
Take reading for example- There are so many ways to teach your children to read, and having a number of different learners in my home has shown me that they all need slightly or completely different support to help with that process. I have one learner that taught himself to read from listening to older children and doing handwriting practice; I also have a learner that requires me to come up with objects, words and pictures that start with and look like the letter we are trying to learn- For example M is a mountain, C is a cuddle, etc. Some letters take some thinking!
I’m currently planning my homeschool for the year, so I thought I would take this time to share with you some of my tips for making the most of your money when it comes to planning your homeschool for the year. I should say that I personally am E\eclectic in style, using some school at home (desk work) approaches, but also unit studies, Charlotte Mason and some unschooling.
1. Look at what you already have.
If you are like me, you might already have a heap of things in your book case that you can use to create some schoolwork for the year. Over the years I’ve collected a heap of resources from library sales, garage sales, gifts, book parties, or I’ve brought something a friend has shared with me. During this time I’ve had the best intentions of using them, but never got around to planning an activity, exercise or way to use the resource for us. So the book or resource has sat on the shelf for that day to come. So take a look around your house, gather together what you have and brain storm some interesting way to use those books.
2. check out the local op shops.
If you haven’t already got a stash of books that you can use, trying checking our your local opportunity store, charity shop, or thrift centre. Most will have a collection of books, which you can use in so many ways. Reading, unit studies, lapbooks, research, handwriting copy practice to name a few, but you could also find one with great photos that the children could cut out of the book and use for art etc. You might not mind using a book like that if it only cost 50 cents.
Start a recycle collect box, and then when you have a few times you can play “What can we make?” game. You can play this game with an aim to try and make a particular things, like designing a boat and testing it out or just letting your children make what ever they can come up with. You can use this game to cover a number of schooling skills; like maths, science, design, art and anything else you can come up with.
4. Develop your own curriculum tasks.
Depending on the curriculum that you are thinking of using, you can get caught out spending a lot of money for year. I know several that I have looked at over the years cost well into the thousands for just one child, let alone the 5 that I have at school age this year. So I have found ways to help teach my children the same sorts of things at a much less of a cost. An example being if this is our book reviews, I get the children to read a small book or I read it to them if they are younger, then using a project book for our local office store, with one blank page and one lined page. I get them to draw what the cover of the book looks like, and then answer about 10 questions about the book, Title, author, Illustrator, genre, publisher, synopsis, what they thought of the story, would they read it again, would they share it with a friend, etc. Now during this exercise they are learning and practicing a number of skills- reading, handwriting, drawing, and they are also learning about genre, illustrations, how to review a book, forming sentences, etc. You can do these sort of things and I will share more of my ideas with you in later posts.
5. Tourist information Centres
Just about every area will have a Tourist information centre or travel agent. These places are full of brochures! They are free and can be a great resource. You can use them is a number a ways. They normally have some with great information about your local area, history and interesting sights free and paid. One way that I use these is in our geography books. We are doing study of our local area, using these as a guide and to cut and paste pictures, maps, information into our book. We also love taking our own photos of the images in the brochures.
6. Use the local library
Libraries these days have more than just books. Many will run free story times, free music sessions, arts and craft sessions, documentaries, audio books, DVD’s, internet, magazines and books. A word to the wise of course being to make sure you return your books on time or your library charges can be more costly than buying the books.
We have lots of pen friends and use it as a way to encourage the children to practice their reading and writing skills, however it can sometimes be costly sending out all those letters. So another way is to have at least some of the pen friends as email buddies. It’s free other than your internet costs and the running of your computer, and the children are also learning information technology and typing skills as well and reading.
8.Buy supplies during the school sales.
The beginning of the year (in Australia) all the major stores will have a back to school sale, this is the best time of the year to by school supplies, it’s when we have the biggest mark downs. Today for example, I was able to buy Scrapbooks for 89 cents, which are normally $1.30. I know that I use these every year, so when I see a sale like this I stock up. So I guess that is another key point: Knowing what you use. In years past I brought the exercise books that are on sale for 10 cents each, but then never used them because it didn’t really work with my children and what we were doing.
9. Handwriting/ Copy Work.
Instead of buying a expensive handwriting copy book, once they have gotten past the basic learning letter skills and are copying sentences, buy a cheap exercise book and choose a book that has small sections or paragraphs (like a poetry book, for us we are using the children’s bible) for them to copy out to practise their skills and learning poetry at the same time.
10. Plant a garden or a pot plant.
This can be as big or as little as you want. You can use it as a sciences project, getting your children to document the planting process, the life cycle of a seed, record keeping, taking notes of how much it grows, when it flowers, if it’s edible and produces fruit, how much fruit and the weight of the fruit. I’ve set up several plants for $5 ($2 seeds, $3 for the dirt, and a free planter from the veggies shop).
These are 10 of my money saving tips when homeschooling. I’m sure you have some great ideas out there as well and I would love to hear them. SO leave me a comment and let me know your best money saving tips.
Subscribe to our mailing list