Thursday, April 23, 2009

Homeschooling on a Budget

Money's too hard earned to see it spent unnecessarily!

We strive not to break the home school budget in many ways some are quite obvious and others are crafty.  Here are a few of them:

  • We try to use the library as much as possible.  Our local public library has a wealth of resources from books to books on CD and even DVD's!  We can learn a new language, or discover a new favorite book.  We make it a point to visit the library each week. (It's also a great place to meet new friends!)
  • Planning ahead is another good way to economize when homeschooling.  I try to stick to my plans when acquiring new resources.  I don't know about you, but I could live in a bookstore or an office supplies store!  I love the smell and feel of new books and stationery supplies.  So, when I'm in one of those types of places I feel a little bit like a kid in a candy store.  It can be tricky not to over-spend on all those new and tantalizing supplies.  The trick is to make a list of the things you really need and try to avoid impulse purchases.
  • Internet resources are another great way to save money when homeschooling.  It's amazing how many helpful people are out there posting free resources for downloading.  Many of them are intended for classroom teachers, but often these can be modified to suit a home school environment.
  • Involve the children!  Teaching them about budgets is a great way to ensure that you're following one yourself.  They love applying what they learn, and what better way to set and example than by using restraint when deciding how to spend the home school budget.
  • Buy quality materials.  If you're homeschooling for the long term, try to ensure that any equipment or books that you purchase will hold up under use and still be in good condition for the next child.
  • Second hand materials are another obvious option.  Getting access to them can be the tricky part.  If you have a co-op with another family you could share resources, or pass them between children of staggered grades.  There are online sources of second hand materials.  And, we are lucky to have a local curriculum fair for Homeschooling families held once per year.  I always head to the second hand sale to see what treasures I can find.
  • Make cooking a  subject in your curriculum.  Cooking at home is much cheaper than eating out, so why not shave off some of the food budget by teaching your children how to cook inexpensive and easy meals?  You could even use some of the former eating out budget toward homeschooling endeavours.  

What are you doing to home school economically?


  1. Use the outdoors. A lot can be learned from stepping outside and observing the world around you. For instance we just released our yearly butterfly; DS now knows what time of year to start looking for the caterpillars (almost to the week), what plants they feed on, how to care for them, how long the how process takes, etc.

    Also, disounted field trips for hs-ers are wonderful.

    My biggest challenge, and biggest payoff, has been 1 & 2, being organized enough to order the books I needed from the library in enough time to get them. But I've finally mastered it :-).

  2. Yes! That's the best way to use the library isn't it! What did people do before the public library??

    I love your idea about the outdoors. We are in Canada, and this time of year things start to warm up. We just can't wait to get outside (and not freeze!)

  3. Becca is so looking for caterpillars already, despite the fact we yet to have leaves on the trees!