Sunday, August 22, 2010

Blog Cruise – Affordable Homeschooling

HowBlogCruiseButton do you afford to homeschool? What are some ways to save money on homeschooling supplies?

I’ve heard this question before, along with the “how do you afford to adopt?” question.  In both cases, I answer with “where there’s a will, there’s a way”.  Now, to expand on that just a bit - - -

What are the alternatives to homeschooling?
First would be sending your child to public school.  You might say “this doesn’t cost me anything”; but, in fact, it does.  You need to make sure your child is properly clothed – and if you want to be sure they don’t get picked on or made fun of, you better be sure to buy them stylish clothes.  Your  child will also need the best school supplies, in order to keep up with his/her peers.  Oh, and if he/she wants to participate in any extracurricular activities, you’ll need to dish out money for those things too.  Don’t forget about lunch – those school lunches have really gone up in price over the years!

Second option – private or Christian school.  Many of these schools have a dress code, which goes  back to dishing out money for special clothes.  Tuition is usually pretty high.  Some, like the one in our area, require the parents to donate lots of extra time and/or money in addition to their monthly tuition fees. 

Compared to the two options above, homeschooling seems like a fairly cost-effective educational option to me.  The amount of money I spend in curriculum and resources each year is probably comparable or less than one month’s tuition cost at the private school would be.

If you have children of similar learning styles (and sometimes even if you don’t), you can reuse things.  Also, we enjoy working together on some subjects (such as history) – which means I need to buy only one history curriculum each year instead of two. 

I make a list of what I know I need to buy each year.  Then, before going to convention to make my purchases, I check online retailers and used curriculum boards.  I’ve done quite well at purchasing used items through the Vegsource boards, and other used boards (just do a search for “used homeschool curriculum” or the specific item you’re looking for.  (FYI: I have a link in my sidebar to some used curriculum and resources I have for sale).

Most homeschool families are living on one income, so they quickly learn to be frugal.  Homeschooling on a budget is definitely possible!

If you have further questions, please feel free to ask by leaving a comment on this post.  Or, check out what other Crew members have to say on this topic by visiting our blog.  Click on the Blog Cruise tab to read past Blog Cruise topics also.


Jodi said...

Great post Heidi, you made some really good points! Thanks for participating in Blog Cruise this week!

alecat said...

Ahhh - I forgot about the price of school lunches. I guess as my folks had us come home for lunch anyway whilst I was at school, it didn't occur to me. (You see ... I think my mum really did want to homeschool me, wink!)

Briana said...

I totally agree! I don't even want to add up how much it would cost to buy school supplies for all six of my school age children. I know we spend way less than that each year.

Michelle Smith said...

I agree. In those weak and frustrated moments in which I have considered the private school option, it costs so much in tuition and fees that I would have to dust off my teacher's certificate in order to teach at the school. Then, I would be teaching other family's children (possibly with my own) all day and come home to have to help them with their homework and prepare more lesson plans. It would be twice as much effort and I would not spend nearly as much time with my own children! Homeschooling is so much simpler and can be the most effective, efficient and thriftiest option!

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