12 Tips for Creating a Budget-Friendly Homeschool Curriculum
Homeschooling is a great way to teach your child all of the wonderful academics of the world. If you want to stick to a homeschool curriculum, there are ways to make it happen, as well as stay within the budget. In fact, here are 12 tips for creating a budget-friendly curriculum.
Know what you want
Homeschooling budgets get a little crazy because it’s hard to narrow down exactly what type of curriculum you’re looking for. There are several ways to narrow down your curriculum choices: attend a curriculum fair, ask fellow homeschoolers for recommendations, and read reviews of homeschool curriculum. Know what you want, and that will help keep your budget a little lower. Also, know what you’re willing to pay.
Ask to borrow
There’s no shame in the name of borrowing. If someone isn’t using a certain curriculum piece you’ve been eyeing, then ask to borrow it.
Use what you have
It’s amazing what we all have sitting in our basements and attics. I know I have a lot of homeschool items that I have picked up in the 10 years we’ve homeschooled. I try to go through these things every summer to see if anything will fit what we hope to accomplish in the coming year. You might want to dig through all of your storage locations to see what you can find to pull your curriculum together.
Don’t be wasteful
Instead of writing directly into a homeschool workbook, consider writing in a separate notebook. You can save the hard copy for another student later down the road or even sell it on places like eBay to try to recoup what you paid for the curriculum.
There are so many different types of eBooks that can be found through your local library. Also, there are tons of websites that give listings of free ebooks each and every day!
Take local field trips
Not everything can be learned through a book. You can create a budget friendly curriculum by going to local places for field trips. One of our local amusement parks actually has lessons online to add to the normal trip to the park. This year, I plan on doing the money lesson with the kids.
If you know you plan on homeschooling, then start collecting the type of curriculum NOW that you’d like to use later down the road. When we finally found “THE” math program that worked for Songbird, we bought what we would need for Marvel Boy, too. That way, we saved by not needing a new textbook and also were able to keep with the older lessons that we liked, rather than use the new “revamped” Common Core curriculum.
Second hand stores
You might be surprised at what you can find at places like garage sales and thrift stores. A lot of times retired teachers give up their awesome teaching books after they’ve retired. Last year, I found the grammar I wanted for Songbird on eBay. It was one version older than was current, but it was half the price of new. I’ve found curriculum at church yard sales. Also, don’t forget that sometimes homeschool conventions have used curriculum sales.
Supplement with free curriculum
Using a free online homeschooling curriculum is one way to make your own curriculum budget friendly. I mentioned the free curriculum that our local amusement park has, but there are also other free options online. Jodi over at Magical Mouse Schoolhouse has a free monthly program called Earn Your E.A.R.S. in which she sends a new lesson every month. Did I mention she uses Disney for teaching?
Join Facebook groups
There are homeschooling groups on Facebook where you can win various homeschooling supplies. You can also buy, sell, and trade various types of homeschooling materials via Facebook groups. I love these groups because you can also get some great advice, too!
Do what works
You don’t need to spend hundreds on a homeschooling curriculum just because others are. Learn to do what works for you and your family to have a successful curriculum put in place. Have fun searching for those hidden gems.
Make a budget that makes sense
Before you start the homeschool year, sit down to create a budget that makes sense for your family. Some families need to have a higher budget due to grade level, and some people may have a lower budget because the parents have the time to put together curriculum for free or very inexpensive. Put enough in your budget for various items you’ll need throughout the year, and don’t forget to budget for field trips, gas, and extra school supplies.