Have you looked at the cost of books and curriculum lately? At up to $200 per subject per child, it can cost a small fortune to homeschool! Not to mention school supplies and school room resources! Every year September rolls around, I consider hiding money under our mattress to save up without hubby realizing how much it all costs… every year I fail and we have a big “discussion” about sticking to the budget (tell me I’m not alone on this!). I am a total sucker for books and curriculum and office supplies, Staples is my happy place! This year, however, I have a goal to cut down expenses! I may not homeschool for free entirely (though you totally could) just because I have a few bigger purchases that I can’t let go of (hello Brave Writer and Math U See). But I do intend to minimize our spending!
I am going to give you 5 ideas to homeschool for free! You may be like me and choose to still spend some money on a few core subjects, but maybe you’ll get some new ideas and cut your costs this year (or remove them entirely!). If you are really tight and money troubles are making you reconsider your decision to homeschool, it is entirely possibly to homeschool for free! Keep reading and don’t forget to pin this for later!
1. Use the Library!
I know, I know, you’re rolling your eyes with me on this one. But seriously guys, we don’t use the library enough! There are SO many tools we can use from there, and we can order from other libraries in the area if it isn’t on the shelf. It is a completely free resource that we sometimes bury in the back of our brains. Well, I’m bringing it back to your attention (and mine). Plan your lessons using your library. You could literally school your children with this tool alone and they would thrive!
2. Contact local businesses/community helpers.
You don’t need a co-op or homeschool group to set up field trips! Get on the phone and call the police station, fire station, post office, grocery store, the sky is the limit! Ask to go in for a very small field trip, most places enjoy doing field trips with smaller groups anyways, and your kids will be getting hands on, real life learning, without costing a penny!
3. Write reviews in exchange for curriculum.
Whether you are a blogger or not, you can often write reviews in exchange for curriculum (though especially if you are a blogger). Don’t be afraid to reach out to a curriculum company you are in love with. Share your passion for their curriculum and why you think you’d be able to represent it. Tell them you’d be willing to write a review on Amazon or their website or your blog or all three! As a blogger, there are many homeschool companies that will work with you in exchange for a review. You never know until you try!
4. Contact your local school.
Wait a minute, aren’t we trying to get *away* from the school? Not necessarily! Imagine if your kids could get free band or free PE or just utelize the school library for free! Schools have a lot of resources, and while some are definitely against homeschooling and will shun you for life… there are some great schools out there that just have a passion for kids. Call (or email if you’re chicken like me) some schools around you and explain that you are a homeschool family. Talk about a few of the gaps you feel like you have and see if they would be willing to help out with either use of the library or gym or something to that effect. Get creative!
5. Homeschool for Free Online!
If you have the internet, you can homeschool for free. You can look up articles, YouTube videos, use Netflix, Minecraft even! You can access online books and free online homeschool resources as well. Many bloggers (such as myself) create free printable resources for you to supplement your homeschool. Follow good bloggers, sign up for their newsletters, grab freebies that relate to your family! Plus take a look at this little list of free online homeschool sites:
- E-learning for Kids: AMAZING, free, easy to use!
- Kahn Academy.
- K-12 Homeschool.
- Home Art Studio.
- Virtual Nerd: Real Math Help.
- Essential Skills Advantage.
- Lesson Pathways.
- JuniorWriter.com (Free for 60 days).
- Knowledge Adventure.
- Science Kids.
- Eco Kids.
- Kids Math Games Online.
- Ambleside Online.
- SAS Curriculum Pathways.