I have often talked about the cost of various products we have reviewed and whether or not I felt there was value in it, well lets take the monetary value of home education to the next level. Frugality is something many people don’t always think about when they think about homeschooling. It costs to keep the kids at home, but it can be done.
I try and keep our homeschool budget to less than $200 a year for curriculum and supplies. I know that seems crazy, but I have found some wonderful sites to download elements from.
1. Homeschool Freebie of the Day : is an amazing site with daily freebies through out the school year. I have saved so many wonderful books and mp3s I have an assortment I can fall back on , or even start at when I am lesson planning.
2. CurrClick is another wonderful place. They offer a weekly freebie from a variety of publishers as well as seasonal specials. I have downloaded a huge variety both freebies and reasonably priced elements including some amazing Montessori Grammar and Language Arts products.
3. Hands of a Child: I was a conference representative for them our second year homeschooling and was able to purchase a lifetime Super Membership that gives me 2 complete units a month as well as a 15% discount on e-books. HOAC also offers a semi-annual freebie to vistors and Facebook deals on occasion.
4. The biggest blessing to our Homeschool has been our Membership on the TOS crew, while this isn’t for everyone, I have found many vendors offer specials and demos that I never knew. TOS also publishes an annual freebie directory.
5. Project Gutenberg and internet archive are awesome resources for out of print books as well as source documents, audio files, etc.. to help supplement a variety units.
For supplies make sure you have a homeschool i.d.card to save money where educators receive a discount. Also check with your local office supply store (Office Depot, Office Max, and Staples) to see if they offer a teacher rewards card. I stock up on things like composition books, pencils, color crayons, etc… during the back to school season knowing we will use them. Also check Goodwill or other similar thrift shops for things like binders ,milk crates for storage, books, etc… we don’t have to have new binders every year. Another amazing resource for me has been Craigslist. I have found several lots of books and other resources for free and low low priced on Craigslist.
Another fun one that keeps costs down, local parks for nature walks and physical activity. A change of scenery also helps both Mom and kids refocus.