Ways to Save Money Before You Buy Homeschool Curriculum
Homeschooling your children does not require purchasing hundreds of dollars worth of school materials. There are ways to save money before you buy homeschool curriculum. Let me share a few money saving tips before you make any purchases.
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Updated post from May 2016
Free or Lost Cost Options
Use What You Already Have
You may not realize you already have a partial math course in your home. You can use just about anything as a math manipulative. Many things, such as coins, dice, M&Ms, and toys are counting objects. A clock is obviously for telling time. A sliced pizza or a pie helps with teaching geometry. A ruler, measuring cups and spoons, and a gallon of milk serve as a means for teaching measurement.
Most likely, you have materials for a beginning language arts course. A dictionary will work for learning vocabulary. The books you already have will assist you in teaching your young child how to read.
Games are great for multiple courses. They help in developing critical thinking skills, teaching math, reading, and vocabulary, as well as how to follow directions.
Use household items for science curriculum rather than purchasing a boxed set of supplies.
Make Your Own
Think about what you can make to serve as a teaching supplement. If you like using flashcards, make them from index cards and use those for math, reading, and vocabulary.
Use the Library Services
A library card is a necessity for all homeschooling families. Many of the reference books will aid in future research projects.
You will want to foster the love of learning by checking out lots of books for leisure reading. My daughter has checked out over twenty books at one time. If we had paid for those books, we would have spent in the excess of $250.
Let the librarian know you homeschool. Most of them are happy to assist with your teaching by ordering books and keeping you up-to-date on the library’s free programs and activities as well as books sales.
Take Advantage of Local Activities
Search for free or low-cost community services. A number of park departments provide nature programs. We have a nearby interpretive center that offers homeschool programs. One example is for $1 a student may dissect an owl pellet.
Our county park department offers sports programs and an art camp.
Festivals often serve as learning opportunities.
Search for Online Lessons
There is an enormous amount of free lessons on the internet. Academic Earth, High School Ace, and Khan Academy are three you may want to investigate.
There are even Facebook and Google+ groups that are specifically for sharing free resources found on the internet. Pinterest is another great source.
Barter For Services
You might trade babysitting services with another mom who is great at teaching math. Another option is to trade meal-preparation services. One week one of the moms will prepare meals for hers and the other family, while the other mom teaches all the children a subject. The next week the moms trade services.
Join a Homeschool Group and or Co-op
A co-op is a group of homeschool families that get together for shared learning. Each mom shares her talents in teaching a subject. The subjects may include science, art.
Inquire if your children may participate in a class. Both my children took a gym class without any requirements placed upon them.
Check with the school librarian for when the next book fair is and if it is open to the public.
A number of public schools will sell curriculum they will no longer use. A teacher gave me an entire class worth of Saxon Math for free.
Family, Friends, and Neighbors
These are other great sources for saving money. Family, friends, and neighbors may find things at a garage sale and either purchase those items for you as a gift or let you know the location of the sale.
A friend purchased two desks from a school and was gracious in giving them to us.
A neighbor was in an organization which closed. He brought us a huge chalkboard for free.
When You are Ready to Buy Curriculum
Consider buying and selling used curriculum at a homeschool consignment bookstore. Recently, I had $180 in credit towards purchasing next year’s curriculum!
I know of a family who has purchased curriculum through eBay and saved a lot of money on a math program.
If you have more than one child who has the same learning styles, buy reusable curriculum a younger child can use later.
As you can see, homeschooling does not have to be expensive. With a little resourcefulness, you can save money before you buy homeschool curriculum.
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