Disclaimer: I do use affiliate links for some products in my posts simply because I love them!
Another year of school is starting for millions of children. Some will happily and not so happily trot off to public and private schools and increasingly more and more each year will stay home to complete their education. I’ve come across several families who would love to homeschool but feel they simply can’t afford to. This is so sad! Why? Because its usually not true, you just have to think outside the box 😉
I’ve stayed at home with the kids from birth so it wasn’t a switch for me when we started homeschooling. However, there is a huge percentage of families where both parents work away from home, so how would homeschooling even be possible?
To start with, I would crunch the numbers and decide if its possible for you to quit your job or work from home. Could you sell your second vehicle and buy something that doesn’t require a loan? Could you downsize homes and cut out your mortgage or reduce it significantly? Can you get rid of cable, contract cell phones and expensive habits? These are mostly practical solutions people use to cut debt, but they are just as applicable to being a stay at home (homeschooling) parent.
If you absolutely can’t afford to quit (maybe you’re a single parent or have too much debt) see if you can work out a flexible schedule for homeschooling. Maybe a family member could watch the children while you work and you could sign them up for an online homeschooling program. Maybe you could be at home while your spouse works and vise versa. I have some good friends who the mom works part time away from home but still successfully homeschools. One utilizes an online program their daughter can access anywhere there is internet. She gets up early to work before the mom leaves for work and finishes up after she comes home from work. The daughter loves it even though she has a more strenuous schedule than she previously did at public school.
Regardless of whether you’re home or working there are loads of ways to save $$ on homeschooling. It doesn’t have to be expensive! One of my favorite resources is SchoolHouseTeachers.com which has hundreds of courses for K-12 and loads of videos all included in one low yearly (or monthly if you prefer) price! This covers your entire family! Right now, they are running a special with $139/2 years! You could completely homeschool for that price. That’s a tremendous bargain 🙂 I use it all the time for supplementing our homeschooling! It also has planners, record keeping programs and much more. I am an affiliate but simply because I love it so much!
Another way to save $$ is to buy used books and curriculum. There are tons of ways to do this. Shop the library for library sales, used book stores, online used books (like thriftbooks, amazon, FaceBook groups, ect…) You can usually get the books at a fraction of the new cost. Let friends and family with older or grown children that you’ll happily accept any books they want to get rid of. You may have to get rid of some, but you’ll be amazed at how much good stuff you’ll find!
Remember to shop end of season sales and back to school sales for your school supplies. You can also join HSLDA and get discounts from companies such as OfficeMax & OfficeDepot. Joining them also gets you discounts at places that frequently give discounts to public schools like zoos, museums, ect…
Use part of your tax return each year to invest in big ticket items such as laser printers or a new computer. I got some awesome deals by buying manufacture refurbished electronics which came with a great warranty for about 1/2 the price of brand new ones.
One other way I afford homeschooling is by making a little extra $$ on projects each year. I might sell handcrafted items or write articles or even do direct selling. My goal each year is to make enough extra income to buy any needed books, supplies and curriculum. I then shop the best sales and get the biggest bang for my buck!
I also highly recommend digital curriculum which save absolutely loads of money! My favorite sale to shop for this is the once a year Build Your Bundle. I get about $400 of curriculum for only $50!
There are also multiple sites that give away free resources every month if you sign up for their newsletters.
So, if you’re considering homeschooling but think you can’t afford it, I highly encourage you to reconsider your options! I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much you can accomplish with very little monetary investment!