So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90.12

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

How Much Does Homeschooling Cost? Part 1

We have been homeschooling for about 4 years now and have moved beyond the "curriculum-in-a-box" method and have been enjoying the "build-your-own"  approach.  I never knew I would ever get to this point.  When we started "formal" homeschool, I relied on packaged curriculum because I was afraid I wasn't going to be able to teach everything my daughter should be learning.  Packaged curriculum is a wonderful blessing and we are fortunate there are so many great options available today.  Having said that, I also have to say that it can be very expensive (especially if you are schooling a number of children).  Some packages can be hundreds of dollars per child per year and often the materials are not reusable.

So, what should you do if curriculum is outside of your budget?  Should you not homeschool?  Certainly not!   I've thought of a few options but, first, let me say that you do not need a complete prepackaged kit in order to homeschool.  You can mix and match curriculum as well as piece materials together to create your own.  First of all, lets look at some options for curriculum:

1. Get curriculum from your school board/school district - Now, this is obviously not an option for folks who dislike the public school curriculum (or find it lacking in some way), but I'm going to throw it out there.  I could see this being a good choice for, say, mathematics, especially if you aren't much of a math person.  Here in PEI, you can get textbooks and other resources from the Provincial Learning Materials Distribution Centre.  They require that you pay a $50 deposit per child per year (I'm fairly certain it is refunded when the materials are returned).

2.  Buy second-hand/used curriculum - Keep an eye out at thrift stores and yard sales for homeschool and academic materials.  This may be difficult if you're not in an area where homeschooling is popular.  However, if you can find a local homeschool support group, often families are selling (or giving away) items that they no longer need or want.

3. Borrow curriculum - If you know some families that homeschool (perhaps through your church), ask if they have some materials that you could borrow to try out before you commit to buying anything.

4. Free curriculum available online - Free, of course, providing you have access to a computer, the Internet, and possibly a printer.  Many public libraries have computers with Internet access available for their patrons to use.  Some examples of curricula available online are:
Ambleside Online
An Old-Fashioned Education
Mathematics Enhancement Programme

Of course, there are tons and tons of free resources (books, worksheets, lapbook materials, copywork pages, etc) available online on many different sites.  Homeschool Freebie of the Day is a great site for free materials.  DLTK is a good site for all sorts of education, craft, and colouring stuff for younger children.  Honestly, there are too many places to list (you should see my bookmarks in my "Education" folder!).  Do a Google search for "free homeschool curriculum" to get you started.

As, you can see, there are many options for low cost curriculum and home education does not have to be a costly venture.  I hope this has been helpful to you and thank you for visiting!

Linking to the Hip Homeschool Hop today

This post is also linked to Look What We Did!


Savannah @ HammockTracks said...

There is some great information here. Please consider linking it at the home school resource, "Look! What We Did!" -Savannah

Jacqueline said...

Thanks! I've linked up as you suggested :)

Savannah said...

Just a quick note to let you know that you one of the most popular links at Look What We Do, and because of that, I have featured you!

Jacqueline said...

Wow! Thanks so much!