Let’s be real. Most of us have thought about it. Many are already doing it. Homeschooling, it’s the wave of the future!
With children being left behind, overcrowded classrooms, charter school lotteries, crime increasing in schools, and the copious amounts of homework given to school children these days, homeschooling is becoming the thing to do. If you’re like me you also want to have greater control over what your children are learning.
In fact, more and more families of color are moving in this direction. Check out this beautifully written article featured on the The Atlanta Voice. They hit the nail on the head with this one.
So, I know you’re anxious to get to the meat and potatoes of it all. How can you successfully homeschool your child on a limited budget? Can you really homeschool for less than $100 per year? Let me outline it for you…
- Many of the learning supplies you need are already in your home. That’s right, you already own them! Score! Pasta, beans, spoons, forks, plastic cups, socks, hair clips, and pretty much anything you can think of can be used for counting and letter learning exercises. Pull them out and you have all the tools you need to teach your little one how to count.
- Visit your library, often! One of my children favorite things to do is go to the library. My 2 year old and 17 year old and all the children in between all get equally excited. The best part…it’s FREE! Many library systems will allow you to take out dozens of books (ours allows up to 75 per visit), videos, and CD’s. Make a list of books that you require for the next few weeks instruction and borrow them from the library. You can even borrow digital versions from some library systems. Local libraries are the perfect way to suck up knowledge, and get out of the house.
- Every neighborhood has them. Dollar Stores. My local store is Dollar Tree. During Back to School time, they have everything from pencils to flash cards, simple activity books, paper, oak tag, classroom decor, and more. You can really come up in there! And of course everything is just $1. Score #2!
- Check your community pages, websites and bulletin boards for free museum days. The frequency changes based on the establishment but they all offer free or low cost admission once in a while. Be sure to add the dates to your calendar as you don’t want to miss out by forgetting. If you’re in NYC with me, here is a great museum list by Time Out NY.
- Let’s not forget socialization. That’s always a hot topic, right? Homeschool co-ops are popping up all over the place. Special needs, they have it! African-American, they have it! Inner city, they have it! Suburban living, they have it! Unschooling, they have it! A great place to begin your search is Meetup. I’ve had great success there. Most are free to participate in, and those that charge usually request some sort of in kind donation (food for the group, instruction, borrowed supplies). Check it out. It may be just the outlet you need on those tough days.
- I can’t remember the last time I went to someone’s home and they didn’t have a computer or internet service. We all have it. You can get everything you need for your curriculum online. There are tons of free homeschool resources available for the picking. Whatever your fancy, it is available. A simple Google search for “FREE Homeschool Curriculum” will return hundreds, if not thousands of results. Be as specific as you like. You’ll find what you need.
Now, this in not an exhaustive list. It is however, a great starting point for those that may be on the fence about homeschooling and fitting it into an already tight family budget.
Let me know how you budget for homeschooling your children. We can never have too many resources.