Home Schooling For Less

There are lots of websites out there that tell us how we can home school our children for free or practically free.  There are even several books written on the subject.  I say nothing is truly free.  The paper that you print on cost money, not to mention the ink for the printer.  Internet connections and books all cost money.

But even though you can't homeschool for free, you can certainly homeschool for less!  I spent very little money on our curriculum this year.

We use Weaver.  I love it, and more importantly, my kids love it.  If you bought the curriculum from Alpha Omega, the publisher, you would spend a nice little sum of money.  I only paid $25 for mine.  I got it used.  You can barely tell it has been used. I bought all five Weaver Volumes, their accompanying Day by Days, and some extras that go with them, and the Interlock for about $200 including shipping.  I even have a couple of extra volumes that I will sell to recoup some of my cost. 

When we were trying to decide on which curriculum to use, I bought the entire Sonlight kindegarten newcomer kit with the art and physical education electives.  I did NOT pay the $700 + dollars that Sonlight asks for.  I bought it slightly used for $300, shipped.  It also came with a set of Childcraft Encyclopedias thrown in for free.

I decided to give Switched on Schoolhouse a go last year for my then third grader.  I paid $85 for the next to the newest version and then when we decided it was not going to work, I sold it for $150 on ebay.

There are sites that offer the curriculum itself for free - oldfashionededucation.com is one of them.  They use older resources though, and you do have to supplement the science.  Letteroftheweek.com has a great phonics program for absolutely nothing.  They also have a complete preschool/kindergarten curriculum for free as well! 

So, in reality, homeschooling doesn't have to be expensive.  It can be as cheap as you want it to be, all you need is a little patience and flexibility.

Start your search for curriculum with these sites:  homeschoolclassifieds.com, allofcraigs.com, and ebay. Never pay full asking price, unless it is a rare find, and you desperately need the item NOW.  (But that level of need is what prompted the $150 sale of the SOS I had! So beware, you will spend more with that attitude.) 

Do not wait until the last minute to get your curriculum.  Look in November and January.  That is when people are looking to 'dump' the curriculum they are currently using because they are frustrated with it, their kids don't like it, or they decided to put the kids back in public school.

Good luck!

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Family Viola said...

Wow, thanks for the super useful advice/info on curricula. My daughter is 18m old. We live overseas and she will eventually be going to local national schools, so giving her a good foundation in English is important to me. At www.letteroftheweek.com I found a free curriculum for toddlers. Amazing! I'm going to get in the habit of using a curriculum now so we will be able to flow right into preschool and kindergarten curricula when the time comes. Thanks again. Great blog! Jenny

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