Homeschooling for Free or on a Budget
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By Laura Carter
When you’re looking into ways to homeschool you can research hundreds of different curricula and styles of homeschooling. Sometimes it can get overwhelming, especially if you’re on a tight budget. There are way to homeschool for “free” and on a low budget, but it takes a little bit more work and planning.
First it’s good to remember that nothing in life is ever free. Even if you’re able to find free resources online or in your community, there are always expenses such as printer ink and paper, gas, entrance fees to things like museums and community centers, and other expenses that can add up. Don’t be discouraged by this, but just remember that anything worth doing is worth paying for! So when the word “free” is used remember that it more than likely will mean “low budget”.
The easiest way to find free curriculum is by searching the web. There are several websites that are devoted to homeschooling for free or on a low budget. Homeschool Deals has curriculum sales and notices of good deals that are going on. It also lists coupons for things homeschoolers would use often.
Freely Educate is a blog that lists websites, free programs, and extra-curricular activities that can benefit your child and aren’t the typical schooling that one would think about. Using a little creativity and thinking beyond the classroom can help you find activities that you wouldn’t normally think would work as school.
The Happy Housewife is a blog that has a more complete list of free websites that offer games, worksheets, and ideas for free homeschooling. Blogs from other homeschool moms are a good way to find tried and true websites and ideas that have worked for others. Free Homeschooling 101 is another blog with information for different websites.
There are also websites that offer full curriculum that is offered for free. Ambleside Online is a more Charlotte Mason approach to schooling, and it also features a support group forum. Old Fashioned Education has curriculum and ideas sorted out by subject, and you can choose material that would work for you children.
A newer option for free homeschooling is to use a K12 program issued by the public schools. It’s basically a public school education that is done at home. This can be helpful if you’re planning on going back into the public school system, but if you’re planning to homeschool long-term it can be burdensome. A lot of work is required, even more than is even done in the actual classroom, and there is a lot of overhead and people to answer to. The equipment can also be expensive if not provided by the school system.
To supplement your homeschool experience you can use libraries to find free books and always browse library book sales for inexpensive books. Other places to explore for learning opportunities are museums, cultural centers, state and national parks, and learning about local agriculture by taking nature walks through parks. The possibilities are everywhere if you look for things around you to do.
Copyright © 2012 Eclectic Homeschool Association