Inside: How to educate your children at home without breaking the bank. Tips for homeschooling on a budget.
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I earn a small portion of the sale when you click the link and make a purchase.
So many families are now considering homeschooling that maybe would have never given it much mental space before. With that, there are lots of questions. As families start to browse for curriculum, some of the big questions that arise are:
- How can other families afford this?
- Are there other options?
- Do the more cost-effective curriculums compromise on educational value?
It’s true, many families can afford the curriculum that costs nearly $1,000 per child. We can’t.
But thankfully there are lots of other options that are cost effective, and they don’t skimp on educational value.
Tips For Staying on Budget while Homeschooling
- Reconsider the expensive all-inclusive curriculum sets. Boxes that include every subject for your child may not be the best fit (and you may not even end up liking half the things that come in them).
- Trust yourself to see what your kids are ready for and what they aren’t. A big reason why parents buy expensive curriculum or other materials is that they think they aren’t capable of teaching their child well without it. You are your children’s closest adult and a natural observer of their abilities and weaknesses.
- Do as much DIY as you can! I love to use sites like Canva to make extra practice worksheets or handy manipulatives if I can’t find what I’m looking for.
- The library is free. It’s so tempting to buy ALL THE BOOKS and have an extensive homeschool library (which I encourage you to build up over time). But my main go-to for books to use in our units is the library.
- Set aside time each week to evaluate and plan. Having time to search for extra resources that are free or budget-friendly will pay off!
- Have a cost-effective printer. A favorite line of printers in the homeschooling community is the Epson EcoTank. They’ll save you so much money on ink (especially if you’re printing you’re own curriculum) that they quickly pay for themselves.
Budget-Friendly Homeschooling Resources
I’ve divided these recommended homeschooling resources into low cost and completely free categories. Browse below to find whatever fits your budget! I’ve chosen only those things which we’ve personally used and are valuable for their education.
These are the homeschooling curriculums and resources that are friendly to the budget, even though they’re not free.
The Good and the Beautiful Curriculum
From the start, we’ve used the Good and the Beautiful, so if you’ve seen other content from me, you know it’s one that I love. They have language arts, math, history, science units, handwriting, typing, drawing, arts/crafts and more available for purchase. They even have some high school levels and are continuing to expand their selections daily.
On their website, you’ll also find a library of good and beautiful books that are reasonably priced.
The Good and the Beautiful has a semi-Charlotte Mason approach to learning with their heavy emphasis on good literature. They also strongly emphasize good moral character and family values.
This is the only one on the list that we have not personally used. However, there are droves of homeschool families who swear by Master Books and love their curriculum. Plus they’re relatively inexpensive.
Their offerings include language arts, math, science, history, geography, apologetics, Christian history, logic, and more.
Simply Charlotte Mason
As you may be able to tell from the name, Simply Charlotte Mason has curriculum centered around the Charlotte Mason style of homeschooling. There’s lots of emphasis on lots of good literature, a feast of learning with a plethora of subjects, handicrafts, and gently leading young children to subjects such as math and language.
They offer history and individual studies (language and math) as well as a host of enrichment studies such as:
- picture study
- music study
- scripture memory
- hymn study
- foreign language
Sonya from Simply Charlotte Mason also has a YouTube channel that I adore, full of helpful information for teaching your children (especially if you’re wanting to go the Charlotte Mason route with your style of homeschooling).
Education.com Worksheets and Resources
Education.com is a wealth of worksheets and online games for your children. I have used their resources for times when our kids need more practice with a particular concept and for fun seasonal worksheets that my children enjoy.
You can download 3 free worksheets. If you decide to sign up for premium (unlimited access), you can do so for $15 monthly OR $9.99 a month if you pay annually. There’s also a sale going right now where your first year would only be $5 a month for your annual payment, making it only $60 for the year.
Reading Eggs and Math Seeds
My kids love to do hop on the laptop and do these these games and activities when they’re finished with their independent work. They even have games for my toddler.
If you haven’t heard of them, they’re definitely worth checking out!
Last but not least in this section, we love the Bible studies from Not Consumed. Two of our personal favorites so far have been their missionary study, To Every Nation, and their Foundations of Faith study.
Other great options include:
- A Content Heart
- My Brother’s Keeper (Sibling Study)
- Fruit of the Tongue
- Keep Thy Heart
- Navigating Friendships
Teachers Pay Teachers
Teachers Pay Teachers is a platform where teachers (and other creators) sell worksheets, learning binders, unit studies, and other learning materials. Some are designed more for public school classrooms, but there are tons of things on there that also benefit homeschoolers.
if you sign up for their emails, you’ll also get 10 free downloads every week. Some of them are useful, and I’ve printed them for our classroom. Others aren’t a great fit, so I skip it.
Even the paid-for resources are usually well worth the money. Some of my favorites are from Jady A, and I’ve used them with 3 of our 4 children.
Now we’ll transition to the resources that are completely free! While you may be inclined to think that only fluff items or extra practice worksheets may be free, you may be surprised to learn that there’s much more available than that–making homeschooling on a budget that much easier.
Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool
This ENTIRE curriculum is available for free online. You read that right. Language, math, history, science, Bible, Spanish, thinking, art–all of it.
I was skeptical when I heard other homeschooling moms talking about it. Anything with the name “Easy Peasy” that also happens to be free doesn’t necessarily give me the confidence that academics are a huge priority.
But my children enjoy doing Easy Peasy lessons during their independent time (we use it to supplement our curriculum from the Good and the Beautiful), and it’s really helping them solidify concepts.
We print out any worksheets and put them into special binders for each child that house their work for the year. But there are also online games for extra practice and fantastic literature in the reading lessons.
There are lots of families who even do Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool exclusively.
K5 Learning Worksheets
Nearly any concept that your children need extra help with can be found on the K5 Learning website. Capitalization? Plural nouns? Adding in columns? Telling time? It’s all there.
I use their worksheets in the same way that I use Education.com–extra practice. I usually do it as review to make sure they’re not forgetting skills they’ve already mastered.
Even if you wanted to build your own curriculum, you could easily do so with the help of K5 Learning. And it’s all free!
The Good and the Beautiful Language Arts Downloads
Levels 1-5 of the language arts curriculum from the Good and the Beautiful are available on their website for free to download.
Many homeschool families take advantage of this and either look at their lessons on a device (and print any book work) or print the entire curriculum themselves, if they have a printer like the EcoTank I mentioned before. This saves a ton of money in the long run (especially if you’re educating multiple children over the years).
Bible Study Fellowship
Bible Study Fellowship is completely free for anyone wanting to study the word. Its main focus is on adults. However, the children learn exactly what the adults do, on their level. You can find a local class in your area or even participate online. This year (as I’m writing this), we are going through Genesis. Other studies include John, Romans, Acts, and People of the Promised Land.
Every week, the children will have Bible passages to read along with questions to prompt further thought and discussion.
What are some of your favorite resources and tips for homeschooling on a budget? Share them in the comments to help other homeschooling families!
Until next time,
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