Notice, I didn’t say “homeschooling on a budget.” Most of us have a budget; but sometimes you need to know all about homeschooling on a tight budget.
So, it depends on what a tight budget means to you. For some, that means you have one child and must spend only $400 this year on their curriculum. For others, it means finding ways to school your 6 children on $100 total. OUCH!
Build block towers and talk about colors, shapes, measuring, and numbers.
I could go on, but I think you get the idea. I have lots of ideas on my blog for preschoolers! You can also search online for “preschool activities” and find more information than you could use in a lifetime.
If you have elementary school students, you need a little more to work with, but it still doesn’t have to be a fancy curriculum. Again, the public library is one of your best sources. Create a unit study on any topic from history, cooking, science, math, art, crafts, etc. and check out all the books you can on the topic. Get some to read to your kids and some for them to read aloud or to themselves. Pull out topics they can write short paragraphs about. Check their spelling and grammar after they write, correct it, and have them do a final copy. If you’re not too great with the spelling and grammar, get a library book with all the rules.
Take a field trip or visit a museum. Dress up in costume. Make a new recipe. Watch a historical movie. Have the children give an oral report. Follow the rabbit trails. It will be fun, and as your kids are learning, you’ll be making memories as well.
I also taught my oldest child her U.S. geography and state capitals for free using online resources. We found online games and quizzes that she played each day, and I made my own flashcards for the state capitals. She practiced those daily and in no time she had learned it all! Approximately 9 years later, we still have those flash cards!
- Save your pennies. Literally. I have a jar that I throw all my change in after purchases. When it’s full, I cash it in. This is my curriculum jar. Whatever the amount is, I put it toward new books.
- If you get a tax refund each year, budget some of that for your books. Plan ahead, find good deals, set a budget, and stick to it.
- Check the discount stores, like WalMart and Target for inexpensive learning materials. I actually found some really fun Barbie and Pooh workbooks for my younger kids at Dollar Tree for $1 each, and they loved them. Flash cards, writing practice, mazes, etc. are all easy to find at these stores.
- Keep your eye out for homeschool book sales! When other parents are selling off the books and supplies they no longer need, you can get some great deals.
In my humble opinion, YOU, the parent are the best teacher your kids could ever have. All you need is a willing heart and a courageous attitude and you will find a way to teach your children through the rough times. Usually, the tight budget season doesn’t last forever, and when it’s over, you can begin to add to your school budget again.
There’s more! Read Part 2 here.
I have some related posts that you might find helpful: