And I do mean it literally. Homeschooling is a costly adventure to say the least. Ever spring Steven begs me to come up with a list including prices of what we will need for the following year so he can plan for it. A budget he calls it.
That is not one of my strong-suits, I'm sad to say. I think they are wonderful ideas and am in whole-hearted agreement with them. But, my impetuous nature and my addiction to curricula negate all attempts at saving money that I attempt on my own!
What's a person to do when they are trying to home school without breaking the bank? Let me see if we can figure this out with the help of my wonderfully organized and well budgeted husband.
First of all, you need to be sure that you are committed to home schooling. It is a lifestyle that involves the whole family. There isn't one area of home life that won't be affected by schooling your kids at home. That is one of the ways to save money as well. Use everything you are doing to teach. Cooking dinner? Teach the kids about measuring, reading and following a recipe, cleaning...Life Skills. What better way to learn than by real world experiences? How about making a meal plan for the family. Get the kids involved by having hem help you come up with the meals, figuring out what it would take to make them, get a grocery list together, then go shopping together. So many skills that we need in life don't need a 'store bought curricula'.
Another way is to re-use curricula for different children. Pass it down! This is one time that my hubby is okay with me keeping things. :) I know that sounds simple and it is, but it is a true money saver. Not all curricula will work for every kid, but sometimes when that is all you have you use it. Don't be afraid to tweak it for the learning style of each child-make it work for you.
One of my favorite ways to save money while homeschooling is to find curricula that all of my children can do together. Be it Unit Studies or curricula that spans several grades; I love them! While these can be costly initially, in the long run you will save money if it is a great fit for your family because you will use it for years to come. If I can get a subject to cover all four of my girls, bonus!
I think my most favorite money saving tip of all time is this: Share curricula with other homeschooling families. If we have something that we aren't using because we are saving it for another year and a family needs it now, SHARE IT! I have been blessed by this so many times that I can't count them anymore. I am trying to do the same and find it so rewarding. What a blessing to be able to help ease the burden to the budget by sharing what we have.
If you want to see more tips for saving money while on this adventure Here is where you want to be!