When I first started home schooling, I went and bought an entire curriculum that cost us over $600 and looking back now, I can see that that wasn’t the best decision. I was simply starting with kindergarten, and I didn’t need a fully loaded curriculum chock full of books that my 5 year old would not understand much less pay attention to. Over the years, I’ve learned a few things that have helped us to home school with more wisdom. They’ve also help us to keep more money in our pockets.
These tips might help you too:
:: Utilize your local library. If there is a book you need, find out if your local library has it before purchasing it new or used – especially is you only need the book short-term.
:: Swap with other homeschooling moms. There are several homeschooling families at our church, and when someone needs to borrow a book or has items they don’t need anymore, an email is sent out to other homeschooling moms to find out if someone else has the book or would like to pick up any materials for free or purchase any items another homeschooling family no longer needs.
:: Ask for workbooks, books, and other home schooling needs for Christmas or birthdays for your children.
:: Buy school supplies once a year. There are amazing sales on school supplies come July and August before the school year starts back up. STOCK UP. Cheap everything! Paper, crayons, markers, glue, etc….. This will save you a lot of money versus purchasing during the school year.
:: Use the internet. There are a TON of great websites out there for just about every subject. Math, Science, Spelling, Keyboarding, etc….and when you come across a good site, don’t forget to bookmark it.
:: Take note of when your favorite curriculum goes on sale. For example, we use Switched-On Schoolhouse, and their annual 20% off sale happens during the month of April. Thankfully, we are good to go for this school year and didn’t need to purchase any new versions, but if I did, I would have purchased last month for the greatest savings.
:: Look for gently used curriculum online. In the past, I’ve mainly checked out ebay to see what I could get at a discount. Half.com is another great website to purchase textbooks from. It’s owned by ebay, but there’s no bidding, and I was able to get a book for my Web 2.0 class that would have cost me around $70 from the school for only around $20 by purchasing through half.com.
:: Consider selling items you don’t need anymore to get extra cash to pay for new items. Again, ebay or half.com are good sites for this. I made over $70 by selling books on half.com a few months ago. You could also garage sale items to make extra money that way.
:: If you do want to purchase an entire curriculum and have the money to do so, then by all means do it. Just try to be sure that you are buying a curriculum that is compatible with your child’s learning style.
For more Frugal Friday tips and ideas, please visit Life as Mom.