HOMESCHOOLING ON A BUDGET
Homeschooling can be really freaking expensive people. When we first started looking into homeschooling I was flabbergasted at the cost of curriculum. There was no way I was going to spend $500.00 on curriculum that I wasn't even certain I was going to like. Heck, I can't remember when the last time I spent $500.00 on a single item, let alone workbooks for a 6 year old!
Between the curriculum, additional materials, field trips, etc. I knew the cost of homeschooling my kindergartner could BALLOON out of control REAL quick if I didn't approach it from a frugal mindset. Plus, I have two other kids, so everything we did for my kindergartner was going to involve my other kids, which would only add to the price.
In this blog post, I'm going to share with you everything we spend our money on why, plus some money saving tips and tricks we have discovered in our two years of homeschooling our kindergartner and preschooler.
Here's exactly what we spend our money on for homeschool
1.Math Curriculum from Singapore Math $45.00- yearly coast
2. Science Classes for the entire year through our local science muses $140.00 ( yearly cost).
3. Art supplies - $25-40.00 per month
4. Field Trips $150.00 per month
And that is it.
We are spending about $190.00 per month on things that are considered "educational" with about $185.00 per year in additional homeschooling costs.
The science classes have been an excellent investment as we get to enjoy the museum once a week with the younger kids while my 6 year old takes in an engaging science lesson taught by passionate science teachers. Plus we base our science education for the year around the science classes, which helps planning homeschool science really easy on me!
I talk more about my kindergarten's math education in this post here. Check it out if you are interested in finding out how we approach math. The curriculum wasn't terribly expensive and it covers the full year. An excellent investment!
Art supplies are a must in our household but we keep the cost under $40.00 a month. We don't buy much more then paper, crayons, pencils, and paint supplies. I HATE crafts and cannot stand doing them, so we don't do them very much around here. Plus, I feel like craft supplies add up really quickly. If we do crafts I make sure to research the craft really carefully ( to ensure its actually doable with my pitiful crafting skill-set) and shop around for supplies to get the best deal. We usually do a craft about once every three months. However, everyday we do artwork in the form of free drawing and nature journaling.
This is a big one for us because I LIVE FOR ADVENTURE. 3 times a month we take a day trip somewhere. Usually we go to the beach, waterfalls or mountains, all of which are free. We hardly ever do something that costs money to get into. We pack a lunch so the cost associated with the trip is typically just gas. We spend the whole day adventuring and come back at night. It is truly the hallmark of our homeschooling education. We are adventure unschoolers for sure!
Ways we save money homeschooling three kids
Here is how we've been saving money homeschooling this year. I think financing homeschool has a lot to do with your mindset. We are unschoolers and we believe that kids don't need much other then lots and lots of free time ( in fact, too many things are a detriment to their education) so I'm actively looking for ways to declutter our lives and make more space. This helps a lot because I'm never looking for the newest things to buy the kids. That being said, here is how we actively save money on homeschooling:
1. We never buy books ( thanks to our amazing library)
2. We find "free admission days" to our local museums.
3. We always pack a lunch.
4. I make the kids work for things they want ( this helps shows us what they REALLY want)
5. We use free internet resources ( khan academy, Jig etc)
6. Most of our outdoor life is based in the woods, parks and natural areas, all free!
Things that are essential to our frugal unschooling life
1. Free Time
We value free time and think our kids need a lot of it. Most of our day is built around giving our kids the time and freedom to explore ( whether that be outside or indoors at home). Free time is just that, FREE!
2. A good library
We have access to such an amazing library! There are free activities, maker spaces, and loads and loads of the best and newest books. The library is a treasure trove of free goodness .
3. A solid notebook and pencils
This is all we use in terms of school supplies. It's cheap and keeps everything simple.
You'll find us living our best lives in the forests, streams and mountains of the PNW and all this natural beauty is 100% free!
That's all for now friends. Leave a comment with your frugal homeschooling tips or ideas for me, I'm always learning from other homeschooling parents!
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