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Homeschooling

Breaking the Bank

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Let’s be honest here, homeschooling costs money. Lots of money, if you aren’t careful. Your child needs curriculum and/or books for a variety of topics, and you really can’t get out of spending money on this stuff.

I want to fill you in on a few trade secrets that I wish I knew right out the gate.

1. As a new homeschooler, don’t fall for the pressure to get curriculum quick. Especially a boxed curriculum. Never, ever, shell out 800 dollars for second grade from a company you’ve never seen in person.

You have time. Your first few months can be spent getting to know your kids. I know you *know* them, but take some time watching them learn. Are they auditory learners? Do they squirm 100 percent of the time? Do they love science? How are their writing skills? Take them to the library, let them pick some books, and let them go for it. During this time, you, the teacher, can spend time researching different curriculum companies, talking to other homeschoolers, and figuring out how you prefer to teach. Do you like crafts? Do you want someone to script lessons for you? Do you prefer to go with the flow?

Don’t buy something until you know who you are buying for, and what you are getting.

2. Make a list of the subjects you want and need to cover this year. Head on over to your favorite homeschool forum/group and start asking questions. Other homeschoolers are fantastic at providing reviews, and sometimes even letting you look at their materials. One of the things that helped me most starting out where the homeschool moms who let me come over to look at the books on their shelf. I never, ever would have known I loved Saxon math until another homeschooler showed me her copy.

Once you have this list made up, and find curriculum to match your needs, write it down. Don’t buy anything that you didn’t have written down on that list without serious thought. There is a reason it didn’t make the cut!

3. Look at used forums for books. I prefer the Well Trained Mind Forum’s for sale board. Check out some of the deals I scored:

Saxon Math 1 Homeschool kit, new condition, 20 dollars

Michael Clay Thompson Island and Town level, very good condition, 30 dollars

Five in a Row and books, good condition, 20 dollars

Just those three things, new, come to about 500 bucks. Not bad savings!

Readers and picture books I have been picking up at the thrift store for 10-25 cents a pop. I have found so many classic books and readers and barely dented the budget.

Don’t be afraid, Buy used!!

4. Check the internet for free resources. I have a link at the top of this page to a list of free curriculum. I found music curriculum, spelling, grammar, writing, math, science, and reading curriculum all free. Check around for free solutions before purchasing something.

Homeschooling doesn’t have to break your bank! Good luck finding deals for the new school year!

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