Homeschooling on a shoestring

Happy not-back-to-school season! Reblogging some ideas to consider as you plan your upcoming year.

A Potluck Life

Recently I heard a parent casually remark that in her experience, homeschooling one child costs about eight grand a year. That certainly hasn’t been my experience. During the first ten years of my kids’ lives, the amount we spent was negligible.

As teens the kids had interests they wanted to pursue but we still curbed our spending. The largest outlay of money was on community college classes the kids chose, an investment that’s paid off in spades, leading to connections that helped with internships and jobs. For one kid, the classes are translating into two years of college credit that will accelerate her graduation.

IMG_5831 Making snow people is free!

Even with our increased spending during the teen years, we never came close to eight grand a year, or even half that amount. Perhaps we were just cheapskates. Another way to look at it is that we were practicing “financial freedom…

View original post 1,272 more words

2 thoughts on “Homeschooling on a shoestring

  1. I would suspect that someone spending that much on curriculum for a single child has their child enrolled in a lot of online classes. (You can spend several hundred dollars a class for daily online instruction.) We buy top-notch homeschooling curriculum packages, and it’s nowhere close to that expensive. I do think good resources are worth investing in, but doing so is definitely not required to be able to homeschool. One of the best things about homeschooling is having the ability to give your child an education that rivals an elite private school for a small fraction of the cost.

    I tell people all the time that the public library is the best homeschooling resource there is. This is especially true for teaching science. Our daughter loves STEM fields, and so far the best way to educate her on them seems to be to let her read everything the library has on science topics in sequence. Between her library card and mine, we can check out 40 books at a time, which we routinely do. She’ll come home with dozens of books on botany, sit down, and read them cover-to-cover. Conversely, I have never seen a good science textbook, even among the most expensive ones. Our daughter is still elementary-school aged, and I have seen her bored by high school content after years of checking out tons of science books from the library. Textbooks are so dry, and are mostly directed at building a vocabulary. You can accomplish the same thing by simply having a conversation.

    The only problem that I see with using the public library as a homeschooling resource is that not every community has a good public library. Before we moved to Florida, we had a public library that had been taken over by political activists. There were tons of children’s books on what I’d consider political themes, and almost no classic literature or high-quality children’s non-fiction books. Teaching our child as I described above would have been impossible if we were still living there, unless we made extensive use of inter-library loan programs. I could see spending thousands of dollars on homeschooling there, as you’d really have to be buying a lot of children’s books.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s