Updated: Nov 3, 2020
Throughout your homeschooling journey, there are apparent costs you just can't get away from. In the beginning, it's overwhelming and draining (both mentally and for your wallet)! There are supplies, workbooks, materials, lessons, tutors, online memberships, etc. It's enough to make you run back to the local school and re-enroll your child.
Having a plan or curriculum you'd like to use eventually is important, but don't fret if you can't shell out a few hundred dollars for the fanciest workbooks or prettiest parent guides. You can start homeschooling for FREE today!
Here are FIVE ways to start homeschooling for free:
Take inventory on what you already have
If you've taken your child out of the public school system, chances are they came home with workbooks, notebooks, binders, and other supplies. Use these to get started! The beauty of homeschooling is that you don't have to follow any type of rigid system, so you can use the workbooks to your benefit. Feel like that unit isn't interesting? Skip it! Do you want to fast-forward to a lesson you think is more helpful right now? Do it! Don't go out and buy anything new when you have resources already available.
Utilize your personal collection of books
When you have children, you have a way of collecting books of every sort. You probably have plenty of rhyming fiction books you could use to study word sounds (ELA). Inside each book lies the opportunity to count and find patterns (math). While some books may be fiction, they probably ring true to real-life (social studies). That quirky scientist probably blew something up or mutated some kind of plant, and you can start a conversation easily (science).
If you have any non-fiction books, these will be your best friend! Who cares if they're a little hard? Modify them into units that create an engaging lessons your kids can participate in. Dissect those pages, teach them how to take notes and annotate, share your experiences and knowledge! Use what you can, and share the world with your little scholars!
Visit your local library or museums
Libraries have held up society from the moment they were established. You can stockpile plenty of fiction and nonfiction books to use for FREE! It's an amazing way to get the most out of using books for learning, because you don't have to store them forever. How awesome is that? It's also an added benefit that your child can help in the search, depending on their age. The best things you could ever do while homeschooling are letting them be a part of the process and having a say in the topics. Student-centric learning is a proven successful method!
Hopefully, you live near some fascinating museums! Most museums will do a "free day" once a month or so, and it's the perfect time to create a field trip (yes, homeschoolers have those, too). Or maybe you already have a pass that you've been using for fun - now you can apply it for learning, too! Science museum, art museum, history museum - you name it! You can integrate so many lessons out of one day of fun!
Let them help in everyday real-world tasks
It's true that we do the most learning through living life. Everyday you spend some crazy amount doing errands and tedious tasks - it's time to recruit some help! Some easy real-world tasks that your kids can help with (AND LEARN):
Creating and keeping a budget (math)
Using said budget to grocery shop (math)
Designing a meal plan (organizational skills AND more math)
Cooking that meal for the family (science AND math)
Pay bills (social and real-life skills AND even more math)
Performing chores in a timely manner (real-life skills AND time management)
Researching household products for the family (reading, research, AND science)
Taking care of pets or younger siblings (science)
Educating self on the current news (social studies AND research skills) *be sure to filter first*
Design a lesson around those silly video or board games they keep pestering you to play
We would all love to live in a world where kids weren't addicted to Minecraft or the 1843984th round of Chutes & Ladders, but alas, we do not. Let them play it anyway. You can sneak an entire lesson inside these engaging activities. Tell your child to build a house using an array (math) or explore what happens when they hit the chicken (sorry chicken, but it's for science). Chutes & Ladders teaches counting and chance. Pictionary is your art lesson for the day! Strategies, creativity, communication, and fun are the best way to ease into homeschooling for free!
There you have it! Five easy ways to start homeschooling for free!
It's daunting and somewhat terrifying, I know. But take a deep breath, and remember why you've chosen to homeschool. Make it fun, cheap, and engaging - you'll have them hooked for life!
When you start looking for a cost-efficient, connective, creative, student-centric curriculum, check out our Wisdom on a Whim Series, our brand new integrated ELA curriculum. The series focuses on a series of novel studies integrating art, language skills, writing, and community outreach.
It's broken down into quarters to allow for child-paced learning, meaning they can go through it quickly or take as much time as needed - and you don't have to pay for an entire year's worth of content all at once!
Wisdom on a Whim is designed with our Meraki Leaning Model in mind - "doing something with love, passion, and soul; leaving a piece of yourself in everything you do." The main goal for the curriculum is to create consciously educated future world changers.
What's your favorite free resource when homeschooling? Tell me in the comments!