When I decided I wanted to educate my children at home, I wasn’t concerned about the money. I just knew this was the best way to teach my kids, and I was going to pray until the Lord made a way.
My husband was totally against it. He couldn’t figure out how I could have a degree and choose not to work. I wasn’t thinking of not being able to afford new homeschool curriculum, when homeschooling seemed so far out of my reach.
Years later, the Lord made a way for me to homeschool our children by softening my husband’s heart towards it. When the time finally came that my husband was in agreement, I thought “Oh no!” I have no money for this.
I didn’t have unreal expectations or anything. I just knew beyond any reasonable doubt, that I didn’t have any money to buy new homeschool curriculum; it was out of the question. I was afraid to ask my husband for the money I needed to purchase new curriculum, now that he was finally willing to give it a shot (I don’t think he even considered the cost of homeschooling when he made his decision).
I began working from home around this time and was given a free online homeschool membership in exchange for a full year’s review. It was amazing. Well, let me retract that. It was terrific for me financially, because it was free.
My children, on the other hand, were NOT OK with sitting in front of a screen that whole year. I knew the time was coming for us to have to make things work without a full curriculum.
By this time, I was in an entirely new country with no access to any of the conveniences I was used to. The end of my free curriculum was fast approaching, my children were struggling, and I didn’t have access to any used homeschool material. So, now what?
I knew the Lord would make a way for me to teach my children, but at times I was lacking the faith to believe He would provide the means.
Can homeschooling be free? How much does it cost to start homeschooling?
These are the questions I had to begin thinking about. I really had no choice. I couldn’t complain to my husband, who finally agreed for me to homeschool.
Google became my best friend, and I went to work researching what to do. I still do these things today and wanted to share some of them with you.
When you can’t afford to buy a new homeschool curriculum, these are some things you can do too:
When you can’t afford new homeschool curriculum, first make a plan.
Basically, you will have to develop your teaching plan early and work towards your goals. For instance, create an outline of what your child(ren) need to learn that term or school year. List out what you would like them to study and then look for resources.
Digital curriculum goes A LONG way!
Most companies allow for you to make copies of digital downloads to use in your immediate family. That means if you have four children, for example, you can buy a curriculum once and then save it to use with each of your four children. You can make as many copies as you need (but don’t share outside of your home, that violates copyright laws).
Swip-swap with your homeschool mom friends.
There are other families in the same boat as you. If you have a curriculum that is non-consumable, pass it along to a friend for use and vice-versa. Like hand-me-down clothing, it can be a real blessing to families when they get to use materials for no charge.
Can’t afford new homeschool curriculum? Use your local library.
It seems as though this information age via the internet has truly made us lazy. We look things up swiftly and think nothing of it. We forget that there is a world full of books in a library that is easily accessible to us. Check out these ten perks you may be overlooking at your public library.
Libraries have age-appropriate reading books, curriculum books, and text for all types of subjects. Spend a day looking through these. Select a couple of days a week to head to the library for your children to progress in the subject books you have chosen.
Your child can check out age-appropriate reading books whenever they find one they like. Note: Don’t forget to return library books on time. Late fees can become the bane of your homeschool existence and prevent you from going to the library. Am I speaking from experience? YES, don’t judge me.
I have since learned never to be late returning library books using this library book return label for our book bucket by the door.
Some homeschooling families don’t use new curriculum ever – they make their own from Pinterest.
YES – Pinterest. If you enjoy Pinterest, then you will really enjoy the resources that you can get from it. You can literally make boards for any subject and pin resources to that board. As long as you have a lesson planning system, your pins can be plugged into your lesson plan easily. If you are a visual person, these Pinterest homeschool subject boards will be perfect for you.
You can find free science curriculum ideas and experiments, free math games and curriculum ideas, free apps and computer resources, free writing resources, and more. You can pin away to your heart’s content and have as much teaching material as you need to last your term or year.
There is no need for new homeschool curriculum if you are on a budget and have free printable resources available to you.
There are plenty of free resources online to help you build a lesson plan for your homeschool. Our site, HSG has really been a Godsend to me living overseas. There are subject-specific round-ups that I can go to, there is advice on how to teach different subjects, free homeschooling printables for just about any topic I need, free printable homeschool planners, and even homeschool tips and tricks to help us homeschool.
I just go to the home page and type in any topic I need in the “search” box and viola. I do this a lot to develop our unit studies to break up the monotony in our homeschool. There really is no need for me to start looking all over the internet if I can just start here.
Homeschooling in this simple and affordable way has carried me for years with my children. I am not bound to what a book guides me through and tells me to teach. It does take me some work when I am planning for the quarter.
Additionally, many of the lessons I develop from these types of sources are guided by what the kids are interested in. I could combine some history with the arts and reading, it is super beneficial for the kids.
It was a blessing for me to use an online curriculum for my first year, to allow me time to prepare for the next year. I understand when new homeschooling families start out, many tend to purchase new homeschool curriculum. They then, unfortunately, begin to realize that homeschooling doesn’t always need new “stuff.” If you cannot afford new homeschool curriculum, there are things you can do instead.
Don’t forget to ask your homeschooling friends if they have curriculum you can borrow or maybe even swap out. Recycle the curriculum you have bought in the past. Pick and choose some chapters that may work well for your child and add some free resources to supplement the topic alongside it
Your children can have a robust home education even if you can’t afford new homeschool curriculum. Don’t get sucked into the idea that you need new curriculum to teach your kids. If God allows for you to get the curriculum that you want, then that’s great. However, it isn’t a necessity. Take heart and don’t let your budget deter you from teaching your children from home.
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!