When you choose to start homeschooling, the curriculum is one of the first things you need to figure out. It surprises a lot of people that school districts and the state don’t provide you with all of the things you need to homeschool, but they don’t! It may seem daunting at first to figure out a curriculum that’s in your budget, but it’s actually not too difficult to find ways to cut your costs. Surprisingly, there are many ways to save money on homeschool curriculum.
Saving Money on Homeschool Curriculum and Supplies
Are There Inexpensive Options for Homeschool Curriculum?
Yes! The great news is that there are plenty of online programs that exist for inexpensive homeschool curriculum. Many have low or reasonable monthly fees. Some are accredited online schools and others are meant to just be a resource.
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Keep in mind that many of these curriculums are meant to be guidelines or supplements to your child’s curriculum. Occasionally, you may still need to find other resources for a complete school year’s curriculum.
One of our favorite places to find discounted and free homeschool curriculum resources is Homeschool Buyers Co-op. While the programs rotate in and out, there are quite a few that are consistently discounted.
Is There Homeschool Curriculum Available for Free?
Yes! There are many ways to save money on homeschool curriculum by getting it for free. Sometimes other homeschooling parents will be finished with a curriculum and will pass it on to another family. Some co-ops even have curriculum exchange days where parents bring in the things they’re finished with and gift it to other families.
If your approach is more eclectic or you just know exactly what you want to teach, you may also decide to write your own homeschool curriculum. This was the approach we took most years, because our kids were always interested in so many different things. I didn’t want to pigeonhole them into what a curriculum company thought they should be learning.
In addition, there are many websites that have homeschool lessons to build a curriculum with and some are even a full curriculum already. Check out All in One Homeschool (aka Easy Peasy) for a completely free homeschool curriculum. They have some fabulous resources, but, for us, it got a bit boring after the first few weeks.
Should I Design My Own Homeschool Curriculum?
Designing your own homeschool curriculum obviously gives you the most freedom. However, some U.S. states have many requirements that you need to follow. Even if your state offers a lot of freedom, even complete freedom, be prepared to spend many long hours writing the curriculum. But, if you have the time, really enjoy it, and have the legal freedom to in your state, it’s probably the most rewarding and fun option for both you and your kids.
Here are some tips for creating your own homeschool curriculum.
Other Ways to Save Money on Homeschool Curriculum and Supplies
In addition to the ideas above, you can also save money on your homeschool curriculum by:
- Join groups like our Teaching Worksheets and Resources Group that posts free and inexpensive curriculum resources for homeschooling and classroom teaching;
- Ask on Freecycle or Trash Nothing for books and supplies;
- Shopping at yard sales, flea markets, and thrift stores for used books;
- Stocking up on school supplies in the summer when the office supply and big box stores have them on sale;
- Check out free teaching resources online;
- Check out homeschool sale groups.
No matter what curriculum your use, be willing to change it should it stop working for your family. The great thing about homeschooling is that you have the flexibility to change course at any time. Have a great year!
Questions about homeschooling? Ask them in the comments below or start a conversation!