Like many of the big decisions we all face, homeschooling can often come down the question, “Can we afford it?” Odds are that you can. Most homeschool families make incomes in line with the national average, some are lower and some are higher. Many families must choose whether they are willing to sacrifice a full or part-time income in order to homeschool. The good news is, if you choose to homeschool, there are plenty of affordable ways to do it while achieving excellent results.
Homeschooling on a budget usually requires you, the parent, to do some extra leg work. Rather than buying a full, “box-o-school” for each grade level, you can save hundreds of dollars by doing some internet research, using your library, visiting used book stores and using online homeschool resources. The beauty of this method is that it is a great way to build your home library and you can reuse resources with each child.
At home, join forces with other homeschoolers. This can take the form of a co-op, group buying and annual trades/swaps. This will cut down your homeschool costs significantly. Find what is in your community and if you don’t see what you want, go ahead and start it yourself!
Online you will find that the homeschoolers who have gone before you have already done a lot of the work and are willing to share. Visit homeschool blogs and message boards and read, read, read before jumping in. Whether you are looking for general reviews of books and materials, unit study ideas, suggestions for solving difficulties in one subject or simply looking for someone who can tell you what to expect next, the internet is a valuable connection for the majority of homeschoolers.
Make homeschooling a family affair! When grandparents ask about holiday gifts, suggest things like zoo or science center memberships that you can make use of all year long. If they prefer to give something more hands-on, keep a list of supplies, books and equipment you would like to have for your homeschool but that strain your budget.
With some determination and creativity, just about any family can make homeschooling a successful and affordable endeavor.