Creativity Can Nearly Eliminate Cost For These Dedicated Parents

Let’s face it – raising kids can be an expensive business!  Food, clothing, shelter, and entertainment can cost a bundle, especially with multiple children in the home.

And along with all of these basic expenses, education can leave many families financially strapped, especially if they make a choice that public schooling is not an option for their children.

One of the most successful forms of education is homeschooling, but many families hesitate to consider it due to the time commitment and financial implications it may have on the family.

While homeschooling does require a large time commitment on the part of the parent who is doing the planning and teaching, educating your child at home does not have to be a financial burden.  While it may take more time and creativity, it is entirely possible to homeschool for next to nothing!

Mama of Letters reported:

As homeschoolers, we get no tax breaks or any support for what we do. We’re still paying taxes that benefit the schools even though our children do not attend. We have to purchase all our educational materials or find free resources.

Fortunately, free and inexpensive resources for homeschooling are plentiful, but it takes time and creativity to use them. The main issue for us is cost of living in a culture that toots its horn about family values, yet I see little action or incentives for families to keep one parent at home full-time. This is an issue whether a family intends to homeschool or not.

The truth is that we’ve all got money struggles, time struggles, questions and second guesses. There are many paths to raise a child, and we each need to decide what is best and possible for our family.

The fact is, unless you are extremely well-off financially, we live in a culture that does not support families without two incomes.  Having one parent home all day without bringing in a paycheck will require some tough choices.

Only you can decide what sacrifices will have to be made in order to homeschool your children, but for families who do, they rely on the fact that God will provide, and that these sacrifices are worth making to bear great fruit for the future of your children.

Many families these days find themselves having to cut back and prioritize, whether they homeschool or not.  Being careful with expenditures is the first piece of the puzzle.  Buying on clearance or second-hand, clipping coupons, and strict budgeting is often the routine of homeschooling families.

The good news is because homeschooling has become more widely practiced in recent years, there are plenty of free programs and resources that won’t take away from the family budget.  While there are many full-service homeschool curriculum packages available, they can be costly, so the majority of families put together their own programs to reflect their budget.

While technological advancements have become a topic of concern for parents, this is one time the internet can be your greatest ally.  There are sites online that will help you to research what your child should be accomplishing academically at any given age, often giving details for each subject taught.

There are literally thousands of free educational printables available online for any age, from historical coloring pages to practice worksheets for algebra.  Some homeschool-friendly sites will even provide free lesson plans and guidelines for the entire school year, and let you know on which sites you can find the materials to follow them.

Educational sites geared towards teachers also provide blank lesson plan pages, calendars, planners, progress charts, and any number of other organizational tools to help you keep it all together.  Because there is a great deal more planning involved on the part of the parent when homeschooling for free, these tools can be a lifesaver.

The local library is often a homeschool mom’s best friend!  With the increased popularity of homeschooling, libraries now have programs geared towards the needs of families who teach at home.

Many offer groups for parents to share tips and learn how the library can help with planning.  Some libraries even offer services whereby parents can request resources on a particular unit of study and the staff will put together appropriate books and materials for you to pick up.  Other programs bring kids together to play games, learn computer skills, or participate in arts and crafts.

And remember, if a computer is not within your budget, libraries will allow you to reserve blocks of time to work, and often allow you to print resources for a nominal charge.

The homeschool community is growing every year, and many local groups and co-ops exist.  By becoming involved in your local community, you can have a curriculum swap where you may trade your outdated books and materials for another grade level, or work with other parents to trade services at your home – an art lesson at a neighbor’s home in exchange for some math tutoring at your place.

These groups often plan free field trips and activities together, as well, giving you and your child some socialization and time out of the classroom!

The possibilities for homeschooling with little or no financial outlay are endless.  Creativity is the greatest asset for homeschooling families on a budget.

Yes, it will require a lot of time on your part.  Yes, there will be sacrifices and hard days.  But the benefit to your child’s education and well-being are well worth it.

Homeschool families often find their children are more motivated, more independent, and more confident.  With all the liberal bias in public schools across the nation, families are saying “enough is enough” and taking back the right to teach their children in a way that cements their values and family bond.

There is a homeschooling plan for every budget, and with a little ingenuity and patience, you can give your child a gift that lasts a lifetime.

What are some of your favorite tips and ideas for frugal or free homeschooling?  Leave us your thoughts in the comments.

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