Thursday, June 24, 2010

Homeschool Budgets or Lack There of

I'm sitting here catching up on one of my favorite homeschool forums, The Well-Trained Mind Hive. I'm basically blown away by the amount of money being spent on homeschool books and supplies. Wow! I wish I had it like that! I see long lists of workbooks and kits and these are from families who have been homeschooling for years. I don't get it. I don't know if its because I just make or create a lot of the things we need, but the longer I homeschool, the less I find I need to buy. We are also blessed with a really good public library system which we use heavily. Our biggest purchase is usually our Math U See curriculum for the year, everything else is minimal. Or maybe it's because I'm the queen of free? I'm sure as high school approaches, the expenses will mount, but 100s of dollars for 3rd and 4th grade? Homeschool moms, am I missing something? How much do you spend of homeschool stuff?

With that said, some of the most profound teaching advice I've ever read was the best way to teach a subject is by doing it. To teach reading, read. To teach writing, write. Teaching science, experiment; math, work the problems, but be creative and make it fun. I just don't think it takes a lot of money to do that. 


  1. Have you ever stopped to count though? You may have spent more than you realize by picking up something at Wal-Mart while shopping, a book while at the book store, etc. But I do think it gets cheaper each year after you get that initial set of scissors, dictionaries, etc.

  2. Yes, I have to. Every penny is counted in this house! LOL. I see your point though, those purchasing here and there do add up. The post I was reading was about actual books and workbooks for teaching. I don't necessarily count books we read for enjoyment or picture books as a homeschool expense. I would like to think I'd buy those even if we were not homeschooling.

    And yes the initial "buy in" can be kind of rough. I tried to do it gradually.

  3. We don't spend much either. When we first started out the girls were enrolled in Calvert, which was great but it's pricey. We just couldn't keep that going. We definitely rely on the library, internet and lucky bargains and hand me downs from friends with older kids.

  4. This is my first year and I have spent a ton. My oldest is in K and my middle son is only 2 but i have spent over 1,000 easy and I am still spending. But I have to say I spent a lot because I needed everything books, storage, curriculum, things for my toddler. I know next year will be a ton less. I think I could get all I need next year for under 300.00 I have found that some free things I love but other free things not so much but I feel the same with materials that are not free. I really think once this year is over and I know my oldest learning style and what works I will know what to stay away from because I can get it free for xyz source. This year I was jumping in blind so to speak and learning as I go.

  5. @Adrienne, I'm right there with you. @Tiffany, yeah start-up can be rough, but I think you're right, once you know his/her learning style you can be a whole lot more selective.

  6. I have been considering this curriculum for quite sometime: He says that children will learn in the environment teachers create. However, he is a proponent of self-teaching. It reduces dependence. (That got my attention.) It is less than $200. You will still have to buy math books. I heard Sexton math books are very good.

    You also may consider Ray's Arithmetic

    Also, for instructional math videos this a must: This is one of the best math resources I have ever seen.