I remember back to when I first began homeschooling. I falsely believed that $$$ equaled quality. I was one of those people who budgeted more than $1000 for homeschooling kindergarten.
I also worked outside the home back then and being frugal was not as much in the forefront of my mind. Plus, I know better now, and so I shall share some of the wisdom I have gained over the years with you.
And here are my wisest words —
Homeschooling doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.
In fact, you can homeschool practically for free with my Frugal Family Homeschool Top Ten!
- Homeschool Share — Homeschool Share is the brain child of Ami over at Walking by the Way. I first met Ami when we were beginning homeschooling our preschoolers. We both used a popular literature based curriculum called Five in a Row. Ami, and a few other homeschool moms began writing even more literature-based unit studies and Homeschool Share was born, so named because homeschool moms wrote the units and then shared them with other homeschool moms. Ami also happens to be one of the most talented lapbook creators I know. So, many of the 100s of literature-based unit studies at HSS have beautiful lapbooks and/or notebooking pages to go along. All free. For your elementary-aged kids, you could completely homeschool with HSS and the 3Rs and have a full, rich, fun, and frugal homeschool.
- Khan Academy — The Khan Academy is an organization on a mission. We’re a not-for-profit with the goal of changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education for anyone anywhere. Khan Academy has more than 3000 video tutorials on every subject imaginable. What started as a young man making you tube videos to tutor his nieces and nephews has exploded into an incredible resource for homeschoolers. We use it for extra math instruction, but it’s really so much more than that. Something new they’ve added is the ability to track your student’s progress. I believe you could completely homeschool for free just with Khan Academy and your local library. Expecially, your middle and high school aged students.
- Ambleside Online — This online resource is a free homeschool curriculum designed to be as close as possible to the curriculum that Charlotte Mason used in her own private school. This curriculum is taught using “living books” most of which you can find at your local library or free online. There are yearly plans for K through high school, including artist and composer study, nature study, Bible, history, science, poetry. Everything you need for a gentle, living books approach to homeschooling can be found here. And it’s all free, even the community of like-minded homeschoolers.
- Sheppard Software — This online site has been a favorite for us for most of our homeschool years. With fun and challenging games for geography, science, math, and vocabulary, your students will enjoy learning, but they will learn!
- Guest Hollow — While this site is not all-inclusive, you will find a very nice ancient history supplement and a complete 2-year American history curriculum for grades 2-8, as well as lots of science curriculum. They also have great printables for all subjects. Very good quality and totally free.
- Oklahoma Homeschool — Cindy Downes offers several really great history and science based unit studies here. All free.
- MapMaker Interactive from National Geographic is one of our very favorite geography resources. Here you can explore the world by customizing your own maps and then print them. The options for customization are endless. This free program rivals the pricier programs you’ll find with some homeschool curriculum companies.
- Vocabulary-Spelling City — While there is a paid subscription option with this online service, there is plenty you can do with what they offer for free. You have the option of entering your own words and context sentences, or you can let the program generate a spelling and vocabulary list for you, according to grade level or subject matter. Several of the games to reinforce the spelling and vocabulary words are offered for free as well.
- DonnaYoung.org — If you’re looking for handwriting sheets, planning pages, charts, calendars, math printables, science printables or nature journal pages, this is your one-stop shop. Lots of free printables here. I still use the handwriting pages and several of the planning sheets.
- Local Library — You could easily homeschool with a library card and nothing else. In fact, we practically do. It doesn’t matter what we’re studying, everything begins and ends with our book basket. If you don’t have a great library system, try to budget for a Kindle. For $69, you can download hundreds of free books!
Happy frugal homeschooling!