I have gotten a lot of comments from family and friends who comment that since we are homeschooling we aren't making the money we could - you know if we both went to work and had someone else educate our child. It always makes my blood boil because well - for starters I WORK FROM HOME already and I homeschool and usually these comments are coming from people that haven't taken the time to bother researching the costs of homeschooling.
Wanting to homeschool and being able to afford homeschooling is often two different things. Generally I have run into two different situations when it comes to this in the last year of homeschooling. First you have the families that one parent has a good job and the other can afford to stay home and teach the kids - of course there is a budget, but money (at least from the outside) doesn't seem to be an issue. The other (and the more we are personally familiar with) is that both parents find ways to make an income, and money isn't so plentiful.
Homeschooling need not be expensive - in fact if you plan properly, it costs about nothing aside from the initial start up fees - books, resources, etc.
Save money by skipping on the premade plans and make your own. You will find a lot of companies that want to charge a lot of money for homeschooling curriculum and lesson plans - which while they can be very helpful... they are often charging way more than need be. Barnes and Noble has plenty of books to start with - whether beginning at Kindergarten or 10th grade. And also to save even more ebay is your friend.
Some good books when starting at younger ages are the "All you need to know books" that you can find that have math, writing, and spelling in one book. They range anywhere from 12-25.00 and cover the basics of what your child will be learning for the year. They have one of these for each year.
You can get an accompanying work book while you are there as well - with questions and problems for the year.
I usually accompany a work book with online games - so for example if my son is beginning addition I would direct him to pages with learning games about the type of addition he is using such as:
And there are plenty more where that came from.
Make sure you have a printer
Because while you are teaching from a book, it is also nice to have accompanying pages to enforce what your child is learning. I mainly use www.enchantedlearning.com for this (20.00 a year and so worth it to have all the work sheets you will need at your fingertips).
Once you get started, you write out a lesson plan and know about generally what you are going to be studying for the year, the library is your friend. There is no need to purchase pricey books when you can rent them for the duration of your lesson then take them back.
Realistically you could homeschool on just this - and when you add it up...
All you need book - 15.00
Website fee for yr (ie enchantedlearning) 20.00
Work book - 20.00
Total for year 55.00
Now this is a very small amount of money to assure that you know what your child is learning - and don't get me wrong there are other expenses you will incur if you go on field trips or if you give up your job to do this. Homeschooling though is a lifestyle as much as a choice - it means sometimes you need to cut back on things you are used to. . . just like if you were to stay at home for any other reason.
The key though is that it need not be expensive - and it can be done on the cheap.
There are some other really good resources for this as well which can be found at:
other ideas for cheap homeschooling
discount homeschooling supplies
Help for financially needy, widows, and single parents
Please feel free to post any other links you find :)
Peace, love, and happy homeschooling!