If you homeschool you know is can be expensive. Unlike traditional schools you have to obtain your curriculum for your child making homeschooling much more financially challenging for many families. Of course if you purchase a curriculum only to discover it does not work for your child you will have suffered a big hit to your homeschool budget. To reduce inefficient spending you need to be proactive.
As such there are ways to save money and homeschoolers need to get smart about all their options and resources. So let’s talk about 5 great ways you can save on homeschooling math without trading costs saving for quality educational material.
1. Free Learning Websites
Don’t you just love the word “FREE” it has such a nice sound to it. Yes the internet has many great free learning sites especially for homeschoolers. If you type in “free homeschool math” in Google you will see a ton of sites for you to explore. At many of these sites you can get free lesson plans and worksheets. So if you don’t have a full curriculum to homeschool with you could find a lot of free material to supplement what you are using for math. YouTube is another great resource as you can find many great math videos there as well (my YouTube Videos). Let me say that my plans for www.HomeschoolMathOnline.com is to make it the ULTIMATE free learning website for middle and high school level homeschool students. Right now on my site there are complete full lessons for all topics in pre-algebra, algebra 1, geometry and algebra 2 – I really don’t think there is another FREE site with as much high quality and organized lessons for math as www.HomeschoolMathOnline.com. Ok after that shameless plug about my site one last word about the freebies on the internet. As you look for free learning websites make sure you only use quality sites where the material was made by experienced math teachers or homeschoolers. Please don’t blindly trust all free material out there on websites as much of it is not high quality and would not be beneficial to your child.
2. Homeschool Support Groups
Are you a member of a homeschool group? I think joining a group is a great idea for homeschoolers because it allows fellow homeschool parents to share resources. For example one parent may have an excellent 7th grade math curriculum that their child just finished and has offered to let you use the program for your 7th grader. As you know many homeschool learning programs can be used over and over so you can save big if you can borrow a great program for someone else. Another great thing about homeschool support groups is members share their feedback about learning with certain programs. Knowing what someone has experienced with a program that you are thinking of purchasing can either seal the deal or stop you from making a mistake of buying a bad curriculum for your child. So many homeschoolers get frustrated (I don’t blame them) when a curriculum does not have some sort of free demo or trial forcing the parent to buy- then hope it works. Often times homeschoolers find out after they purchased a program that it’s wrong- a waste of money for their efforts. Last thought: I like local in person support groups but online support groups can be very useful as well if you can’t participate locally.
3. Used Curriculum
“Oldies But Goodies” yes old can be good! Of course you don’t have to listen to the AM station blasting 1960s music to know this. Some of the best math textbooks I have are 20+ years old- I love them! Just because a math book is old does not mean it’s not good. I’m sure you could go onto Amazon or eBay right now and find a ton of great used math textbooks for around $1.99. Don’t shy away from using older/used math material to save you money. You can take more of a risk buying a few different math items when the cost is very low- try them all and see what works for your child. Also when it comes to popular homeschool full curriculum programs see if you can get a used version. As long as the material is not in very poor condition you can really save big by seeking out top quality second hand sales.
4. Local School District
Do you talk to your local school district? I’m sure you have to communicate with them on homeschooling requirements however you should be talking to them about school supplies as well. Every district is different but I know that in some districts they will support homeschoolers with new/used curriculum. Hey if the material is free I would grab as much as you can get- it does not mean you have to use everything they give you. Start by calling the district’s special services director or the curriculum director and see what they say. Also when a school buys new textbooks they often sell old textbooks for really cheap so make sure to ask about that as well. One last tip, try to establish a relationship with the lead math teacher or math department head at your local schools as they are usually more than willing to support you the best they can with any old/ extra material they have.
5. Make Your Own Material
Now to the ultimate way to save money – make your own stuff! I’m not talking about writing an entire algebra 2 textbook but you certainly can make quizzes and worksheets if you put some effort into it. Making your own educational material is especially good for young children that are practicing basic skills. Don’t create any problems that you don’t absolutely know you have the correct answers for so stick with the level of math your comfortable with. Skills like basic number operations and percentage would be an excellent opportunity for you to create some materials for younger children. I would suggest that you start with 3 question pop quizzes that your child can do in less than 5 minutes to see if you like creating your own material. If you like making your own worksheets/quizzes on you can create a huge library over time. You could use your material for any other children you may have or share it with others.
Homeschooling can be very expensive so knowing how to find savings is important. I think it’s worth your time and effort to explore some or all the methods I listed. Try one method that you’re most comfortable with first and take it from there. Experience will make you smarter and this will translate into finding the best ways to educate your children for the least amount of money.
Lastly my goal is to make this website the ultimate free way for your children to learn math so I hope you take advantage of all the lessons I post and share the site with others as well. Happy savings!