Note from The Thrifty Couple: We are excited to have a guest post from Tami who is a homeschooling mother of 7 and has found several ways to effectively homeschool her 5 children still at home for very little money! Her tips, ideas and suggestions are listed below!
$50 a year to homeschool 5 kids? How?
- Well first off, I buy my books – mainly Rod and Staff and Abeka, off Ebay so I save money to begin with. Used book sales are fantastic too and don’t be afraid to “haggle,”especially near the end of the sale. Many vendors would rather sell at a lower price than tote that stuff home! By buying hardback books I am able to pass them down from child to child.
- Don’t neglect yard sales! I have found many a great book for a steal! Yes, even textbooks show up at tag sales and thrift shops.
- I utilize the internet. There are so many great free worksheet and unit study sites out there! A few of my favorites are:
- Math Worksheets
- Homeschool Math
- TIS Worksheets (they cover all subjects.)
- Soft Schools (Again they cover all subjects)
- Plus there are several more- just do a google search!
- These are great when the student needs a little more practice.
- Starfall is a great educational game site for littles too.
- I also recommend the library. They have a book on every subject you can think of! Many libraries have homeschool programs too, which allow you to access web programs and borrowing programs that you are probably not aware of . Some even allow you to request items (reference materials, DVDs, art kits) thru the librarian that you are not permitted to request on your own.
- We also watch tv online! Yep, the PBS channel has many many different programs that are perfect for homeschooling. What child wouldn’t like to watch a movie for history or science class? (speaking of science- Youtube has many wonderful videos for this subject. Check out Bill Nye the Science Guy to start). We also watch shows on mainstream TV, like Who Do You Think You Are, the genealogy show, to learn more about history. You’d be surprised what you can learn !
- When I teach a child to read I don’t buy any fancy phonics program. I simply buy an alphabet chart for $2 and we learn the letters together. Once those are mastered we work on the sounds. Once we have that down pat we begin going over the Bob Books or another beginner reader series and then we are reading! Again, thrift shops and yard sales are great places to find these.
- Gardening is a big science project around here! So is animal husbandry. We plan to add to our animals very soon. We have dogs, cats and chickens but we are moving to a farm where goats and cows are first on the list! I will sometimes hand my kids each a Mother Earth magazine during reading time and tell them to learn something new. By the way, reading time is a time to read whatever they want, Nancy Drew, Spongebob, whatever, just so they are reading. All my kids love to read, just so you know ~smile.
- We bake and cook like crazy around here and I can come up with a math lesson about fractions or a science lesson about why coconut oil is so good for you in a heartbeat! Pinterest has many many boards that have great baking /science lessons for you to glean from.
- Arts and crafts are big around here too. Many times you can find old issues of Family Fun magazine at yard sales and you can always find it at the store. This is a fantastic resource!
- For creative writing we write! I don’t worry about a formal program – I simply hand the child a piece of paper and a pen! We work on getting ideas onto paper before we start in on proper grammar and such. That can come later.
- Handwriting is much the same way. I buy a wipeoff tablet at Walmart for under $5 and the student can practice their cursive over and over again. No need for an expensive program.
- Speaking of grammar, there is no hard and fast rule as to when to teach what! The school system may have their way but you can have your way! I teach all my kids the same grammar rules at the same time. We use one book and we all work together. The 7 year old learns the same thing as the 10 year old at the same time. We use Simply Grammar by Karen Andreola and do the work orally.
- Spelling is simple too - After all I am a better speller than they are! So we use words I see them misspelling in their creative writing assignments and use those as our learning guide. We copy the words 5 times each daily and get tested on Fridays. If they miss a word then I carry it over to the next week.
Really, with a little thought you can come up with a plan that doesn’t cost a fortune. Each of my children is a at least a grade level ahead , if not 2, than their public school counterparts. My eldest daughter (besides the 5 I am schooling now I have already graduated 2 children) graduated a year early after school officials claimed she knew all there was to qualify for a diploma. (I know, other kids do!) I say this so you will know that this “method” really works!
The point is – you don’t need to spend a lot to get great results!
Tami believes passionately about encouraging and enabling women to save money so they can stay at home with their children.
She has 7 children and homeschooled for 21 years. You can follow her on her blog at A Godly Homemaker (agodlyhomemaker.com).
Photo Credit: CrittersandCrayons.com