HS Money Saving Tips
There are lots of ways to home school that cost less. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Using the library may be fairly obvious, but it's important to keep the library in mind. Most libraries carry an amazing range of books, these days, as well as videos, music CD's, and audio programs (books on tape/CD). Our local library has hundreds of educational videos (the animal and insect videos were very popular with my son when he was 7 to 8 years old).
Also, a lot of libraries allow you to check their catalog on-line, so you don't even have to go there to see if they have a book or books on a particular subject.
And many libraries now have inter-library loans. If you live in a large city, often you can put a book on hold and they will send it to your local branch. Some libraries have a special inter-library loan program, where you can get hard to find books from other libraries across the country.
The Internet has huge amounts of free stuff for home schooling. I've seen worksheets, math sites, lesson plans, science videos, great history sites of all kinds from ancient to recent history, art galleries, music of other cultures, architecture, and on and on.
Many of these sites are not just for home schooling. There are many specific home school sites like this one, each with its' own information.
There are encyclopedias, dictionaries, maps, editors' professional writing guides, and the full text of many, many classical books that are now out-of-copyright.
And, of course, there are many sites with detailed information on everything from electronics to zoology.
The best way to find resources on the Internet is to go to a search engine you like, and search for your topic (I usually use the Google search engine at www.google.com ).
Also, see our "Home Schooling Internet Sites" page for a few of the great sites we have discovered.
Lots of used home schooling resources are sold by home schooling families, after they are finished with them. Usually these resources have only been used a few times. Some things, like workbooks, are not re-useable, but most books, manipulatives, games, etc. are completely re-useable.
The best way to find used home school resources is to join a home school group in your area, or an Internet group in your area, and ask for what you are looking for. These are also good places to sell your resources when you are done with them. If you need help with finding these, see our "Find Support."
And, also buy other things used, to help keep your cost down. I have heard of many second-hand stores in our city, from other home schoolers, who use them.
Another easy way to keep your costs down, is to buy something and split the cost with another home schooling family, and share that resource.
And don't forget all the other standard ways to save money, like buying things when they are having a special, buying in bulk, checking out the discount stores, etc.
Make Some Things
Make some things instead of buying them. For example, use Lego blocks for counting, sorting, and basic math manipulatives. Or cut animals out of cardboard or felt cloth.
Sometimes, all you have to do is think about it, and you will think of ways to make something, or you will think of substitutes to use instead.
Sometimes it pays to just look on the Internet. I've often seen instructions to make things on the Internet. If they are paper worksheets, or manipulatives that can be cut out of cardboard, often you can find designs already made that you just have to print and cut out. The key is to do an Internet search for what you are looking for.
And, making things is usually very educational for your young "helpers."
If scrimping and saving makes you feel poor, remember that you are doing this to afford for your child, the very best education that money can buy today.
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