Some families are afraid to attempt home education for fear of not having enough money to purchase things such as curriculum and school furniture. Can I tell you a secret??
My family has homeschooled for over eight years on an almost non-existent budget!
AND guess what else?? It's legal & it's also perfectly fine to not purchase an all inclusive or boxed curriculum. As long as you have SOMEthing to teach your kids from in a bona fide manner, you should be okay*.
So, how have I been able to sustain educating my children on a small to non-existent budget? Here are a couple of tips:
Use free resources.
What local resources can you tap into? Can you set up field-trips to local attractions that are no-cost or no-cost? Here are a few options:
County libraries (story times, children's play areas, library resources such as 3D printers).
I emphasized the word county for a reason. Libraries serve the communities they are in best, so one may offer different activities that another may not. Register for a free library card that will give you access to all libraries in your county!
Local attractions (such as museums).
Try calling places like grocery stores & banks to ask about their policies on giving tours to small groups. If you participate in a local cooperative learning group (or "co-op" for short), this would be the perfect opportunity to coordinate a field trip!
Garage sales/Library book sales/homeschool group giveaways.
For years, I have shopped at garage sales for secondhand items our family could benefit from. Once we began homeschooling, visiting these sales became centered around finding used school books, supplies, and other school manipulatives. Many local libraries hold annual book sales throughout the year, including great books such as encyclopedias & even living books. Towards the beginning of summer, many homeschool families are looking to make money and/or get rid of curriculum they no longer need. Check with your local homeschool groups to see if anyone is getting rid of their used books so that you can get curriculum at a huge discount. You may even come across families willing to bless other families by simply giving their used books away! This has happened to me a few times along our journey!
Create a curriculum for your children.
Although this sounds like a daunting task, it is pretty simple. You just need time to put it all together! What I really enjoy about creating a curriculum for my children is that I can individually cater what we learn to how my children learn best. If you are interested in getting help creating a curriculum for your children, email me and check out the services I offer on my website!
During times when my family could absolutely not afford to do anything extra, I was worried about not being able to do "the things". I mean, during our first year we had two vehicles and sometimes we only had enough gas in the family vehicle to go to the grocery store (and places along the route there & back) and maybe one or two more trips within our small city that month. Thankfully, we were blessed to live in a location where a park was literally right across the street (parking lot)! When I knew we would need materials, I would pinch a couple of dollars from our grocery budget to save towards what we needed. Not enough to make a big difference in the grocery budget, but I knew I could do something like prepare & cook chicken strips from scratch versus spend a few extra dollars on the convenience of purchasing frozen already cooked chicken strips. If there are any areas in your budget that you can pinch from without making a big sacrifice, do it!
Remember, these are all mere suggestions! Don't believe that you have to be wealthy to homeschool your children. Pray about the path that God is leading you down & know that He will make a way for you!