One of the questions I often hear is “How much does it cost to homeschool?” The answer is convoluted. Honestly, the cost varies, but that is the beauty of homeschooling. Whether you have a large budget or are operating on a shoestring budget, you can make homeschooling work for your family. In fact, you can even homeschool for free! I know that sounds crazy, but I like to share that when sharing homeschool tips If that sounds like something you’re interested in, here are 6 practical tips on how to homeschool for free.
Visit Your Local Library
Of course, the first tip I offer is to make use of your public library. Rather than spending money at the bookstore or ordering books online, you can head to your local library to find out if they have a copy you can check out. If they don’t have a copy, you can often request a copy from another library within the system through the interlibrary loan program.
Some libraries will even allow you to request that they purchase copies of a book if you can prove a need for it. How do I know this? My son volunteers at our local library and I have insider information.
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He’s so grown. While he has now worked the last two summers with his own lawn mowing business, this is a first. First time working somewhere away from our supervision outside of church functions. He’s a part of the teen crew now for the local library. He aced his test with a 100%. I am a bit sad he’s growing up on me but I am also excited to see the Lords plans for his life. #teen #teenager #library #librarylife #booksreading #homeschool #homeschoolkid #homeschoolteen @ajpbookworm @c.prater
In addition to being a great place to borrow books (fiction and nonfiction alike), the library is also useful for borrowing movies, audio books, magazines, and more.
Many libraries also host events and clubs for children, teenagers, and adults.
Some examples I have seen include story time activities, after-school activities, crafting hours, book clubs, summer reading programs, and children’s summer vacation programs that include magic shows, cool educational presentations, petting zoos, and even kiddie carnivals. To find out more, visit your local library and ask the librarian about their resources and events.
Check Out Your Community Center
After you have obtained all of the info you need about library events, I would make a visit to your local community center to find out what kind of activities, organizations, and resources that are available for children. They often organize various events for kids of all ages throughout the year. This includes things like organized sports, clubs, educational meetings, fun presentations, movie nights, and seasonal programs.
Although there are probably fees attached to many of the activities, you may find several that are either free or inexpensive to join. Some community centers are also open to suggestions. If you have a few solid ideas for free activities or events they could host, it doesn’t hurt to talk to them about it. They may have additional funding to make it happen.
Use Online Resources
Considering you are reading this, I’m sure you are aware of the fact that the internet is a treasure trove of free resources on just about any topic you can think of. Homeschooling is no exception. There are a ton of great websites, resources, and programs waiting to be found dedicated to not only education in general, but homeschool specifically.
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Who says you can’t do school while traveling? These two were busy at our cabin learning the state capitals! Next stop: Dollywood! I love having season tickets there! Happy Friday everyone! #learnathome #learning #statecapitals #classical #classicallearning #classicaleducation #classicalconversations #homechool #homeschoolrocks #welovehomeschooling #travelschooling #history #ushistory #pigeonforge #pigeonforgetn #smokymountains #Tennessee #traveltennessee
Whether you are looking for a support network, a blog about a specific homeschool method, or even an entire homeschool curriculum, the internet has it all. Some of our favorite free online homeschool resources are found below.
This website provides a full, free homeschool curriculum that follows the Charlotte Mason method. Free Charlotte Mason online curriculum.
A complete, free online Christian homeschool curriculum for pre-k through 8th grade. There is a separate website for high school called All In One High School.
Popular resource for teaching math, art, computer programming, economics, physics, chemistry, biology, medicine, finance, history, and more.
Website where you can download over 7,000 free audiobooks from a variety of genres.
Over 56,000 free ebooks that you can download and read on one of your devices.
Thousands of ready-to-use lesson plans, unit studies, discussion guides, teacher ideas, and more.
Website that has both free and paid options to teach children phonics, reading, math, and more.
Wonderful resource for free educational videos. You can find videos on just about any topic you can think of. You can also create playlists of your favorite videos, making it easy to create a video-based curriculum. Just a note here, I also have my own you tube channel where I post homeschool activities, crafts, recipes & more!
Free Field Trips
Not all educational outings have to cost money. You might be surprised to find what is available in your community and surrounding areas for amazing everyday field trips. Visit nearby museums that don’t have an admission fee, sign up to attend local seminars and events. Ask about free admission days to places like the zoo, educational centers, and other fun places that usually cost to attend.
Many places have free days for homeschoolers, school groups, and children. You can also get creative by reaching out to local businesses and organizations to find out if they would be willing to host a free event or allow a tour for homeschoolers. And, of course, there are always national parks.
Participate in Homeschool Swaps
If you live in an area with an active or sizable homeschool community, you should check to see if there are any organized homeschool swaps. This is when homeschoolers get together and swap used materials (books, DVDs, school supplies, etc.) that they no longer need in exchange for things they do need.
This can be a great way to get your hands on some gently used materials without paying a lot of money. If there is not an organized homeschool swap, you can see if there are any individual homeschoolers that would be willing to trade with you.
Another option for getting free things for your homeschool is to check out local Freecycle groups and forums. Freecycling is when people post that they have some items at their home they no longer need and are are willing to give the items away rather than selling them or throwing them in the trash.
I’ve seen people freecycling things like school supplies, furniture, toys, office supplies, and more. It’s usually done on a first-come first-served basis, so if you see something you need or want, you should act quickly.
Here’s a few other ways to sneak in homeschooling for very low-cost:
- Cooking. Turn cooking into a fun learning experience and prepare meals for your family at the same time. This shouldn’t cost more than it would regularly for grocers.
- Homeschool In the Car. Grab some learning CD’s from the library or that you already have and set out on a fun drive!
- My store! I don’t know how many of you knew this or not, but I have a store where I have TONS of subscriber freebie resources for homeschool! I have resources for every homeschooling subject under the sun, check it out!
These are just a few tips on how to homeschool for free. If you know of any other helpful tips that were not mentioned, feel free to share them in the comments below.