While some homeschool programs can be expensive, there are some excellent affordable homeschooling curriculum choices available for families who want to keep down the costs.
Same Program for all Children
One of the best ways to keep costs down is to use a family-based choice, like Weaver from Alpha Omega. Your children will then study the same main subject at the same time with individual lesson assignments (which are spelled out for you!) specific to each child’s level.
For example, if they are learning about the plagues of Egypt, your kids would learn about frogs in science, Egyptian pharaohs in history, topography in geography, etc…
The only subject that is not covered completely is math which is often supplemented by another math resource.
This can keep the over cost of teaching down (and may lower the stress of teaching multiple children different things too!)
Create Your Own Unit Studies
A library card can be one of the best ways to save money! During the elementary school years, many families create unit studies using library material and inexpensive resources from the internet. With this method, you teach to the oldest and modify younger children’s work to their level. You will be surprised at what the younger children will learn by watching big brother or sister!
Use the Library!
The library is also has free internet access, an lots of great books and media kits, educational DVDs that you can rent, and learning software…all for free!
Affordable Online Home Schooling
If you are looking for an umbrella school or online school option, one of the best choices around is also from Alpha Omega. The Alpha Omega Academy has a great online program based on their Switched-on-Schoolhouse. It will engage and teach your children with very little planning from you and at a MUCH lower cost than other private school options.
If you want a computerized school option, but do not need the umbrella school, Switched on Schoolhouse can be purchased for less that $400 and give each child an excellent complete program. (You can sometimes get it lower with online coupons or sales!)
Used Homeschooling Materials and Books
Another great way to save money on educational materials is to check out online auctions or your local homeschooling bookstore for buying used curriculum. (We found a Weaver Volume 2 for $20 once!)
We also suggest watching Ebay for great used books. We sometimes look for Sonlight book lots just to have the readers around for the kids. If you can get them for a great price, they will bless your home library for years to come.
By selling the materials when you are finished…you can save money too!
Use Free Online Resources There are many places for free resources online. Check out our list of home school freebies! Join a Homeschool Group
Another key to affordable homeschooling is to join a local group or co-op.
Homeschool groups often have free or discounted field trips that you can join in! This is a great way to visit museums, zoos, and other attractions for a fraction of the price.
Affordable Accredited Homeschool Programs
While accreditation may not be important in the early years, it can be a critical factor for the college-bound child during the high school years. Some colleges want to see work done from an accredited program. You need to check with the colleges to which your child plans to apply to find out the exact requirements. Don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to find affordable accredited homeschool programs!
One way is to use your local community college. Community colleges are usually accredited as a requirement and are a great way for a child to complete college credits on an affordable budget. Many community colleges have distance-learning programs.
Another budget option can be to enroll in an online charter school. Charter schools are generally state-funded and required to meet state accreditation requirements. They can be more formal in terms of schedule and requirement, but can be one of the most affordable accredited homeschool programs you can find.