Sunday, July 5, 2015

How to homeschool on a tight budget ...

Working with a Tight Homeschool Budget

Originally published on October 21, 2010. Still relevant today.

I recently ran across a question online, asking how families living on one income make ends meet while homeschooling.  I thought I'd bring my response here to my blog, as well.

There are several different ways that our family manages the expense of curriculum in homeschooling:
  1. We buy used curriculum as much as possible.
  2. We try to use library resources (even inter-library loan) before resorting to buying something.
  3. We use unit studies to combine subjects and students.
  4. We buy multi-level items we can use for more than one grade whenever possible.
  5. We buy non-consumable curriculum.
  6. We look for free resources online.

Exceptions: Math (K-4th grades), handwriting (K-6th grade), and Grammar (5th+ grades) are consumable workbooks.

There are also things you can do to eliminate over-spending on curriculum or making costly curriculum mistakes:
  1. Don't rush out and buy the "latest and greatest" new product.  Think, pray, wait!   You may realize that your current curriculum is working just fine, or you might begin to hear negative reviews that show it isn't the answer for your family after all.  If you do still want it, it will make its way to the used market pretty soon.
  2. Look for ways you can adapt your current curriculum before you try something new.  What appeals to you in the other curriculum?  Can you make your current curriculum more like that?

There are even more ways we try to save money in other areas of our life, so I can stay home and homeschool our children:
  1. We shop yard sales and thrift stores first.
  2. We don't buy new unless we can't find it used.
  3. We try to make do with what we already have.
  4. We try to do it ourselves before paying someone else to do it.
  5. We shop grocery sales, buy generic brands, and use coupons.
  6. We cook from what is in the pantry, or what's on sale, instead of shopping to fit the menu plan even if it's not on sale.
  7. We look for inexpensive and free ways to entertain our family.
  8. We try not to watch too many commercials or read too many magazines which lead to discontentment.

And the greatest tip of all is to pray for creative solutions.   Often, God has shown me ways to solve my household  or curriculum problem with something I already own.

If you want to stay at home, or homeschool, pray about it.  If it's God's will for your family,  He will show you ways that you can make it work for your family, too.

What are some of your favorite tips for saving money, and affording to be a SAHM or homeschool mom?  What are your favorite tips for saving money on curriculum?

April E.

Click on over to the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog to see what others shared on this subject!


  1. Since we have only one car, we stay home a lot. We have eliminated a car payment, license and insurance payments on a second car, and gas and maintenance on the second car. I no longer jump in the car for a quick trip to (fill in the blank) to spend "just a few dollars" on whatever. That may seem burdensome to some people, but I love being home more.

  2. Oh Sally!~ I am with you, lady! We have one vehicle as well. I know what you mean. I remember many days when we would go out for a "treat" and now we eat from our kitchen. Money saved! I am a homemaker through and through; therefore, it's been a fine transition for me.


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