Sunday, December 13, 2015

Homeschool: SPLURGE!

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So many of the homeschoolers that I know are people who are counting pennies and living frugally. I also know people who are able to put out the jack for amazingly expensive trips and gadgets for their brood. I sit somewhere in the middle there.

Most families never really sit and talk brass tacks when it comes to money and I'm not going to change that too much here. But I do have some idea that so many of us are working hard to balance and weigh how to spend finite cash. 

When homeschooling, families are sitting at the budgeting table, it can be difficult to figure out what needs to be in the cross hairs when cash is running low. This post is simply my thoughts on what is essential to a homeschooling family and what is unnecessary splurge bait. I think it's totally possible, acceptable, and adequate to actually spend nothing on homeschooling. Somebody else might have a completely different list.

The public library is still a viable source of materials for a complete education. It is completely possible to educate yourself through books from the library.

My list of essential purchases for a homeschool family includes:
  • World Travel
  • Horses
  • A Fabulous Computer System
  • A Smart Phone
  • A 3D Printer
  • Membership to all of the Best Clubs

OK, not really. My actual list for essential splurges for OUR family has been:
  • Computer and printer
  • We LOVED back in the day.
  • Netflix! Though is amazing and free.
  • A car
  • Co-op Fees, Camp Fees, Gymnastics Classes, Wall Climbing lessons, Korean Lessons, Community Theater fees, and the like
  • A Trampoline, a Decent Bicycle, and Exercise Equipment
  • An Amazing Topographical Map that I bought from an auction held by a school district
  • We have also splurged on several online courses from Coursera and The Great Courses
Of course I have spent cash money on books; I've spent many, many, many dollars on books. Most of it unwisely and unnecessarily. Probably most of us do this. Almost every homeschooling family I have ever known has a fabulous, fabulous library. Many of us have shelves and shelves of books that are amazing to have, but not particularly essential.

I'd love to talk about curriculum because I know that this is important to so many readers. But I've never felt it essential to own this type of material. I've seen many books and book sets from many publishers but I simply can't speak knowledgeably about them, sorry. In fact, stopped keeping up with every new set of materials coming out.

My own decision was to spend dollars on math and science books as well as on grammar and writing textbooks. We've used the library for literature, science, history, current events, music and art, and almost every single other thing. Seldom do I purchase workbooks, but I have bought science lab workbooks from time to time. 

Why Frugal is Possible

The internet is such a treasure trove of materials, I don't even know where to begin there. More and more websites are available for homeschoolers, students, and teachers; over the years I have become overwhelmed with the numerous free and low cost sites. Also I have made about a thousand worksheets and other materials on my own by using our decent printer and a word processing program. And homeschoolers are well-known for sharing resource materials, supplies, repurposing resources, and passing along used books. And don't forget the yard sales!

Bottom line: homeschooling frugally is very possible. Figure out your own essentials based on your own family and ability. I'm a huge believer in passing along my books and extra materials to homeschoolers coming up behind me. Share the love.

You Might Also Enjoy:
Stressing Over Homeschool Materials...NOT!
Homeschooling on a Single Income
You Must be so Patient

1 comment:

  1. Nice! I am also an atheist homeschooling parent, but lucky enough to find a small (3 moms with 5 kids among us), but very well-funded co-op of secular nature.


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