7 Practical Ways to Homeschool on a Budget

Are you homeschooling your kids? Here are 7 ways to homeschool on a budget. Save money and live frugally while homeschooling.

If you’re getting ready for the new season, and back-to-school shopping, you’ll know it can get expensive quickly.

It’s even more expensive when you are homeschooling your children, and you have to spend more to purchase new curriculum and books.

We recently began our homeschooling journey, and I was amazed at how quickly I went over budget – and that was after getting only 1/3 of the books on the reading list!

After talking to several friends who have been homeschooling multiple children for years (and getting a list of 15 dos and don’ts for homeschooling), I came up with seven tips for saving money on homeschooling!

If you’re trying to decide whether to homeschool younger children, check out our post on the Pros and Cons of Homeschooling

How to Homeschool on a Budget

Homeschooling offers a flexible and personalized approach to education, but it can also present financial challenges for families. However, with strategic planning and resourcefulness, homeschooling on a budget is not only possible but can also be incredibly rewarding. Here are some tips and strategies to help you navigate the world of homeschooling on a budget while keeping costs down.

Here are 7 ways to homeschool on a budget:

ponytailed-girl-with-lots of-books-7-practical-ways-to-homeschool-on-a-budget
Elementary Student Reading in Library

Library Sales to Homeschool on a Budget

Find out from your local library when they have their next sale. Libraries typically have quarterly, or even yearly, sales where surplus books are sold, and the proceeds are used to purchase new releases. Additionally, consider donating any books your family has outgrown to contribute money to the library’s fundraising efforts.

We frequently purchase entire series of books for only a few dollars. Books that aren’t directly used for homeschooling are saved for birthdays and Christmas gifts. Cheap books are an excellent resource and the perfect way to make budget homeschooling while on a budget! Moreover, exploring thrift stores and online marketplaces can also yield affordable treasures to enrich your homeschooling library.

Make sure when you get your books that you also keep your homeschool room organized!

Thrift Books

This is a website that sells used books, many from public or private schools, or libraries. They’re sold at a much lower cost than used books on Amazon or even Half Priced Books. Additionally, Thrift books offer a wide selection of genres and editions, making it a convenient one-stop shop for homeschooling resources.

You can earn reward points on your purchases to use towards future purchases, as well! These reward points accumulate with each purchase, providing additional savings opportunities for homeschooling families seeking budget-friendly options.

When we first began our homeschooling, the new curriculum I purchased ended up needing a LOT of supplemental books that our small local library did not have. I was able to save thousands of dollars by purchasing books through Thriftbooks. With their vast inventory of educational quality and affordable prices for free curriculum, and borrowed books, Thriftbooks became an invaluable resource for building our homeschooling library without breaking the bank.


Groupon Field Trips

One of the best things about homeschooling is field trips! We love to go on regular field trips: to the zoo, the children’s museum, and other fun places. These tend to get quite expensive, however. We buy year memberships to our favorite places, but there are always a few that we only want to try once or twice. Sometimes we get bored, as well, and we want to try somewhere new.

This is where Groupon is really useful. We get to explore new places for half the cost! Groupon offers deals on various educational activities such as science centers, art classes, and historical tours, providing diverse learning experiences for homeschooling families.

There are always offers for museums or other locales that we’ve never even heard of before. It’s a great way to homeschool on a budget! Plus, taking advantage of Groupon deals allows us to supplement our curriculum with hands-on learning opportunities and educational experiences that inspire curiosity and engagement in our children.

Join Co-ops and Homeschool Groups

You do not need to necessarily participate in everything offered by local homeschool groups, but at the end of the school year (or the beginning of the next), many of them sell items that they no longer need. This can be old curriculum books they no longer learn from, or school supplies that their kids have outgrown.

If you are looking for something specific, chances are that someone will have it! Additionally, joining local, homeschooling mom groups provides a valuable network of support and resources, offering opportunities for exchanging materials, ideas, and experiences with other homeschooling families in your community.

We also love going on discounted field trips and participating in classes taught by someone else. It allows us to meet other moms and dads with different strengths. Science, for example, is not my students’ best subject. I can trade math help for science help with other parents! Engaging students in cooperative learning experiences not only enriches our homeschooling journey but also fosters a sense of community and collaboration among homeschooling families, creating opportunities for mutual support and growth.

Plus, going to homeschool co-op classes is one way that I and other families can make time to blog and make homeschooling on a budget together. It’s such a great way to homeschool on a budget! By sharing teaching responsibilities and resources with other parents through co-op classes, I can effectively manage my time and priorities, ensuring that both homeschooling and other personal pursuits, like blogging, receive the attention they deserve.

Dollar Store

If your student is facing challenges in particular subjects or if you frequently require certain educational materials, dollar stores offer a cost-effective solution. These stores typically stock a range of inexpensive workbooks and school supplies that can be purchased in bulk at just a dollar each. This includes math workbooks, handwriting worksheets, and other educational resources.

By taking advantage of these affordable options, parents, and educators can access a variety of materials to support their child’s learning journey. Whether it’s reinforcing math skills, improving handwriting, or exploring other subjects, the availability of low-cost workbooks and supplies at dollar stores makes it easier to provide targeted practice and instruction.

Moreover, dollar stores often carry a diverse selection of educational materials beyond workbooks, including flashcards, art supplies, and manipulatives. This broad range of resources caters to different learning styles and preferences, allowing parents to customize their homeschooling curriculum to meet their child’s individual needs.

By supplementing homeschooling lessons with materials from dollar stores, families can stretch their educational budget without compromising on quality. These affordable resources offer flexibility and versatility, empowering parents to create engaging and effective learning experiences for their children at home.


Find Free or Discounted Curriculum

The internet is full of homeschool blogs. Many homeschool programs are free or significantly discounted. We use Pinterest searches to help us find different activities, programs, and curriculums that are offered for free. Online communities and forums dedicated to homeschooling provide valuable insights, recommendations, and support from experienced homeschoolers, helping us navigate the vast array of other free curricula and resources now available and make informed decisions about our educational journey.

Our current homeschool curriculum program is a bit of a modge-podge of five different sources used curriculum that fit our learning style and lifestyle the best. It helps to look around when you require ideas and great resources for a homeschool science curriculum or curriculum for other subjects.

Almost all of them are free (such as Easy Peasy and The Good and the Beautiful), or are only about $30 for the year (like Peaceful Press and Spelling City). You may want to invest a significant amount in the best printer for homeschooling, though, to take advantage of the free curriculums and their PDFs.

If you want a non-religious homeschool curriculum, check out this list of Secular homeschool curriculum choices.

You should also check out this list of free preschool courses and curricula for homeschooling if you plan on homeschooling your preschool kiddos like we do.

You might also like this free Weird Holidays printable for a bizarre day to celebrate every single day of the year! It’s a great way to learn more about the world around you!

We’ve also got these free printable music tracking sheets for your kids who are doing music lessons.


Shop Back-to-School Clearance

Since you are homeschooling instead of sending your children to a full public school or private school or schools, you have the luxury of waiting a few weeks after the school year to replenish your school supplies. Many large retail stores like Walmart, Target, Staples, and more will sell school supplies for literally pennies!

In the end, homeschooling can be quite expensive if you just purchase everything at full price. But with a bit of time and research, these tips and tricks should help you to potentially save you and your family a lot of money!

Another version of this post that Tiffany wrote was originally published on A Purpose Driven Mom HERE.

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