4.22.2010

Homeschooling On The Cheap

Homeschooling can be expensive.

Curriculums, supplies, games, teachers books. It all can add up pretty quick.

And I'm a sucker for some educational materials.

But my sweet husband reminds me all the time that Josie is only 3 and that I have the next 15 years to buy school supplies so there is no rush now.

But that doesn't stop me from making a weekly trip to our local school supply store.

I've kicked pretty much every addiction in my life except for coffee, the library, and that danged ole school supply store!

The first couple times I went I wanted to buy everything in the place. And I started to freak out at just how pricey Homeschooling might end up costing.

Since then I've become the Queen of "I could totally make that" and in the process have saved us a lot of money.

For instance, I used to want an entire room stocked and set up to look exactly like a preschool.

Then I realized that it was much more convenient to be close to the kitchen when we were doing school so we turned our totally unused breakfast nook into our school area.

2009 200

And by turned into, I mean I used one of the empty cabinets for storage and hung a ribbon up to display her work.

2009 201

Total cost? .25 cents for the ribbon.

Oh, and a dollar for the dry erase board.

2009 139

This is the most cluttered this area ever gets. When we are done with school for the day, everything fits in the cabinets or under the table.

At the end of the Summer we will probably move this set up into a corner in the playroom. I am so glad I waited until we started before setting up our main area for school. It's amazing how much of what I originally wanted to buy would never have been used.

The second area we save a ton of money in is the actual work.

If you've ever strolled through a school store it is easy to become super overwhelmed at the amount of workbooks there are.

But if you page through them, the preschool ones are really simple to make. Especially since they are going to be scribbling and cutting most of them up.

I make all of Josie's practice sheets for cutting and writing plus most of our games.

2009 147

Computer paper and permanent markers are your friend.

2009 180

I also only buy things that have multiple purposes.

These bears were about $8 and we use them for sorting, color recognition, counting, and now we use them for patterns and beginning math.

2009 163

They were selling pattern cards to go with them for $10 a pack.

Ha! Some good old index cards and some Crayola markers created pretty much the same thing for free!

We use cheap pom pom balls, popcicle sticks, and construction paper all the time too.

My last money saving preschool tip is to get to know your library!

We check out at least 25 books a week and usually read them all. I come up with my best themes from books.

And honestly, reading to your preschooler is the best way to get them to learn.

Your library probably also offers storytimes, craft days, and other fun events for learning. Not to mention the killer Summer Programs that are almost always free.

I would love to hear your money saving tips for homeschooling too!

3 comments:

Amber said...

I'm so glad your doing this before me...

Laura said...

I agree that it doesn't have to be expensive! And for the things that you just *have* to buy...the Dollar Store during back to school time is a great place to find supplies! Thanks for sharing some new ideas!

Mrs. M said...

Thrift stores. I found lots of great little dishes and utensils and such to use for sorting, pouring, etc. My boys love them.
And natural materials from our pantry. Popcorn, macaroni, for pouring and spooning. Cheap pompoms and cotton balls with clothespins and chunky tweezers for sorting. The great outdoors for "science"....pinecones, leaves, bugs, etc.