One of the most frequently asked questions by potential homeschooling parents is: How much does it cost? The short answer is: As much or as little as you want to spend.
You can spend $500 per year on boxed curriculum or spend close to $0 using found resources. It all depends on your homeschooling style, your child’s learning style, your own organizational skills, your personal spending style, your state guidelines and, of course, your budget.
If you need strong support with developing lesson plans and structure for your homeschooled child, you might consider boxed curriculum. They’re pricey but offer everything except for the teacher. But wait, some DO offer the teacher! On-line support, on-line testing are all options when you purchase boxed curriculum.
No budget to spend that much? Have a child who is a self-learner? Or a young child where a boxed curriculum may not be necessary? Not to worry – you can get everything you need from a few resources.
Start with your library. What CAN’T you find at your library? And if it’s not there, your librarians can find it for you. They can recommend resources you may not have thought of to support your unit studies. And as an added bonus, they probably know most of the homeschoolers in your community so can help you with your network.
How about the internet? There is a plethora of resources available; many are free, some have minimal costs to access information. You can get unit studies, work sheets and lesson plans at a click. Or get e-newsletters. Pay for monthly or annual subscriptions to access more in-depth resources.
A number of web-groups exist merely for swapping or selling homeschool curriculum or support materials. Most require no subscription fee and you pay only when you make a purchase from another user.
For your older children, many colleges offer on-line courses with no fees. They may not get college credit for completing them but who can argue against a free course from the likes of MIT?
Another great resource for free or low-cost educational material is other homeschoolers. Check with your local support group. They frequently have lending libraries, swap systems, book sale nights, etc. The best part: you get immediate user feedback from those who have already used the item!
How much you spend to support your homeschooling child is up to you. You don’t have to go bankrupt to provide a solid education!