When you start to homeschool it can be very overwhelming. With all the things you “should” have it can be easy to wonder if you can financially handle the commitment. While there are quite a few beautiful products that you can buy, not all of it is necessary. In fact, I think there are 10 things homeschoolers don’t need to buy. Let me share a few to see if I can save you some money and relieve some of the new homeschooler stress.
10 Things Homeschoolers Don’t Need to Buy
– Let me clarify. There are certain desks that are amazing. However, I am referring to the school desks that look exactly like public schools. In general, homeschool is not meant to look like a classroom at home. In fact, my son has been known to do schoolwork on the couch with his feet behind his head. Find a homeschool environment that works for your family and feels more natural and comfortable.
Preschool Curriculum –
Some people won’t agree with this. However, I believe that preschoolers need to learn by playing and getting their hands on things. You can see some great ideas for homeschooling preschoolers without curriculum on my Preschool Pinterest Board. We were really big on sensory play and building education into our day to day life. Find ways to learn through activities that are fun and engaging and preschoolers will thrive.
Boxed Curriculum –
You may come to love the boxed curriculum. However, there may also come a day when you hate your curriculum. Instead of buying an all in one boxed curriculum, look for options for each subject that work with the way your child learns. It is completely ok to teach your child from different curriculum options if it will help them learn more effectively. There is no one size fits all curriculum just as kids learn many different ways. We had many years in our homeschool where we used a different curriculum for every single subject!
Chalk Board/Dry Erase Board –
It can be really great to have a dry erase board or chalkboard to teach from. Instead of buying a Chalkboard trying using chalk paint on a wall or try a simple DIY mini-dry erase board using shower board cut down to size from Lowes or Home Depot. While a big chalkboard can seem tempting, they aren’t used by many homeschool families.
Online Subscriptions –
There are many excellent learning sites out there. Some of these will be a huge help to you as you homeschool. That being said, there are also many low-quality sites with high dollar amounts attached to them. Instead of paying a monthly fee, research a free option. There are many free homeschool sites you can take advantage of. There are a few exceptions to that rule for me. I will always make the budget work for Teaching Textbooks online.
As with the online subscriptions, there are MANY manipulatives that you can buy to make hands-on teaching easier. Before doing that, please look into DIY versions that would be more cost-effective. Items like Play-doh can be made for less at home. You may not need counting bears if you have legos or something similar to count with.
There are many excellent DVD’s and Books out there that will help you while homeschooling. We love the Times Tales for teaching multiplication to children. However, not all of these items need to be purchased. Instead, check with your local library. If they don’t have an item you need, they may be willing to purchase it for the library. I know my library has Hooked on Phonics.
Curriculum for Every Subject –
While there is a lot you can teach your child, you don’t have to buy everything. Some subjects won’t be taught initially. In fact, there are certain things that will only be taught to later ages. Instead, start small and work your way up to more. If you need to add on a subject as the year progresses that will benefit you more than paying for everything and using only half of it.
Extra-Curricular Subjects –
It can be tempting to sign your child up for every field trip and extracurricular activity. Resist the temptation or you will be facing homeschool burn out. Instead, start with one trip or extracurricular at a time. You can always add on with time but you will save money by starting small. Focus on interest-led learning and let the things that your children are interested in direct the path a bit.
Homeschool Group Memberships –
I write this one with a huge caveat. I am an advocate of finding a homeschool group that you can grow and establish relationships in. However, I am not a big advocate of joining every group you can to avoid missing anything. Find a group that your family can plug into and really grow and connect in. Instead of spending a great deal, you will spend less and focus on growing connections.
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