Homeschool Myth #4
While to some, it may seem that homeschooling is expensive, it doesn't always have to be that way. It is true that some materials and curriculum programs are on the high end of pricing, but not all of them are. There are many different methods and materials that can used in a home school. It is often a very versatile way to educate children.
The most cost-effective method of homeschooling, in my opinion, is through a virtual school that is part of the public education system. Many states offer these virtual or online schools for free in the public school district. Most of these include the materials and a student computer for each student to use for free as well. While this is not my preferred method of homeschooling, nor is it supported by the HSLDA, I have heard success stories with this type of program.
One affordable way to gather homeschool resources and materials is by using free research websites and free printable lessons and worksheets compiled online. There are a great number of websites that would fall into this category and there are many homeschoolers who successfully use this method of compiling all their materials. The information and resources are aplenty on the internet. All one has to do is run a simple internet search for the topic of interest.
In addition to the methods above, there are also ways to save money on textbooks and other materials. Wal-Mart has a back-to-school sale every year that has featured notebooks and folders for 10 cents each and crayons and glue for 20 cents, among other fantastic deals. Wal-Mart also sells many educational materials and textbooks. The textbooks can only be purchased online. However, workbooks, maps, manipulatives, and other resources can be purchased at many Wal-Mart locations for a fraction of the price some teacher stores will charge.
Another way to save money on home school supplies is by purchasing gently used curriculum and/or textbooks and teacher's guides and materials.Ebay, Amazon, as well as the HSLDA Curriculum Market are great resources for doing this, as are garage sales, book sales, and second-hand or thrift stores. Some cities even hold homeschool conventions for this purpose.
If buying materials on eBay, keep in mind that teacher editions are not allowed to be sold there, so don't purchase from a buyer offering those. However, at the HSLDA and other online homeschool trading/auction sites, teacher guides and editions are allowed.
Libraries often have many reading and research materials, as well as textbooks. If you don't have your own computer, the library computers can be used to look up and print research and worksheets. They can also be utilized for educational computer games. Libraries also offer many free educational and activity classes free of charge that would be a useful supplement to the homeschool curriculum plan.
As you can see from the above examples, money does not need to get in the way of a person's desire to homeschool, nor is a large amount of money necessary to provide a quality education. For anyone considering the option of homeschooling, I highly recommend starting at the HSLDA website for information, resources, and state laws. HSLDA is the Home School Legal Defense Association.
*I originally published a version of this via Yahoo Contributor Network