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Homeschooling on a Shoestring Budget

Aug 17, 2007
Homeschooling parents usually wonder how much it costs to homeschool their children. And the simple answer is as much as you would like to spend. Though that answer may be vague, but it is actually very practical. Educating a child is a big financial responsibility and it requires a great deal of thought and planning before commencing the homeschooling endeavor. Homeschooling can be expensive, especially with all those books, curriculums, educational toys, and how to books for parents. However, with a little planning and budgeting, you can homeschool your kids on an economical budget.

The cost of homeschooling depends on the resources that you use for educating your child. Some families can homeschool for as low as $200 in a year without compromising on the quality of the education. Amateur homeschooling parents are more likely to over budget, spending excessively on homeschool goodies. Therefore, the first thing to keep in mind while budgeting is to take it easy. There is no need to spend on every attractive homeschooling resource that you come across. Instead, you can make a list of the essential resources that you think are absolutely necessary.

Spending your money conscientiously will serve your children best, and besides, you can save money for other important activities or resources required. Homeschooling for kindergarten kids can easily be done on a very compact budget. The usual items required like paper, pencils and crayons dont cost much. Parents can use cheap stencils for drawing animals, flowers and fruits etc., and use them as drawing books instead of buying one.

Those who have an artistic hand can draw these things without using stencils, and they can also make up word games, phonic cards and other small games using household items, which cost nothing, but which can be very effective teaching tools. Storybooks with pictures, which small children love, can be borrowed from the nearest library. Thus, not only will you keep your children interested, but you can also keep within your budget for these educational resources. Take your kids to the local parks and the zoo. Teaching about nature through nature will create an indelible impression on your childs mind. And though he may forget a picture of a squirrel in an expensive picture book, he will never forget a squirrel, which he has fed breadcrumbs in the park.

Homeschooling for children aged above 6 years is expensive, but you can devise a budget here too. Here are some tips that can prove useful while planning a budget:

. Do spend some time in researching about the homeschooling resources that you are planning to buy. Comparing prices from various sources will enable you to buy the best resource at a reasonable price.

. Research is especially important before purchasing a curriculum. Curriculums are costly; therefore crosscheck with the members of local support groups or government homeschooling authorities to find out which curriculum will serve your purpose.

. Often, while making the list, it gets bigger than the money available for purchasing all the items. In such a case, narrow down your list and focus on things that are required for the current academic year.

. Always decide in advance how you want to spend your money. Decide whether it should be a one time large purchase, or whether you would rather make the purchases as and when the need arises.

. Check out your list twice and think if you have skipped any major item or can remove any. When money is limited and the items are important, consider buying used resources like books, curriculum etc.

. The last and the most important thing is to stick to your list. Getting carried away at the supply store will defeat all your budgeting efforts.
About the Author
Homeschool Curriculum and other useful information can be found at http://www.citizenschool.com. The best site for all of your Homeschoolingneeds.
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