Sunday, August 22, 2010

Blog Cruise - Penny-pinching and Homeschooling

Our Question for the Blog Cruise this week is... "How do you afford to homeschool? What are some ways to save money on homeschooling supplies?" The cruise gets posted on Tuesday mornings so you can see what my fellow crew members had to say about this subject then.

So, how do you save money on educating your children. First try and remember what a private school education costs... then it may be easier to swallow. Education costs money. Books cost money.Free Smiley Courtesy of  Homeschool resources cost money. But there are ways to cut costs.

Bought from a surplus store... 10 cents each
My Tips:
1) Buy books that can be reused for each of your children and even grandchildren.

2) Buy Used
       Library Sales
       Homeschool Used Book Sales
       Flee Markets
       Yard Sales
Local Homeschool Used Book Sale
               Surplus Stores
               Thrift Shops
      and Ebay
               and others

3) Watch for and Search for Freebies and Giveaways on blogs and homeschool sites and save them for later use (check out my freebie page above, it's one of the tabs). Lots of mom's share their creations all over the Internet on group sites and on personal blogs. Become a follower or subscribe by RSS feed on those blogs that have things that you can use for your children.

4) Become a member of sites where people upload their personal creations that you can then download like: HSLaunch (my favorite made specifically for homeschoolers), Scribd or 4shared.  Be careful if you are downloading your own stuff. Some free sites have a policy which states that files which have not been downloaded for 90 days get deleted. Make sure you use a site that lets you keep them there forever or make sure you have a copy of the file you upload saved on your own computer.

5) Sell things that don't work for you to other homeschoolers who may love them...use the money to buy stuff you can use.

6) Use the public library. We use ours so often a couple of local libraries know us by name, our county has a number of libraries within driving distance of our home. We love our libraries.

7) Stock up on school supplies during back to school sales. Estimate how much you will need for the whole year. Keep track of what you buy (make a list) and include the prices you paid so you can compare next year.  Shop around and get the good deals. Did you have to buy more glue sticks during the year? or anything else? Keep track, make note of how many. At the end of the year take stock of how you did. Add up what you have left over. What things do you need to buy more of next year, what things did you end up not needing, etc. That way each year you can shop smart and save.

8) Work on your home library slowly over the years. Build it up by shopping wise and buying a little each year. Find the kinds of books your kids like and invest in the good stuff. Especially the Christian and moral books that the libraries might not carry like Lamplighter novels and even old Landmark books (two of our favorites).

9) Keep track of the books you have. Find some way to carry a copy of that with you, especially to conventions. Once you have over 3,000 books like we do you will not be able to keep track of what you have and don't have. If you only want one copy of each book than it is disconcerting to go home and find you already have a copy of the book you just bought at the homeschool convention. If you don't mind having more than one copy, then that is ok. Maybe you could share with a homeschool mom you know that is struggling. Or, maybe you want more than one copy of favorite books for your family. Just don't buy more than one if you don't want to, that wastes money you could have spent on resources you don't own yet.

Our Game Closet
10) Invest in good equipment and extra's that make homeschooling fun, like microscopes, games and kits (like K'nex education stuff) and skip buying reading books that you can get at the library.

Bonus: Here are some posts on great buys I have gotten on books for our homeschool:
More Books - A Great Find
Used Books - Some Great Finds
Books - a great find for a great price

Check out what my fellow crew members have to say about saving money while homeschooling by clicking the button at the top of the page. The Cruise post will go up Tuesday morning and you will be able to see all the links there then.


Loretta said...

More than 3000 books, Debbie? Sounds like my house!! I continue to be amazed at how God put you in my life as my FM. We are so much alike. Great tips for both new and seasoned homeschool moms.

Anonymous said...

Great tips! I have no idea how many books we have, but I do know that I've made the mistake several times and bought the same book twice. I've been wanting to get a library scanner to scan them all.

Michelle Smith said...

Thanks for sharing your tips! I love how you added some photos from your own library. I thought of doing so myself, yet I was just too lazy. It really did add to your article. :)

Mrs. White said...

Have you written a post about organizing a home library of that size? I'd love to read it!

Mrs. White


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