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Is unschooling cheaper than traditional homeschooling?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
We are majorly broke and our taxes just went up. We're trying to cut corners everywhere. Is unschooling cheaper than buying books/curriculum? I'm considering it for next year anyway but definately want to go the cheapest route. What do you think?
post #2 of 9
I think you can homeschool however you want for fre or cheap.
post #3 of 9
I'm not sure. It just depends on your style. A boxed curriculum costs a certain amount of money ($300 to $500??) plus many parents buy lots of extras like art supplies, museum passes, regular supplies (paper, pens, pencils, rulers, notebooks, etc). I am unschooling and I don't think I've spent more than $200. I buy things that I think J would like or what she seems interested in. I've spent about $40 on art supplies, $30 on regular supplies, and the rest on books and outings. There are books and articles out there about homeschooling on a budget. Try amazon or a google search. You should find lots of info on how to save money homeschooling! Good luck!
post #4 of 9
I don't think there are any costs for unschooling, per se... but you need to be able to buy interesting things and things that your children are interested in, and take them to places, and pay for lessons maybe... so if you're already doing that stuff, then unschooling is free, but it's not really fair for kids to be unschooled if they're being limited to only free/cheap stuff. Sometimes following your interests costs money.

Dar
post #5 of 9
The lessons my kids take, I imagine they'd take even if they were in school or using a homeschooling curriculum. I'd still buy art supplies and maps, music and science kits and we'd still go on trips, so I don't know if you're considering all of that or not.

We do use the library a lot, we look for free days at museums and zoos, and for discounted "homeschooler days" wherever they offer them. Sometimes, buying a membership to a favorite place is worthwhile. We also seek out free/cheap events because then we can afford to pay for other things that the kids really want to do.

Personally, I cringe when I see that people spend $300-600 on packages--my first thought is that we couldn't afford to do that, and my second is, "If I had $900--1800 to spend, it sure wouldn't be on textbooks!" :LOL

Unschooling may be cheaper simply because you have more control over what you buy and when you buy it--but then you could always buy used curriculum. I wouldn't decide to unschool simply based on $$ you need to be committed to whatever you choose. I think you can spend as little or as much as you want to and still homeschool.
post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joan

Personally, I cringe when I see that people spend $300-600 on packages--my first thought is that we couldn't afford to do that, and my second is, "If I had $900--1800 to spend, it sure wouldn't be on textbooks!" :LOL

Unschooling may be cheaper simply because you have more control over what you buy and when you buy it--but then you could always buy used curriculum. I wouldn't decide to unschool simply based on $$ you need to be committed to whatever you choose. I think you can spend as little or as much as you want to and still homeschool.
ITA with all of that!
post #7 of 9
I'm not trying to talk you out of unschooling :LOL I think it's cool myself But if you want to go the structured route, I think you can still do it on a budget. You just have to plan more.

First, you can buy used curriculums online. I know that vegsource.com has a homeschool swap board. There are probably others. eBay maybe?

Second, you can use the library. From what I've heard, there are curriculums out there that don't give you all the books - they just tell you which ones to go get. I think Well Trained Mind is like this? Also, What Your (Kindergartener, First Grader, etc) Needs to Know is sort of like that. It covers a lot and then gives suggestions on further reading. So if you wanted to do a structured plan like that, all you have to do is buy one book and then go to your library for everything else.

If you're just looking at the cost of text books then yeah, unschooling is cheaper. Uh, unless your unschooled child requests textbooks of course :LOL But even among structured homeschoolers there are a lot who prefer not to use textbooks. There's a lot of stuff you can print out for free on the web (especially the lower grades) and websites that can help you learn almost anything out there.

Good luck with whatever route you go
post #8 of 9
I think it depends on your children's interests. Most of the time we used the public library and really watched when the books are due- also the interlibrary loan-- find free or cheap classes or sponsored classes through things like the arts council or parks and rec. -- since you are on the internet there is a ton of stuff you can find as far as information resource-- also if you want textbooks or some books for a home library the library book sales are great and some schools clear out the materials they don't want-- we also have a curriculum exchange where parents sell or trade there old materials
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of the great responses and ideas! We are library junkies for sure. We also own about a million books in all age groups and subjects. We have so many things that I don't think I would even need anything else for homeschooling or unschooling. Thanks for reminding me of all these things!
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