or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at Home and Beyond › How do you afford HSing?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

How do you afford HSing?

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
I always read about people taking their children on all these field trips, buying fairly high-priced cirriculums, buying this-and-that-and-this... How do you afford it? Am I just looking at the wrong posts?
I guess what i'm looking for is some estimates on how much you ladies have actually spent on HSing or HSing-related things, including field trip admission prices, etc.
Input would be appreciated. We're dead-bent on HSing (after my experiences in PS I will NOT allow my child to be 'dumbed' down), and hopefully when she's at the right age we won't be so tight financially. But right now it seems like it would be impossible to give her a 'good' education.
post #2 of 48
For us it's much more affordable than sending them to school, primarily because everything we "buy" and "do" now for HSing, we would even if they were in school. So we basically save all the expenses of schools (supplies, clothing, gas, etc.).

We buy everything used. Well, almost everything - I did just buy Miquon math brand new. Our area has some really fabulous free and low-cost public resources (library system, environmental education center, etc.). That helps. A lot.

Oh, and we barter for some of the kids activities. Our music instructor owns her own business, so she bartered with us for music instruction - that alone is saving us close to $1k per year. (3 kids, weekly classes, curriculum materials - it adds up, quick).

We're also slowly working on bringing family/friends around to giving tickets for birthdays/holidays instead of toys. We have enough toys, no room for more, and the kids would really rather spend some time with their loved ones on different outings.

It does require creativity to do it cheaply, but it can be done.
post #3 of 48
Again, I want to reiterate that I don't really spend money on anything that's just for "homeschooling". Everything we spend money on, we would even if they were in school.

We'd still want them to have these private music lessons, even if they were in school. We'd still buy the Natural History museum membership, even if they were in school. We'd still be planning family trips to different places/museums/galleries/etc., even if they were in school. We'd still have tons of books, manipulatives, microscopes, art supplies, etc. in the house, even if they were in school.
post #4 of 48
We don't spend much. I keep an eye out for free or very cheap field trips and limit to 2 a month. There are 4 of us unless dh wants to join us. We use the library a lot, they have lots of curriculum stuff. I use the internet...bc it's here and there are TONS of free stuff out there. We do free stuff around the city too (museums, teach in the grocery store, local parks...). It's doable without much money. We don't belong to a charter school and don't buy curriculum books...there is just waaaay too much out there to choose from. So we do our own thing.
post #5 of 48
Oh and our museums have free days throughout the month so we go then...and brave the crowds
post #6 of 48
We try to homeschool as cheaply as possible. We miss a lot of activities with our group because we're not into spending money every day. There are a few people in our group who seem to spend money 24/7 on homeschooling activities. I'm just not into that. We're not poor at all, and I want to keep it that way!

So, some people don't spend much money. It doesn't mean that you have to stay home, you just have to find free and cheap things to do. I buy memberships to places that we like, we go to park dates, we go to free museum days, we invite friends over and go see friends. I did sign up for some worksheet places online, but they're not very expensive.

Don't get intimidated, you can handle it
Lisa
post #7 of 48
We could definitely do it with less - I just like buying books

I would estimate that we will spend less than $1000 this year, and that's for all of our books, memberships, workbooks, art supplies, crafts, trips, etc. We have memberships to children's museums, zoos and science centers, which takes care of most of our field trips. We are starting sports at the Y, but the cost is minimal - maybe $22/session? If I used the library, we could easily homeschool this year for $300 + memberships (which we would have anyways).
post #8 of 48
i was homeschooled with three sisters and my family was not wealthy at all! my mother was very innovative in what she used and purchased used at used curriculum sales,yardsales, and thrift shops.we utilized the library a great deal. she told me one year she spent $100 on school books for all of us! this was after i told her how much i spent! my dh supports our family rather well and we are able to spend a good deal on "school" supplies. the majority i spend on quality art supplies and buy my books used for the most part.if i were you, i would pick a budget and stick with it and then decide how you are going to homeschool...ie; classical,waldorf,eclectic etc. and then look into some of the free curriculum and utilize your library. for example, your budget is $100 and you want to do a classical literature based program like sonlight. i would order the catalog and then check out as many books as you can from the library and search yardsales for the rest. i found several from their lists at yardsales this past summer.you really don't need the instructor's guides...i have 'em and don't like them. you could make your own history timeline with a notebook and page protectors.for math manipulatives we love these gems we found at the dollar stpre and stones we gathered at the beach.i think the 'what your ***grader needs to know are great. they are cheap $13 and have every subject you teach in them and are great for starting a lesson and the expanding on. for math, in the early grades use a lot of manipulatives and around the house stuff. bob jones has math workbooks for $16.50 that are pretty complete. teacher's guides in k and 1 are highly overrated! science is easily covered by books from the library and around the house experiments. art is mostly about the experience and i would spend the most here on high quality materials.so...
$10 on books at yardsales
$16.50 on math workbook
$2.12 for gems and a basket to keep them in
$4 for a binder and page protector's
$6 on misc. science supplies
$13 for what your *** grader needs to know
the rest on art supplies and a bag of chocolate.


obviously, this is an example, but you can play with the numbers and see what you come up with. i count all extra's like museum memberships as "life" things...not homeschooling stuff.
post #9 of 48
I don't think we spend more than we would if our kids went to school. There is very little that I spend money on now, that I wouldn't if we didn't homeschool. When you figure that with how much money even the public schools regularly request and/or demand, heck, we may even come out ahead!
post #10 of 48
We have a zoo membership $60/year and a science center membership $110/year (although it has expired and we can't afford to renew it yet) and we take advantage of those and their reciprocal memberships. These are great things to ask for Christmas presents from the grandparents. That is what we are going to do this year.

We don't buy expensive curriculum. I do buy books, lots of books. I probably spend $50 easy a month on books but I don't need to and if money became too tight I would stop buying them! I try to take advantage of used stores and half.com as much as possible.

$20 a month is alloted for co-ops. We don't always use that much; on the rare occasion we spend a little more.

$20 a month is also alloted for archery range fees

As far as consumable curriculum goes, there is Math U See. I only buy the student books $20/year. Mindbenders runs $10/year.

I spend between $50 and $75 on lapbooks and lapbooking supplies each year and around $20 on craft supplies each month or so. Both costs I could cut if I had to.
post #11 of 48
We probably don't spend more than if our kids were in school. I do buy some curriculum, but it's not a package, I piece together my own and we do use a lot of cheap workbooks you can get at the local bookstore. My ds absolutely loves workbooks, so we'd be getting those anyway. We check out a LOT of library books. I think I've had more than 60 books out one time and our book basket was overflowing! We don't do fieldtrips with other hsers right now. Ds does not really enjoy being around a lot of kids or taking classes, though I'm thinking about enrolling him in Karate next fall (we're currently trying to figure out how we're going topay for it, though). We do family outings on weekends, but we would do those anyway, so it doesn't really count. My dd does library storytime (which is free) and I'm about to sign her up for dance class at the YMCA (about $80 for 8 weeks cause we aren't members), but she'd be taking dance class anyway and she's only 3, so I guess not technically a hser right now. That's about it. I estimated that I spent less than $400 for the whole year and I do know that about half of that was for reference books that we'll be using for years and years.(and I probably would have bought those anyway) I LOVE books and I LOVE shopping for books. Seriously, it's an addiction.
We were in Staples the week school went back and the guy ahead of us in line spent $200 on just school supplies for his 2 kids that were with him! I think he almost fainted when the cashier told him the total. The kids were about middle school age, but that still seemed like A LOT of money and they didn't have anything really expensive like fancy calculaders or anything.
post #12 of 48
We have a fairly frugal lifestyle,live in a rural area.Maybe it's cheaper to live in the country?I don't spend a lot on eating out or groceries.The garden supplies alot of our veggies.We don't have expensive clothes.I can sew most of what my daughters and I need.I've sewn pj's and shirts for the boys.I guess that's left more room to buy books and art supplies in our budget.If you scout out yard sales and book sales,used online sellers you can get more for your dollar than buying new(LOl).
post #13 of 48
From your signature, it looks like you have a baby. My youngest child is 9 and my DH now makes more than twice when I last had a baby!!!

For the most part, we homeschool very inexpensively because some of the things that I believe provide my kids with the best possible education are free. I think my kids get a better education by using the library than they would if I bought an expensive curriculm, and I think spending a lot of time in nature is good thing.

On some things we splurg -- we do some expensive field trips. We could homeschool without those, and but we enjoy them and can afford them, so we indulge. There are a lot of *right* ways to homeschool.

The line for us between homeschooling and just parenting is very blurred, so it is impossible for me to say what we spend on homeschooling that we wouldn't be spending if the kids went to school. The things we spend the most money on --enriching classes, sports, and day trips on weekends as a family -- are things that we would still do, but may be a bit less because of time constrants.
post #14 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by riaketty View Post
I always read about people taking their children on all these field trips, buying fairly high-priced cirriculums, buying this-and-that-and-this... How do you afford it? Am I just looking at the wrong posts?
I guess what i'm looking for is some estimates on how much you ladies have actually spent on HSing or HSing-related things, including field trip admission prices, etc.
Input would be appreciated. We're dead-bent on HSing (after my experiences in PS I will NOT allow my child to be 'dumbed' down), and hopefully when she's at the right age we won't be so tight financially. But right now it seems like it would be impossible to give her a 'good' education.
Nope. Education is not curricula, equipment, supplies, trips. We don't have expensive curricula and we certainly are not able to go on trips. We have minimal equipment/supplies.

Find out the hours that are free for your local museums. Ask if they offer educational discounts. Go to parks, (state, national, local) and to historic places. Go to libraries, used books stores and thirft stores. And I hear there is much online that is free.

We don't do coops so we don't have fees there. I have four children, two are homeschooling, two are too young still. I am very resourceful. I have to be.
post #15 of 48
you dont HAVE to do all that stuff, and thats why its more affordable than PS. You can do as much or as little as you can afford. PS you have fees and stationary and sports, feilds trips, lunches etc etc etc.

I just read a great article in the july/august 07 issue of home education magazine {volume 24 number 4} (I get it from our library) its in the "ask carol" column, and it talks about homeschooling with a small budget or minimum amount of stuff. Its full of great ideas, I reccomend you find a copy and read it.
post #16 of 48
We don't spend a ton. I traded handmade soap for a curriculum that my daughter won't use. We pay for classes at the YMCA, but on scholarship, and we would do those lessons even if not homeschooling. We buy books from scholastic, but again, we would do that even if we weren't homeschooling. We have a few workbooks laying around that came from the bookstore, lots of art supplies, and that is about it. We do free activities such as go to the zoo on a special day that is free or walk around the farmer's market or go for a walk in a nature preserve. We go to the library once a week and stock up on books and videos and cds. We belong to a homeschooling group that cost $15 for the whole year and go to a monthly potluck for that. Really, that is about it. Otherwise my kids just enjoy playing around here or with the kids in the neighborhood, so that costs me nothing extra.
post #17 of 48
We're fortunate that we receive close to $700 in funding through our school board as this is the set up in our province. To help stretch that money further, we shop at garage sales, ask for educational gifts, and use the library. I've also started selling Usborne books to help build our home library as I'm a much bigger fan of having books on hand than having to go to the library all the time.
post #18 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by wonderwahine View Post
you dont HAVE to do all that stuff, and thats why its more affordable than PS. You can do as much or as little as you can afford. PS you have fees and stationary and sports, feilds trips, lunches etc etc etc.

I just read a great article in the july/august 07 issue of home education magazine {volume 24 number 4} (I get it from our library) its in the "ask carol" column, and it talks about homeschooling with a small budget or minimum amount of stuff. Its full of great ideas, I reccomend you find a copy and read it.
I didn't even think of lunch costs it's on average what 3.00$/meal/day if you don't qualify for reduced lunch? 3*20 (assuming 20 day month 5 days*4 weeks) =60$/month just on lunch, so around 500/year just on school lunch? Wow.

Not to mention a lot of public schools now you don't even get to keep your school supplies so parents have to buy two sets of everything!
post #19 of 48
I'm another that could not afford to send the kids to public school if they were to go. They need a lot more there than we do at home. While we basically unschool, I decide what is most important for us to buy. Math-u-see is one of those things. You don't need a fancy math curriculum, but it was important to me. I did buy some items I did not like and have either sold them or are about to. The great thing about homeschool stuff is you can usually sell it for close to what you paid for it . I buy tons of books but 95% or more are from thrift stores where they are always under a dollar (usually a quarter each). I make a profit when I sell these . We take advantage of the library and inter-library loan since there isn't much here. Art supplies are all from the dollar store. Games and fun things are from second hand stores.

We don't have a lot of fun places to go here, no fancy museums, no cool science centers, ect... so I'm not worried about that anyway. They don't have many field trips at the schools here as far as I know, so I'm not concerned. We have always had at least one really cool summer trip that doubles as an educational trip (ie, to the city where they do have the cool museums, camping to explore nature, ect...). For us, a nature walk is a good field trip or to a friend's garden or even just daily activities such as shopping or going to the duck pond.

We plan on getting a subsidized YMCA membership but right now it would go to waste so we'll wait.

The point is, it is mainly things we would have and do anyway, so it's not an extra expense.
post #20 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwylde View Post
The point is, it is mainly things we would have and do anyway, so it's not an extra expense.
yeah, for us museam/aquarium/zoo memberships would be a thing we got even if we didnt want to hs. We didn't get one this year, because ds is still so small and not good with crowds, but we hope to try him out at the museam etc once or twice, then get a membership.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Learning at Home and Beyond
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at Home and Beyond › How do you afford HSing?