How to Homeschool on a Budget

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If you want to homeschool on a budget, choose your curricula wisely, look for free resources and prioritize your spending on your child's education.

The number of families choosing to homeschool their children is growing each and every year. According to this report, nearly 2 million U.S. children are homeschooled these days.  Families choose to homeschool for a variety of reasons. Some parents believe they can provide a better education at home than their local school can. Others want to provide a religious-based education and still others want to offer one on one instruction and attention to their children without paying the hefty price tag that comes with private school. Some think that homeschooling is expensive, and don’t get me wrong: it can be expensive, but families can learn to homeschool on a budget.

Since starting our journey to debt free, we’ve had to get more creative than ever in terms of learning how to homeschool on a budget. Here is how we save money while teaching our children at home.

Homeschool on a Budget


Utilize Free Resources

The library, Netflix documentaries and curriculum-sharing among homeschooling cohorts are all valuable ways to teach your child at home for free. Along with that, many of the things you do at home on a regular basis are free and can also be considered part of your homeschool curriculum.

For instance: think about the things you learned in Home Economics. Those are things that many moms and dads do on a regular basis at home. Take your child under your wing and teach them how to bake, can and preserve foods, how to iron, how to do laundry, etc., and you are indeed giving your kid a Home Economics education, for free! Take advantage of all of the free resources available for teaching your kids all that they need to know to graduate college-ready, and save your money for the things that most people can’t teach on their own, such as math and science.

Buy Curriculum Wisely

There are many expensive curriculum programs out there for the homeschooling family, but there are also many very affordable curriculum choices. We choose to buy math programs, for instance, that are replaceable for the elementary age kids. Singapore Math workbooks are about $9 a piece and are of the highest quality learning. For secondary math, however, we chose Teaching Textbooks, a computer-based program.

Teaching Textbooks runs us about $180 for each course, but we can use it for all four kids, so it’s worth the money. The most expensive curriculum is not always the best, so do your research, get the opinion of homeschooling mentors, and buy wisely. Too many homeschooling families get caught up in the “new and shiny” curricula they see at the homeschooling conferences and buy a lot of curricula they never end up using.

Be Choosy About What You Teach

Many homeschooling families feel that if they’re going to be “successful” homeschoolers, they’ve got to teach their kids every living piece of knowledge on the face of the earth by the time they graduate high school. This is simply not true, and it’s that overzealous view that causes many homeschooling parents to quit homeschooling long before they want to, simply because they’re burnt out.

Make a list of the ten most important subjects you want to send your child out into the adult world knowing about, and base your curriculum choices on that list. For instance, do your kids really need a comprehensive 3-year course on Art History when they have no interest in an art-based career?

If you want to homeschool on a budget, choose your curricula wisely, look for free resources and prioritize your spending on your child's education.

No, not really. So don’t spend $300 on a course that will teach them that. Make a list of your education priorities and then do your research from there. Not only will you have a more successful homeschooling journey, you’ll save huge cash in the process.

Whether you’re a veteran homeschooler, a newbie, or simply considering homeschooling, know that you can homeschool on a budget and still give your child a fantastic education.


Have you ever considered homeschooling or do you homeschool? How do you save money on your kids’ education? What are you willing to spend more on when it comes to curriculum or education?



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Laurie is a wife, mother to 4, and homesteader who blogs about personal finance, self-sufficiency and life in general over at The Frugal Farmer. Part witty, part introspective and part silly, her goal in blogging is to help others find their way to financial freedom, and to a simpler, more peaceful life.

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  • Never fully understood why someone would want to home school, but then again I firmly believe every parent needs to do what they think best for their kids. When our children used to complain about school when they were young my wife would threaten to home school them and they stopped complaining quickly. We are fortunate in that we live in an area with highly ranked public and private school choices, though I will say with everything I see in the news I’m glad that our youngest is now a college senior. Perhaps that said I would have different opinion on home schooling were our kids in school today.

    • Laurie says:

      Thanks for the comment, Roger! Homeschooling is great for us as it allows us to tailor each of our children’s educations to their gifts, interests and talents, and allows them to learn without all of the drama and distraction of a huge school. It has also allowed our kids to learn at a faster rate, allowed us to incorporate vital life skills into their curriculum (such as teaching them personal finance, growing and preserving their own food, etc.) and give them much more attention thanks to a 1:4 teacher to student ratio. 🙂 You might find my free e-book on my site, 7 Reasons You Might Want to Homeschool Your Child, an interesting read if you want to know more about why people choose homeschooling. Homeschooling is increasing in number each year for some very valid reasons.

  • I recently watched a frightening documentary about how the board in Texas was choosing what would and wouldn’t be going into public school textbooks. Essentially promoting intelligent design and thinly veiled racism. Got me seriously considering homeschooling.

    • Laurie says:

      Stefanie, this has been going on for decades but is now just starting to be revealed to the public. Schools all over the country choose to tailor their curricula to their own personal beliefs, whether toward conservatism or toward liberalism, against many parents’ belief systems, and it’s just not right.

  • We don’t have kids yet, but are definitely considering homeschooling when/if it’s time. I was homeschooled back in the mid-80s when we couldn’t open the door if the doorbell rang or go to the mall during the day or the truancy officer would report us. Back then my mom had to develop all her own curriculum. Things have definitely changed, and I’m glad it can be an option for more people now.

    • Laurie says:

      Deb, please give your parents a big hug from the Frugal Farmer family for being brave enough to be one of the pioneers of homeschooling. Without them, we wouldn’t have the freedom we have to homeschool today!

  • Interesting and insightful post Laurie!

    If I had children, I would definitely consider home schooling as my first choice and an alternative school as my second.

    I like the fact that the curriculum can be tailored to the ever changing personality or character of the child as he or she grows up and begins to develop greater individual thought. This, I believe, is something not considered in regular schools, public OR private.

    Take care Laurie and my best to all.


    • Laurie says:

      Hey, Lyle!!! So nice to “see” you. 🙂 Yes, homeschooling is wonderful for that. We absolutely love being able to tailor our kids’ education to what they need/want to learn.

  • Until you and I started talking offline recently about home schooling, I just never thought much about it, but it is amazing how much you can pay for things without thinking about it and before you know it, you get into financial troubles while trying to educate your children. This post is an awesome resource for not only full time homeschoolers, but for people like me who like to enhance my son’s learning experience (especially in the summer).

  • Amy says:

    I have tremendous respect for homeschooling families. We live in an area with great public schools, so it’s not something I’ve ever considered. (I just don’t think I’d have the patience!)

  • I grew up making fun of kids who were home schooled, but now it seems like the best thing if you want your kids to get through their childhood with their creativity intact. As a teacher, my wife witnessed first-hand how broken the system is and no matter how well-meaning teachers and administrators are, there’s really nothing they can do to fix it.

  • Kim says:

    I love the idea of homeschooling because you play in each child’s skills and interests. We are lucky that our daughter loves school and has the personality and learning type that does well in public schools. I’m afraid my skills as a teacher would be much like my gardening skills, so I don’t think it’s something we could do. I do dream about taking a year off and driving around the country, which would require homeschooling, but it probably won’t happen while our daughter is young.

    • Laurie says:

      LOL, you’re so funny, Kim. 🙂 Yes, we’d love to spend a large chunk of time on the road with the kids one day too, visiting all of those historic places.

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