Many families believe can’t afford to homeschool because they’re operating under the belief that mom would have to quit her job, reducing the household down to one income. That may or may not be so.
Single parents homeschool and work, right? So do many homeschooling moms who are married. It happens. It can be done.
But the fact is, single parents are doing it all and usually on a single income. So how does a single parent afford to homeschool?
First, I want you to realize if a family of four can homeschool on a single income (usually dad’s), then surely a single parent can homeschool on a single income. That’s simple logic. If you’re a single mom making $60,000/year, then I guess you’re set. But for most of us, the matter requires a bit of creativity.
Here are some practical ways I’ve found for homeschooling my kids over the last 17 years.
1. Budgeting. I’ve homeschooled for as little as $200/year. That’s only about $16 per month. So if I put that back, I’m good! (One year, I homeschooled for about $6, thanks to my Kindle.)
2. Free/Frugal Resources. One perk of being a homeschool blogger is that I get products and curriculum free of charge. That helps a lot! If you are not a blogger, however, take some time to hang out on sites like Free Homeschool Deals and enter curriculum giveaways when you see them. It can be a great way to get the supplies that you need each year.
Also, use Pinterest to your advantage. Look for free materials there. Check out the wealth of resources from the iHomeschool Network bloggers. We post a wealth of inspiration ideas and tips there.
3. Income tax returns. I know, I know. Not everyone gets a return. But for those of us who do, it’s a great time to stock up on homeschool curriculum. In fact, this is my #1 way of affording the things I otherwise couldn’t afford.
4. Use real-life learning. Every single day presents opportunities for learning. Cooking, math, researching on the internet (ahem – Khan Academy!), nature studies, visiting historical places. The list is endless. Most of our learning happens this way.
5. Take advantage of local opportunities. Look around your area for places to go. History, art, and science museums are great for homeschooling. Zoos, aquarium, and marine centers have a lot to offer in the way of learning. Nowadays, many of these places conduct classes for homeschoolers. Some places offer reduced cost or even scholarships for annual passes.
These are just a few ways to offer your children a quality education without breaking the bank.
Do you have any additional thoughts on it? What other ways could you save money or better afford homeschooling?
Michelle Cannon is a single mom homeschooling children who have dyslexia and bipolar disorder. She is also a parenting and homeschooling consultant. You can find her blogging at The Heart of Michelle.