Welcome to Homeschooling, the sneakiest expense of them all. A box of crayons here, a subscription there, a few TPT worksheets just in case….and after doing this everyday, the numbers add up fast.
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Find Free Worksheets
This is perhaps the most vital of the tips I can give you. Do not purchase worksheets. Unless it’s some amazing daily bundle for the entire year, it will only be used once. Once in your entire home school career. The 1-4 dollars for that one worksheet can add up if you are using them in most your lessons most every day.
Also don’t pay for lessons, the amount of FREE resources in lesson plans are boundless. Search Pinterest, Crayola.com, PBS, National Geographic, and NASA to track down those brilliant ideas for no cost. One of my favorite sites to steal a free worksheet from is 123Homeschool4Me, Beth has a generous site of boundless free worksheets for so many grades, subjects, and ideas.
Don’t Build a Classroom
Not from scratch anyway. While designing a classroom is fun and a learning space tucked away in your home sounds like it may add to your child’s home school experience, it is not necessary. Don’t buy all new furniture and storage containers for a space that isn’t necessary. Breakfast tables, dining tables, already existing offices and craft rooms suffice.
Every year I’d spend a fortune on new concepts and ideas of organization for my ‘classroom’. Then after a few years I realized, I don’t think we have ever ended a home school year in the same space that we started.
Limit Your Subscriptions
It’s easy enough to fall into the Subscription trap in life: Hulu, Netflix, Disney +, Amazon Prime, etc. Well this trap exists in the world of education, if not as relevantly, then more so.
It stats with ABC Mouse, then Little Explorers, Kiwi box, ABC Mouse add-on’s…and it’s all downhill from there. Only purchase no more than two or three subscriptions. Use subscriptions in the subject that typically costs to most for you in supplies, and provide more than one service.
Education.com is my go to over ABC Mouse for not only gamification, but continuous progress tracking, lesson plan ideas, and boundless available worksheets!
Find Free Resources
Do not purchase every book you want to study, or rent every educational documentary you want watch. We are in the age of a great burst of information available everyday at our fingertips. There are videos and read-alouds on sites such as YouTube, PBS, and National Geographic.
Your local library card should be run far more than your Mastercard by the end of this year. Boundless videos, resources, and BOOKS all for free.
Learn to Use Power Point or Canva
Most worksheets you find online are made with Power Point or Canva. Learn to become familiar with either of these. If you do not have Microsoft Office Suite, don’t sweat it, I’ve been doing this for 5 years without it. Canva is free, and full of clip art, photos, templates, and various elements that make your custom worksheets playful, fun, and easy to read.
Use Google Docs
Don’t stress about downloading a word processing software from Microsoft or Apple; I cannot say enough amazing things about Google Docs. First and foremost it’s free, second your files are accessible from any device automatically! Slide shows, worksheets, reports, lesson plans, Excel gradebook, it is all available on your google drive with little to no effort from you.
Take your classroom with you. To the museum, the park, the library, or even just the next room. It is all available from any device.
Make Some Up Front Investments
I know the price tag is high on the front end, but when you look out on your annual budget, this will save you substantially. Consider these items in particular: glue sticks, pencils, crayons, watercolors, printer ink, printer paper, notebook paper, and construction paper.
This year we purchased a printer that doesn’t use cartridges, the ink lasts longer, and over time saves the big bucks!! I couldn’t recommend it enough!
What are your Home School Super Saver Tips?!!! I’d love to hear!