Homeschooling doesn’t need to be expensive. You can homeschool for less than $270 CAD. Or at least that’s the plan that I’ve come up with for 2017/2018. It wasn’t even that hard to come up with and it could be cheaper.
While B’s dad did not specifically request a plan this year, I made one due to our homeschool conversation going something like this:
Me: So are you agreeable to continue with homeschooling?
B’s dad: As long as you’re confident he’s learning what he needs to learn and not just learning about cheese. [insert facepalm here]
Fun loving unit studies are apparently all B reports back to Daddy about. More about our unit study on cheddar cheese another day. Today I want to show you how to homeschooling for less than $270 CAD.
2017/2018 Curriculum Picks
I’ve opted to graduate B from JellyTelly to Bible.com. Mostly because he started complaining that every new series he would watch was the same bible story. But also because our church purchased a subscription to Right Now Media and his favourite shows from JellyTelly are available through Righ Now Media so I can save myself a few dollars a month by canceling our JellyTelly subscription.
We’re going to be continuing with IXL. After trying out a few different math programs B keeps coming back to IXL. I think it’s because he likes the Smart Points and the stickers he earns but when specifically asked he says he doesn’t know. We’ve also discovered if we can make a bingo game to go with the math skill he enjoys math more. Subscribe to the email list so you don’t miss out on those! We’re doing fractions now and I’ve promised to make him a bingo game after the provincial election is over on May 9th.
I purchase IXL for $20/year through the Canadian Homeschooling Purchase Group which is a Facebook Group. Anyone who homeschools in Canada is free to join. When you request to join the group you will be asked to complete a Google Form to collect contact information so it is easier for admins to contact people who express interest in various purchases.
Americans can get a deal on IXL through Homeschool Buyers Co-op. Purchasing groups are a great way to get deals and homeschool for less than the regular price. Homeschool Buyers Co-op has a lot of great deals on curriculum if you want to spend money but also want to homeschool for less.
Language Arts, Literature, & Copywork
I’ve decided to follow the AmblesideOnline curriculum because many of the books on the list are public domain, or super cheap on Kindle. I wanted to add more literature in our homeschool but needed a whole lot of guidance in this area. AmblesideOnline had the most user-friendly website and many of the books are available for download right on the website for free. My plan is to take copywork and recitation from the poetry and/or literature we study.
I’m not following it for all subjects due to the fact that we like to do our own thing.
I purchased the following books for literature:
- Shakespeare for Children (illustrated) – $2.02 on Kindle (contains eight of the twelve plays studied in years 3 to 6)
- AmblesideOnline Year 4 Poetry – $4.08 on Kindle
- Bulfinch’s Greek and Roman Mythology: The Age of Fable – $1.32 on Kindle
- Robinson Crusoe free on Kindle
- Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson free on Kindle
- AmblesideOnline Year 4: Shorter Literature Selections – $2.71 on Kindle
Of course, I could homeschool for less if I used the library but we tend to forget to return our library books and could easily rack up $10 in late fees. Then we wouldn’t be saving money.
We will be following the reading plan for Madam How and Lady Why by Charles Kingsley and The Storybook of Science, by Jean-Henri Fabre found on AmblesideOnline. We’ll be doing our own nature studies plan because B isn’t interested in the topics listed on AmblesideOnline and we have a local nature study handbook that we like to use.
B has also requested unit studies in medicine which that will cover pharmaceuticals, naturopathy, and aromatherapy. Unit studies help to homeschool for less than the cost of boxed curriculum. Most of the time we use websites, YouTube videos or CuriosistyStream.
We’re continuing on with Story of the World. B loves this book. We watch relevant YouTube videos or documentaries on CuriosistyStream with each chapter as well as completing up to ten reading comprehension questions. I’m also going to add in more geography with Volume 2 than we did with Volume 1.
Story of the World costs $9.99 on Kindle. I also bought Story of the World Test & Answer Key for $12.43 to help come up with reading comprehension questions rather than spend $50 buying a unit study from someone else like we did last year. It was good for our first year but now that we know what we liked and didn’t like about that person’s unit study I can create one of our own.
Fine Arts & Music
Later this month I will go into detail about how we do composer and picture study. For the purpose of our curriculum picks, I’ll simply say that we don’t spend any money on this. We use Classics for Kids, YouTube, Soundcloud or borrow CDs from the library for composer study. Picture study is done entirely online through various free websites.
We most likely will be purchasing the premium membership on Hoffman Academy for piano lessons. We’ve done the free version as a test run and B enjoys the lessons more than any other free options we’ve tried. The premium membership has a lot more perks, including games, and appears to be worthwhile.
This by far is our most expensive portion of our curriculum as it costs $149 US/year, approximately $205 CAD. However, I asked around and piano lessons cost anywhere from $20-22/half hour. Hoffman Academy is a much cheaper option unless we only had one half hour piano lesson a month with the cheapest piano teacher in town.
Language Arts & Literature
Fine Arts & Music
Total = $267.68
The total includes the cost of The Handbook of Nature Study so technically we’re able to homeschool for less than $261.
Without piano lessons or if we stay with the free version, we could homeschool for less than $56. Without Story of the World Test & Answer Key we could homeschool for less than $45 this year. Which proves that homeschooling does not have to be expensive. You can homeschool for under a $100 and still provide a great education to your child(ren).