If you have followed my site for any length of time you know that I am and always will be a faithful penny pincher. I love to save money on things I need to afford the things I really want. When I first started homeschooling I thought that I needed to get the children educated for the smallest amount out of pocket possible. While this sounds wonderful it shortchanged the kids in certain areas. Over the years I have learned that homeschooling doesn’t need to be cheap. Some of the curriculum you will need will cost you more.
Homeschooling Doesn’t Need to be Cheap
Sadly, I have seen many children get frustrated and many parents give up because of a curriculum that was cheaper but didn’t fit. Now don’t get me wrong. There are some curriculum options that are excellent and cost very little. However, there are also some excellent options that will make your wallet cringe a little more. Today I want to explain why I think homeschooling doesn’t need to be cheap. Before we go on though I need to say one thing. I understand if you are struggling financially. I understand that in most cases making the choice to homeschool means making the choice to live on one income. I am not against saving where you can. I just believe that the student should not suffer in order to save some money.
Sometimes less expensive curriculum is lower quality.
I will say that this isn’t true of all curriculum options. Handwriting Without Tears is an excellent handwriting curriculum and it is very cost friendly. However, there are some homeschool curriculum options that have a low quality to match a low price tag. It is important to do your research about a curriculum before settling on it. It won’t matter if you save money if you have to spend that time accommodating the curriculum. Be especially careful of internet-based curriculum options as well as ebooks. Just because an item is on Teachers Pay Teachers or Etsy doesn’t mean it is of high quality. These products could be posted by just about anyone.
Sometimes it’s not a match for the child.
We had a curriculum we used for a long time with R. It seemed like a great curriculum and was very inexpensive. However, it didn’t fit her well because of her dyslexia. We had to make the decision to pay a bit more to get a curriculum that would fit her better. If your child is struggling with a lower cost curriculum it may be time to spend a bit more and try a different curriculum for them. The initial cost may be difficult but it will be worth it in the long run if your child begins to thrive. We chose to go with Institute for Excellence in Writing though it was more pricey because it teaches R in a way that she can thrive.
One workbook can’t cover it all.
In preschool, it can be easy to pick up a great workbook and use that as the bulk of your formal curriculum. This may be fine at this age. However, as the child gets older this will become less realistic. These workbooks can’t cover the entirety of what a child needs to know. Instead, spend a bit more for something that will give your child a more complete education.
It makes you do too much.
Some of the lower cost curriculum options require you to do the bulk of the work. Now don’t misunderstand me. I agree that parents need to be involved in homeschooling their children. I make this point because some of your less expensive curriculum options leave you teaching all of the material to your child and supervising all of their work. At some point, children should be able to work independently. My favorite curriculum is Teaching Textbooks because it took the stress out of Math for us. I was willing to pay a bit more because it relieved the stress and frustration R and I went through each day with Math. Look at what you are using. Is there an option that might cost a bit more but will give your child some independence in learning?
Cheap supplies break.
If you are using manipulatives to teach it can be easy to choose the less expensive option. While this may seem like a good idea it can work against you if that item is poorly made. Instead of opting for poorly made items that are less expensive, choose a higher quality item that won’t need to be replaced.
Do you struggle with spending on the curriculum? Are manipulatives breaking the bank? Instead of choosing items that are not high quality, join my deal group and let me help you find the best possible price.
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