It’s time to start thinking about next year’s curriculum, and you definitely want the best for your children, right? Of course! We all do! If that’s the case, then you definitely should never consider putting a price tag on your students’ education.
With that in mind, here are four important tips for making sure that you toss that budget out the window and make sure that your commitment to homeschooling is reflected by the amount of money you spend this year.
1. Buy the Complete Sets
Whether you need them all or not, the best way to show that you’re fully invested in homeschooling is to buy the biggest and most complete sets you can find. You should especially look for sets that have thick teacher’s manuals in addition to schedules and answer keys.
2. Buy New
No matter what you’ve heard, buying used will only reflect that you don’t want the best for your children. So, make sure you never shop for the best used prices, borrow from or trade with a friend, or snag from the library. Your children need their shiny, new books every year!
3. Keep it All
Remember, if you’re buying new, everyone else needs to as well. So, don’t try to sell anything to help pay for the new year or to try to free up space in your home for new resources. Keep everything, even if it means having to buy new bookshelves or eventually rent a storage room.
4. Don’t Consider Alternatives
I’ve already mentioned the library. That’s a big no-no. You must buy books rather than borrow them. But, also don’t consider free online resources, nature studies in public parks, free historic sites, low-cost zoo or museum memberships, or any other cost-efficient educational resources.
Hopefully by now you’re laughing, not taking me seriously! Can box sets be helpful? Without a doubt! It can be incredibly wonderful to have all of your resources pulled together for you, especially if you’re a new homeschool parent or someone who is really not great at pulling resources together on your own. The same is true of many teacher’s guides (especially the ones that aren’t an overwhelming three inches thick!). There’s nothing wrong with buying something new, especially if you have the money to do so and know you’re going to use it for multiple children in your family, and many families do keep their favorite resources.
The important thing to remember is that it’s not necessary to blow the budget in order to homeschool well.
Yes, homeschooling costs money and time and energy. It isn’t cheap. But it can be budgeted well. Sometimes you’ll have more money than time, and buying sets and memberships is easier than spending hours looking for the best used deals or low-cost resources. In other years, time is much more available than money, and still other times you have to manage a delicate balance of the two.
Be creative, seek help, buy used, use the library, and invest what you have well. You’ll have a better homeschool experience for it!