There are so many reasons why homeschooling has become an increasingly attractive education option for many parents of little ones. Sometimes in-person learning can be out of budget, and for those who want to remain health-conscious due to the pandemic (or other respiratory illnesses), online homeschool preschool can be an excellent option. Homeschooling isn’t always easy, though, and it can still be tricky to determine how to provide your little one with the best possible education while managing a budget. Luckily, there are many elements to homeschooling that make it accessible financially, and even more tips you can follow to optimize your personal homeschool preschool experience.
Firstly, there are many inherent cost benefits that can come with choosing to homeschool your little one that set you up for success financially. Things such as lunch money, uniforms, transportation fees, or even hefty tuition fees are immediately less of a concern. Moreover, there are fewer “hidden” costs that can arise when sending your little one off to public or private school, such as field trips, teacher’s gifts, and more. Already, you’re saving quite a bit through homeschooling, which can allow you to invest in a great affordable online homeschool program.
One of the first things you should do when considering homeschooling is to check your state homeschool laws! There are a number of areas in the country that actually offer up a lot of options for funding from the state. Grants and similar awards may be available for you to purchase curriculum materials as well as school supplies for your little one to use, so it’s very helpful to check and see what’s available to you based on your location. After all, almost everything is easier if you don’t have to do it alone—just be sure to check the rules, and consider your own financial limitations.
Once you’ve determined how much or how little funding you may be able to use from the state or other scholarships and grants, another really important step to take is to look into material costs. Chances are, your largest budget costs will come from the curriculum materials you need and the supplies for your little one. Don’t worry, though—there are so many ways that you can still cut down on material costs, especially when enrolled in an online homeschool preschool. One of our biggest recommendations is to find a homeschooling community! Many families decide that homeschooling is the best option for them, and there’s lots of possibilities for finding other families who have materials they can pass along to you, like leftover school supplies from their little one. This can also be a really helpful way to form bonds and open up options for your little one to be socialized while still participating in homeschool preschool, something that is very necessary for their development. So many other places also likely have materials at a discounted rate, such as your local library, thrift stores, or estate sales. When you do have to buy things, though, money can still be saved! When purchasing educational materials, looking for bulk sets or bundles is a very handy way to save a bit of extra cash. Additionally, so many stores offer loads of discounts for large families, military families, or even “educator discounts.” Be sure to ask your retailers when you’re purchasing items—stores may not publicize these discounts, but often still offer them!
Now that you’ve gotten all your materials together and started homeschool preschool, there are still other important areas of learning for your little one that may worry you, such as field trips. It’s true that field trips can have a bit of a larger price tag, but not every learning opportunity will cost you! Never fear, as there are still a number of ways you can save money while making sure your little one is still enriched. The first step should always be to reach out to your community. Most likely, the homeschooling community around you has lots of ideas or ways to save that they have already explored and can share with you, which is always extremely helpful. Online blogs or forums for your local area can also be a wonderful way to check and see what’s available and cost-friendly near to you. When you’ve found a place you’d like to take your little one, costs can be cut back upon when you choose to travel off-peak hours or out of season times. Certain times of day or times of the year can really accumulate a lot of visitation from other schools, so by researching when popular visitation times are you can save on ticket costs. If it really seems out of budget to attend, be sure to look into virtual tours or materials. Lots of locations offer virtual tours, which can be a very helpful and cost-effective substitute to visiting locations in-person, and lots of locations like museums or national parks actually place lots of free educational materials on their websites that you can check out with your little one.
Finally, it’s always good to try and make sure your little one has opportunities to develop interests outside of the classroom, so including extracurriculars is important. However, classes can get costly very quickly, so it’s handy to look into ways to cut costs while keeping your little one enriched. Similar to our tip for field trips, scheduling classes in “off-hours” or during the day can be a marvelous way to reduce costs. Because of the hours of some public and private schools, afternoon or evening art, sport or other classes may be much more expensive than those during the day. Placing your little one in a daytime activity may help you avoid those extra costs. Tapping into your local free resources is also key, though! Lots of communities have YMCAs, rec centers or other community areas where classes and enrichment activities are free for the public, and are very helpful when you need to save up. The library is also one of the best places to keep your little one enriched (and also to make some new friends!); there are usually classes offered, group read-alouds and more fun and stimulating activities your little one can partake in.
It may seem like a lot of work at first, but homeschooling is an amazing, often budget-friendly option for making sure your little one’s early education doesn’t falter, and can be a wonderful learning experience for both of you! Try Our Online Preschool for FREE! Playgarden Prep offers numerous educational videos from real teachers, and numerous DIY projects that support early learning and development
Miss Charlotte is an Education Director by trade, and a mom by heart. All 200+ of our DIY projects were created by Miss Charlotte, with the help of her expert DIY assistant—Her 4 year old daughter! With a MST degree in Early Childhood Education and 15 years of teaching experience, her blogs and DIY projects have been an incredible resource for our Playgarden Prep schools. We hope that your family loves them as much as we do!