I get asked a lot if homeschooling costs much. It depends on your style.
If you want to do the ‘school at home’ style or ‘buy the packaged curriculum style’ then YES. It can be QUITE expensive if you’re not careful.
But I use a ‘living books’ method. I would say a Charlotte Mason Method, but that term is reserved for her devotees. I use book-books, not text-books.
Did you know that before 1960 there were lots of exciting, well-written non-fiction books for kids? And that the writers even knew that kids have no more than a two page attention span? And c0nveniently, many were written even earlier and are public domain?
So, here’s how to get the best books on earth for beans:
1. Get to know your library SYSTEM. Not just your library, but all the libraries they do inter-library loans with. You can find almost anything that way.
2. Used book stores. The kind with parking, not the online kind with $4 shipping. The ones with Thomas Burgess’s books for 25 cents. (I’m now reminded again of how often I wish the cents symbols was still on keyboards.) Take all the books, CD’s, and DVD’s that you’d be willing to trade and leave them in your trunk. Make sure the store has books you want before you hand them your stuff (cause you can trade it in other places and don’t want to get all your book credit stuck somewhere that doesn’t stock what you need!)
3. PAPERBACKSWAP.COM: Here’s where you list all the books that you didn’t hand over at the used book store. I live on this site now. I find all kinds of great stuff there and all it costs is media mail shipping for a book I already own. I have SO MANY great books from that site. And most are hardback!
4. If you have access to a laser printer* (inkjet cartidges are SO pricey) you can print out the vast majority of the curriculum I use (or all of Maggie’s curriculum) and take it to Kinko’s for a cover and spiral binding. Bind all your readers or social studies or what-have-you together and it’s super-cheap. $5 for less than one-inch (about 150 pages front and back) and $6 for 1-2 inches (around 300 pages front and back). That’s six hundred pages of text bound for $6!
*Note : If you go BUY a printer for this purpose, I recommend a Brother that duplexes (prints on both sides for you).
5. LAST RESORT! Online used book outlets. Remember, most everything can be printed and bound for five dollars (or less if you’re not a snob like me and like each book bound separately) so NEVER pay more than that online unless you’ve exhausted every other option.