Home Schooling on a Limited Budget – 4 Key Ideas You Can Use to Help

Homeschooling can be expensive and if you have a limited budget it’s easy to get frustrated. The cost of private schools has caused many people to choose the option of homeschooling. Although there are many books and programs out there, it doesn’t mean that you need to spend a lot of money or more than your budget allows. Here are a few tips to help you home school and still work within a limited budget:

1. Create your budget and stick with it. It’s pretty easy to start buying a bunch of books and programs that you think you need and then find that you have spent a bunch of money and still don’t have everything you need. Realistically look at what you have to spend on homeschooling and make that amount work for you.

2. Do your homework. When you come across something that you want to purchase for homeschooling, start looking on forums or even just Google it by typing in the name of the book or curriculum and “review” after it. Chances are someone else on the Internet has used that book and has some advice to offer. Make sure you know your child’s learning style so you are purchasing items that fit in with that style for a greater chance of being utilized. Check with other home schoolers you know and trust and ask them what they know about the books or curriculum you are thinking of purchasing. I always like to ask Moms who have several children that are well educated and well behaved.

3. Consider using used materials. With so many more people homeschooling now, used curriculum is very available and affordable. Some support groups have used book sales at the end of a school year. I have found many valuable resources at garage sales and thrift stores. My favorite place to find used curriculum and books is at homeschoolclassifieds.com.

4. Use your local library and free resources whenever possible. With the advent of online library requests, using the library has become even easier. I can get online, request a book that I would like, and usually receive notification of it’s arrival at my local library within a week. If I find that I really like the book and feel that I need to use it for a long time, I can always purchase it. The Internet has a tremendous amount of free resources that home schoolers can use.

Homeschooling doesn’t have to be expensive. You might need to trade a little time for money, but there is no reason for you to spend more money than what you have in your home school budget.

Home Schooling Three to Five Year Olds and Legal Requirements

Parents who decide to home school their pre-school children have researched the value of teaching your own children at home. Beginning home school at the pre-school age is an excellent way to get the parent and the child used to the idea of learning at home. This is also a great way to ease into learning how to teach and organize the home school schedule. The child is not used to attending a school; therefore there is no adjustment period. Also, pre-school children are incredibly easy to teach because it is mostly in playing that they learn.

When creating a tailored preschool curriculum, parents provide a safe environment with interactive toys. Believe it or not, the parent is the child’s first teacher. Children at this age imitate everything their parents do by observation, playing, helping, talking, and listening. Reading to children at this age is one of the best ways to develop avid readers. At this age, a standardized curriculum isn’t necessary. Children learn from coloring, cutting, pasting, counting, singing, rhymes, games, playing with clay, playing in the playground, and learning to get along with others. It is important to include some of these activities daily in an unstressed, relaxed manner. Children at this age need your love and attention more than they need academics and structure.

The key to learning at this age is to provide a lot of hands on projects, particularly with arts and crafts. Many children in this age group have play dates where they meet with other children and go to parks, farms, even shopping trips. Pre-schoolers love to be included in everything you do, whether it be emptying the dishwasher, or sorting mail, and especially baking. Even though it may seem that their short attention span doesn’t allow for intense learning, they are learning real life experiences.

Legal Requirements:

Parents who home school do not have to have an advanced degree. There are a few qualifications of successful home school parents: love for their children, understanding of their children, desire to keep learning and growing, desire to spend time with their children. Although it may seem awkward at first, especially if your child has been in a public or private school, teaching will eventually become second hand. Parents need to learn flexibility and also organization at the same time. Open communication and a strong bond between parent and child is key to successful home schooling.

Home schooling is legal in every state in the United States. Each state has its own guidelines for home schooling. There are also plenty of support groups for parents who home school. Some private schools offer home school support and/or curriculum. After school group activities, such as sports, or science are also offered by several different programs. Friends and family can also help with home education. Sometimes there are co-op home school groups, where one person teaches math and another parent teaches history.

There are also support groups for parents of home schoolers who feel burned out or frustrated. There is guidance on teaching and teaching classes parents can take. Continued education helps a parent feel confident in their teaching skills. But keep in mind that every parent in a teacher at some point, it is unavoidable when you are a parent.

Parents document the progress of their home schooled children with testing, some are annual, and some are alternative assessments. Keeping records of your child’s daily activities and learning is essential to monitoring the child’s progress. When parents find it difficult to teach a certain subject, they turn to private tutors, online classes, CD tutorials or community college classes to supplement their studies.

Teaching Online – Home Schooling Book Review

If you are considering teaching online, or if you are a homeschooling parent and would like to have your kids learn online while at home then maybe you need to do a little bit of research. Maybe you need to consider what’s out there, and the various hybrid courses and technology issues which surround the world of Internet courses and online teaching.

The other day, there was a very interesting article in the Wall Street Journal that discussed why there never needed to be any poor weather days that prevented school. If the inclement weather was so bad that the school buses couldn’t run, or the blizzard made it impossible to get to school, then each student could learn at home on their own computer. The article made some compelling arguments, and I found similar points of contention in a book on the subject.

In fact, I’d like to go out of my way right now to recommend this book to you, and it is a book that I do own of my personal library. The name of this book is; “Teaching Online – A Practical Guide” (College Teaching Series – Second Edition) by Susan Ho and Steve Rossen, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, MA, (2004), 339 pages, ISBN: 0-618-29848-7.

There is a great overview of online teaching and what it’s about, and although it is written from the perspective of the institutional educator, it surely helps parents understand what they are dealing with when they choose which courses, online syllabuses, and information they wish their children to read and learn. Teaching in an online classroom is not easy, but those that have the skill and talent to pull it off, are the most desired and sought after instructors.

Why not pick up a copy of this book so you can familiarize yourself with low-tech and high-tech solutions used in Internet education. You can also find discussion forums where you can interact with teachers, and how they use whiteboards, chatting features, and instant messaging to make the online classroom feel at home. Why not learn what the teachers go through when they put together their training programs, and how they prepare themselves for their students.

It seems to me as a parent I want to know how the online teaching system works, what type of software and hardware works the best, and how the teachers are going to interact with my kids. You need to know these things up front, it’s very important, and that’s why a recommend this book to you. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.