Homeschooling offers many rewards to its participants, but it can often be very costly. Many homeschooling families can spend hundreds of dollars per child just to buy the textbooks and supplemental materials needed to give him a good education. If you add the income lost from working from the parent teaches during the day, homeschooling is a large monetary investment into the future of your child.
Although most homeschooling families say it is well worth the sacrifice, there are a number of low cost homeschooling resources that can help you educate your child.
Homeschooling networks can provide with help, encouragement, and information you might otherwise miss. Homeschooling networks can be found online or in your local area. In urban areas, homeschooling parents band together to pay professionals to teach their children advanced subjects. Homeschooling networks also often strive to provide social opportunities for your child such as dances and play dates. They can also be an invaluable homeschooling resource for those trying to register with the state for the first time.
Project Gutenberg is site that provides free electronic texts of books whose copyright has lapsed. Although there are books that are not included on the website, what is included represents some of the best literature in the world. There are the complete texts of works by E.M. Forster, Charlotte Bronte, and Henry James. For younger children, Project Gutenberg also offers the full text of Anne of Green Gables and Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. Older children that like to read for pleasure will delight in the works by Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Margaret Mitchell.
Do not make the mistake of only using this site as a homeschooling resource for literature classes. Project Gutenberg also has an enormous collection of nonfiction works that are an excellent homeschooling resource. Rather than knowing only the title of Patrick Henry’s “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” speech, take the time to read the full text on this website. This speech embodies the feelings of many of the revolutionaries far better than most history textbooks. By using primary sources your child will be better able to identify with the importance of historical events.
Every year students enter college with no idea of how to properly use a library. No matter how great your at home resources are, be sure your child is familiar with navigating the library without assistance. Basic skills should include the ability to use an electronic card catalog and locate a book within the library system. Many academic libraries use two systems to shelve books: the Dewey Decimal System and the Library of Congress system. Be sure your child knows how to differentiate between the two. If there is a physical card catalog, take the time to teach your child how to use that as well. He may never need the skill, but many libraries have not yet gone completely digital.
One homeschooling resource that is consistently ignored by even the most library savvy is the actual librarian. Librarians are trained professionals with years of education in areas of research. Oftentimes they are bibliophiles that are well informed in a variety of areas. If your homeschooled child is having difficulty researching, encourage him to ask for the help of the librarian. A good librarian will help identify resources your child may be missing without doing the work for him. It is also a good lesson to teach your child on how to ask for help.
You may also be able to request books from other libraries through your local library. Many textbooks are available in larger libraries and can be sent to your local library for the regular loaning period. This is an invaluable homeschooling resource if you are examining new curriculum for next year. Rather than relaying on internet reviews and the advice of others, take the time to request several textbooks from your local library. The added knowledge you will receive by quickly perusing each textbook will help you choose the best homeschooling curriculum for your child.
Local Public School System
Many states have laws requiring that educational materials be made available at no cost to a homeschooling family. These possible homeschooling resources include the loan of textbooks and supplemental materials.
Depending on the laws in your state, you may also be able to have your child participate in only one or two classes at your local public school. This may be an invaluable homeschooling resource for children that are highly interested in art or music. By playing in a school orchestra or band, a child can be more motivated to practice an instrument. He might also be exposed to more opportunities than you may be able to provide, such as local scholarship auditions from out of state colleges.
Even if you feel that all of your child’s educational needs are being met at home, more and more homeschooling families are encouraging their children to try out for school sports teams. It gives them the opportunity to socialize outside of school while participating in an activity that requires others. Oftentimes if your child regularly participates in sports year round his activities can met his physical education requirements.
No matter what your reasons and objectives for homeschooling there are numerous free or low cost resources available to you. Many are already offered by the government and subsidized by your tax dollars. Take advantage of these homeschooling resources and let them aid you in providing the best education for your child.