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If you had to homeschool for free...


AngelBee
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I would use this website to help guide what I was doing and use the library and the internet. We have a bunch of books at home already that would greatly aid our studies. I was actually thinking about next year- we might not financially have money for curriculum so I had been thinking about this already and I figured I could come up with a pretty good, rigorous year worth of study. Grammer might take a bit of digging for my soon to be 8th grader but other than that I think I could do it. I will be watching this thread closely though!

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I have purchased enough through the years that I could probably cobble something together using the books I already have and the library. I would have to find something on the internet to use for math although my sister owns all of the Saxon books from 6/5 up through high school so I could just use those as well.

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I don't think I could do it without an internet connection and pens/paper but assuming that:

 

1)We would read, read, read, and then read some more with books from the library.

 

2)I have a degree in math/computer science and am a big math geek so I think I could wing almost all math myself by using homemade manipulatives and worksheets.

 

3) I would do diligent research to take advantage of free museum and zoo days, festivals, and tours. We would checkout science videos from the library and do experiments using household materials with ideas from the internet.

 

4) I would beg grandparents to give books, sports equipment, museum memberships, and educational games/toys/kits for Christmas and birthday gifts instead of regular toys.

 

5) We already spend a ton of time in nature but I would continue and expand that as much as possible.

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I think I posted recently on a thread about how to homeschool in a thrifty way. My expenditure total for this year is ~$72, give or take a dollar or two. Included in that total is a splurge for the first 40 lessons of Visual Latin.

 

How to homeschool for free---here is what I would do.

 

* Bible---use large print KJV (on hand) and Padfield study guides (free)

* Latin---join Latin Book One Yahoo group and use this book for first year Latin study

* Math---use MEP and possibly the North Carolina math card decks

* English---use Maxwell's grammar courses at google books

* Geography---use the library (for nice atlases) and CM's geography at google books

* History---use the library or a spine at history heritage website

* Science---use the library and household things on hand to do experiments

* Music---use the websites with music by the great composers (Classics for Kids)

* Art---use the library and household things on hand for drawing

* Nature Study---Comstock's Handbook (free online)

 

I have a friend who gets their paper each year when students at the local college finish for the school year. This person collects all the papers the students throw away, notebooks included. (The trash cans are full of this stuff I am told.) Granted, I would have to ask permission first. ;) You can use this paper to work math problems, write copy work, do grammar exercises, translate Latin sentences, draw nature study observations, art drawings, history timelines, draw maps for geography, etc. This would be very much in the spirit of being *green*, and would be free as well (as long as permission is granted for the use of said notebooks and paper.) I can guess there are oodles of things thrown away at the end of the school year by the public schools--crayons, markers, paper, etc. I would ask the principal permission to check with the teachers and find out what they are getting rid of when school is over and use this for my own school at home. Again, this is very *green* and free.

 

With these supplies, you could spend days at the library using their books to study and read, and I imagine the result would be very much comparable to what the local public and private schools achieve. As far as internet connection, that would be available at the public library if there is none other available.

Edited by Poke Salad Annie
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Well, I would use Ambleside Online which is what I use.

 

There is also An Old Fashioned Education.

 

However the ultimate freebie is the public library. If you did not have internet, you can use the library's. My children grew up in the library. I can have one child sitting and reading while I can teach another in a special area.

 

The library has many different things on its website. My library has downloable books for free. It offers free tests and test preps.

 

That is what I have done. My schooling does not usually cost an arm and a leg if I plan well. The problem is the freebies are not tested by anyone so you don't know if it will work. I mean, people know that Saxon Math works because people have used the program and gone to college and succeed with this curriculum or children that went to public school have found the curriculum helped them. However, you do not know if the math books in the library have help anyone. I know that Ambleside Online has worked very well because I know one of the Advisor's daughter went to college, etc.

 

 

Blessings,

Karen

http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/testimony

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Assuming I had internet and paper and pencils, etc...I'd use amblesideonline and MEP math...and various resources like Word Mastery and Webster's Speller and KISS grammar.

 

I could do it, but it would be much more work than what I do now....and I put a lot of work into HSing already.;)

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I would use the books I already have, the library and the internet. I have thought about doing this before, but the time I would spend putting lessons together is worth the amount of money I spend on curriculum. I would be hard pressed to fin the time to put together the lesson plans.

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A few more thoughts---

 

* End rolls of newsprint are sometimes available for free from the local newspaper

 

* Teaching cooking (the family meals) is a great life skills course and also good for time-management and math

 

* Gardening can be a science adventure. Free mulch is all around us right now (leaves and pine straw). Let the kids get shovels and prepare the beds with newspaper lasagna-style with newspapers tossed from neighbors (assuming no paid subscriptions of your own). Free seeds might be available at the county extension office. Use previously mentioned newspapers to form cups for planting seeds in dirt from the yard (if no expenditure allowed for cheap potting soil). Let the children draw the plants as they emerge and grow, then let them look up and write their Latin names. Copy and memory work can be poetry that applies to the flowers or growing season.

 

* Barter with a neighbor for any skills/items you need for the school year.

 

* Not free, but search the thrift shop for wool sweaters which you can unravel for the yarn. Pick up a cheap pair of knitting needles or crochet hook and find a book at the library to teach these skills.

 

* Ask the local Boy Scout/Girl Scout troop for any old manuals they might be willing to donate. These are full of fun activities and skills to learn.

 

* Something else which is not free, but could be cheap---Choose a Shakespeare play the family would enjoy reading and studying. Take the kids to the local thrift shop and find clothes they can cut and re-purpose to sew together for costumes. (We've done this ourselves, without patterns---it is possible.) Some thrift shops have bag days which allow customers to fill a bag for a certain $ amount, usually ~$10 or so. Use these costumes to put on scenes from the play for extended family, or get the neighborhood involved. (This requires a sewing machine and thread. They can usually be found cheaply at thrift shops.)

 

* Ask an appliance store for an empty refrigerator or washer box. Use this for a puppet theater, letting the kids color and decorate as they please. Find a book on puppetry at the library and then have fun making your own with materials found around the house.

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I would also use a lot of the resources that I have collected over the years, but even then, the internet is filled with youtube videos on almost everything! Science, Social Studies, Spelling, Grammar, and Writing, I could definitely find sources online for free. The library has books on everything and that would also be utilized to its full potential.

 

I would dedicate one to two hours a week to plan, but once that was done, I would think that our days would flow as they do now. I think it's all about order, but then that's me.

 

Math would be one of the more difficult ones, but not impossible, as with a little planning and thinking, I could wing elementary. Highschool maths would be a bit trickier, but again, the library has so much materials. I would also scout the Goodwills and Salvation armies for good materials.

 

Google books is also a blessing! Charlotte Mason education would definitely come into play here as all you need to do is read and narrate!

 

Dee :)

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I couldn't do it for absolutely free. I would need paper, pens, markers, and the internet, at the least, as well as the ability to print at least some stuff from the internet.

 

:iagree:

 

Other than that, there are a ton of great resources listed in the thread on free curriculums and our local library is wonderful. We could do it but it would be a lot more work for me. I know, because I started out using free resources (MEP, Progressive Phonics, Lesson Pathways) and once I switched to $$ resources things got easier - ETC, AAS and I think we're going to Math Mammoth.

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As someone who lives below the poverty line anyway, I think that your suggestions for how to homeschool "free" are pretty expensive.

 

For one almost all of them assume a vehicle and gas money. Most of them assume a computer and internet (and printer and ink and paper).

 

We do scrimp and save for our internet conection and books, but trying to put it altogether on my own would cost more in many cases then some books.

 

Cheap textbooks at used book stores or from friends kids and a supply of someones recyle paper would probably be the cheapest way for us. But our local library is not good (and the librarian is really mean) and it is still 10 miles away (so we couldn't walk or ride bikes). Even now we go to the big library that is about 35 miles away only once every 2 or 3 weeks, because I just can't afford the gas to go more often.

 

I also think that if we were to make even less money and really couldn't scrape together any money for "homeschooling" it would be because something else is really wrong in our life- a death, a sever sickness, dh laid off, something wrong. And in that case the "free" homeschooling methods would be least likely to work.

 

Sure I could plan a course for next year that was "free" and with our vehicle and insurance and gas and computer and internet and printer we could homeschool for free. But I believe that if circumstances forced me to have no money to spend on homeschooling then probably free homeschooling wouldn't work.

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How would you do it? What would you use?

 

I thought this would be a fun thread! :D It may also bless others who are looking for some options.

 

:lurk5:

 

Ambleside Online with Librivox recordings. We would read off the laptop...or listen from it.

 

MEP Math...great program, great price...FREE

 

Google Books for Latin...lotsa programs

 

KISS Grammar...This could be worked off the computer with a notebook.

 

A Library Card.

 

Bible Gateway for Bible readings...there are tons of free Bible studies, coloring pages etc free online including themed Character lessons.

 

Faithe

 

ETA...if I didn't have an internet connection...which we didn't in the earlier years...I called the local Christian School and they had plenty of books that they were throwing away. There were enough there for me...my sil, my df and a few other families. It was mostly A Beka...but we put them to good use. That and my library card... I also have been offered many text books from teachers at the local school. There is usually a book depository at the dump...and, not free...but VERY cheap...I went to yard sales and thrift stores to pick up used books. Had some of my best finds that way.

 

Faithe

Edited by Mommyfaithe
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My best IRL homeschooling friend has homeschooled from the beginning through 4th grade for almost free. her agreement with her dh to homeschool included the caveat that she wouldn't spend money on it. She uses textbooks that she has aquired free from her church fo rmost subjects. She also spends a lot of time reserving books at the library and planning. She has text books for math, english, science and history. She started planning and gathering years before she needed the resoruces so she has been able to collect books for most of the years she needs. She has a very strong attitude that her time and effort will make up for any lack of money that she has for education. She's done an amazing job.

 

So If I had to not spend money for school for next year (or any othe future years), I'd take her resourceful attitude and learn better to make do with the textbooks I can find free. I do agree with her that the teacher makes a huge difference in the education.

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I'm assuming that I have basic office & school supplies on hand (paper, pencils, printer ink, crayons, etc). We'd have these anyway, even if they were in public school so those aren't really homeschool expenses, per se.

 

I'd want help teaching formal math, so we'd probably use Houghton Mifflin's free online resources (click on the grade you're interested in and then "leveled practice" -- very, very cool printable workbook pages).

 

For formal help teaching phonics, I'd use starfall, progressive phonics and/or word mastery.

 

Other than that, I'd teach them the same way I taught them before they were "school age." We'd read books and watch videos from the library about Egypt and butterflies and Anne of Green Gables :). I'd show them how to do things. They'd help me according to their ability. We'd play games (yet another plug for education.com's activity finder).

 

Mostly, I'd stay flexible and :chillpill:

 

ETA: I'd also use the Khan Academy videos on youtube for math and make up practice problems on scratch paper.

Edited by shinyhappypeople
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I didn't read all the answers, but my favorite sites are www.oldfashionededucation.com and www.amblesideonline.org .

 

Between the two, I think we'd be set!

 

My DH was a student when I taught DD to read so we didn't have money for an expensive phonics program. I used homemade flashcards to teach her letter sounds and blending, then we moved onto McGuffy Readers (online for free). I liked our system so much, the only thing I've added for my younger DC is ETC.

Edited by Holly
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Printer ink can be expensive. So free workbooks, etc, aren't actually free. It's sometimes cheaper to buy a workbook or book than print from the internet. Right now I'm out of ink and can't afford anymore for a while. Thankfully I don't NEED to print anything else this week. IMO internet is vital if you do have a small budget, there are a wealth of things to do online.

 

I agree that in K-8 there are plenty of ways to homeschool in a more cost effective manner, but if I couldn't spend any money I probably put my son in public school (which isn't free really either, so....) We're in our 7th year of homeschooling and our budget has ranged from 100.00 one year to over 1000.00 in others. The year we had only 100.00 was horrid, I wanted to scrap everything because it wasn't working but we made do.

 

If I truly had to homeschool with a "free" mentality I'd scour thrift stores for usable books. I'd check these boards on a regular basis for resources, I prioritize and scrutinize every purchase. There would be no $300 history programs, no online classes, and only free outside activities. We pretty much do all of these things already.

 

Theoretically I COULD homeschool for a few more years with what I already own, but I've amassed a wealth of resources from the thrift store. Where we used to live they had .39 paperbacks and .89 hardbacks, can't beat those prices, can't print anything for those prices.

 

But as we get closer to high school I don't want to think about doing it all for free. We do Latin, I like the program we use, it's over 100.00 a year, including DVDs (which I would not attempt without DVDs). Science labs can get expensive, we don't have access to part time classes in our state. But this isn't the high school board, this is the k-8 board.

 

So yes, I think it wise to be cost effective. You don't need to spend a huge sum of money. But prudence with what money you have might be better than trying to do everything for free.

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Math - Ray's (We already have the set) or MEP (assuming I had money to print).

 

Language Arts - Read books we own and library books, use online grammar resources or try to adapt the college level resources we own (Chicago Manual of Style, Funk and White, etc.), copy work for lower grades, composition for older students.

 

Science - nature studies (We have some field guides obtained free of charge from our State Dept. of Natural Resources), library books, simple experiments using everyday items.

 

History - library books and books we already own. Schoolhouse Rock and other DVD/online resources.

 

Geography - We own a globe and several atlases.

 

Foreign Language - use what we already own. Most likely we would focus on reading knowledge.

 

Health - use materials we already own or library materials.

 

Home economics - practical applications - cleaning, cooking, yard work, home maintenance and repair, mending, budgeting.

 

Religion - if we did not own Bible storybooks and a Bible, there are many organizations that will provide free Bibles. For other religions we would rely on online or library materials.

 

Art - use materials on hand. We could study Art History using my old college texts. Home Depot and Lowes kids workshops are free.

 

Music - listen to recordings or radio. We have some beginning music resources on hand.

 

PE - ride bike, hike, walk, run, or jump rope.

 

Note: my husband's job requires that we have Internet access in our home. Even if we could not print, we would be able to view materials online. We also have a fair collection of books on hand. Some would need to be adapted (college level materials) and some are outdated, but we could make do if necessary.

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My first thought when I read this was that high school would be REALLY tough to homeschool for free. However, after thinking about it for a bit, I'd probably go with Hippocampus and use my library system to do Great Books study WTM-style. Foreign language and science labs would probably be the hardest things to do well without spending money.

 

When I was in college, I met my first ever homeschool family. The mom was one of the most creative educators I've ever known, and was largely my inspiration for homeschooling my own kids. She used to get old textbooks that the local public school would throw out, and combined with stuff from the library, she managed to homeschool four kids who all went on to college. She would cruise past the public school dumpsters at certain times of year, and see what she could find.

 

I don't think I could bring myself to dumpster dive in order to homeschool, but back beforee we had all these wonderful resources available to us, when homeschooling was still a fringe movement, that's the kind of thing that some people did. They had to homeschool relatively inexpensively, because there was far less available to spend money on!

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I think it would be much easier in the younger grades, in the older ones I would want to barter for some things, certainly. Although as pp mentioned, it isn't really free if you have to have the internet to get the resources or have enough books to use already or drive to the library. Of course then there is your time as well that has to be spent, which is of course more when you have to plan everything yourself, I am glad I don't have to.

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Maybe it's because DH and I are such autodidacts, but I think it would actually be pretty easy to do high school inexpensively (not free). I'd approach it like DH and I do when we want to learn something and have little money to spend. They're old enough to read fluently so they can devote most of their time to reading great books for history and literature. I see used algebra & calculus textbooks dirt cheap all the time (online and at thrift/library book sales). Our library has foreign language textbooks and CDs. Science would be really tough, though. The library would be a good source for books and videos, but labs would be a lot harder to accomplish.

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As someone who lives below the poverty line anyway, I think that your suggestions for how to homeschool "free" are pretty expensive.

 

For one almost all of them assume a vehicle and gas money. Most of them assume a computer and internet (and printer and ink and paper).

 

We do scrimp and save for our internet conection and books, but trying to put it altogether on my own would cost more in many cases then some books.

 

We do the same as far as using the internet more and the car less. I am also careful on the books I buy. I choose GSWL over LL, LFC, and others because it's both cheaper and reusable. Same for BFSU and WRTR. And if I think I might want a book from Google books or Archive.org someday I download it. So even without internet, it's on my hard drive.

 

It also costs money to drive the kids to and from school (no kids in my area have a bus - they are driven or ride bikes). And it takes time - especially if I have to bundle all the kids up. And it would probably require a second vehicle (so more insurance, more maintenance, more gas). So public school isn't free.

 

When you are broke (which I am ATM) you have to do the best you can. I have a low-cost laserjet (B&W only) that duplexes automatically - its a few years old now but still going. I buy the cheapest paper from WalMart and reloaded cartridges from Amazon. I've also 'fixed' the printer a few times - when it says its out of toner - its not!

 

We use a lot of what has been mentioned. MEP, KISS and vintage books from Google. Ambleside's selections. I carry a list when I go to the used book store (which will trade books, so I've gotten rid of books I don't need and brought home the ones I do). Our library is so-so, but since gas is a problem atm I try to limit trips. In the summer we could bike there, but my kiddos are to young for me to consider that safe.

 

So not free, but cheaper (for me) than a second car to cart kids to school. Oh - and the school REQUIRES name brand supplies. And don't forget field trips and all the extra stuff schools require.

 

I agree that homeschooling high-school would be tough for free. I think taking advantage of a community college with a Pell Grant would be best, if you qualify, especially for science.

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So much depends on the existing resources. Do you have internet access and printer ink anyway? Do you already have notebooks or scratch paper? Is there a library nearby? Most people do have access to these so I think when we're tossing ideas around in this thread, it's with the assumption that the things I just mentioned are a given. We're assuming that these things would be available or purchased even if a family wasn't homeschooling.

 

My hat goes off to those who manage to homeschool for free/super cheap with only limited access to the above.

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Well, it isn't free, but my current plan is to use some of our tax refund to buy a nook. This way I can read off of it and load pdf's for math, grammar etc. I can then write it all on the board for my kids rather than printing all the pages. Even with my laser printer and buying paper by the case with a coupon, printing is costing me about $65 per year for Mep math. I've also started buying spiral notebook's when they are on sale for a penny a book. It's cheaper than notebook paper, and my kids rip it out of binders anyway. I also go to our local PTA run thrift store in June. The local school donates all of their books, and I buy them for 50 cents for hardback and 25 cents for paperback books. This is how I buy most of my science and grammar books. It's not perfect, but I'm adapting to our new lifestyle as best as I can.

Kim

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Maybe it's because DH and I are such autodidacts, but I think it would actually be pretty easy to do high school inexpensively (not free). I'd approach it like DH and I do when we want to learn something and have little money to spend. They're old enough to read fluently so they can devote most of their time to reading great books for history and literature. I see used algebra & calculus textbooks dirt cheap all the time (online and at thrift/library book sales). Our library has foreign language textbooks and CDs. Science would be really tough, though. The library would be a good source for books and videos, but labs would be a lot harder to accomplish.

 

This is how I see the way I would teach upper grades. I've already collected the Dolciani Alg. I and II books, and an old Welchons & Krickenberger Plane Geometry book. I found these while thrift shopping for ~50 cents each. Lately my local thrift shop has had boxes and boxes of books for 25 cents each. Needless to say, I found several goodies in my search, though it did require my time to do so.

 

I have a low-cost laserjet (B&W only) that duplexes automatically - its a few years old now but still going. I buy the cheapest paper from WalMart and reloaded cartridges from Amazon. I've also 'fixed' the printer a few times - when it says its out of toner - its not!

 

 

I have the same kind of printer, except mine is an old ink jet and does print in color as well. I have a pile of old ink cartridges that I keep as airtight as possible. I buy up refill packages when I see them for ~$7 or so on sale or with a coupon. When I'm out of ink, I go to work refilling the cartridge. It does take time, but I save ~$25 each time I do this. It wouldn't be worth it for me to print otherwise. About once a year I open the printer and clean it well. This seems to help keep it in good working order. (That's a messy job too. :tongue_smilie:)

 

I hope my posts didn't come across in a way as to trivialize the attempts to homeschool for free. I didn't mean them in that way. I have lived well below poverty level before, so I completely understand. :grouphug:

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One more thing...

 

I cannot find the thread to link this, but I do remember one about a father and daughter who were homeless and living under a bridge (or similar circumstances). For some reason they had a set of encyclopedias (don't know how or why) which the father used to teach his daughter. When they were discovered and the girl was tested, she did very well on whatever tests were used, due to her father reading to her and teaching with the set of encyclopedias. Sorry I really butchered the story. Hopefully someone can find it and link it.

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I think a lot of us would be surprised with how much we could do with a very little bit of $ if/when we had to. Many have already posted on how they are doing this. Yes, it is work. It takes time. Your days and resources may not be just like the ones in WTM, SL, LCC, HOD, or whatever is in your favorite curriculum/methodology. Not trying to sound preachy, but it takes some adjusting--in what you think you will be doing as the teacher, and what you will be expecting of your students. Sometimes "good enough" really is good enough, and even better.

 

I do think that the meat and real learning part of classical education is not in what you are using, but how you use it. Read, think, talk, write. Repeat. (Okay, end of lecture...:))

 

One way we have made the dollars stretch is to use what we do have more slowly. There is no rule that says you have to finish ___ book in one year. Really. Have more reivew days. Do some of that stuff that you never get around to because you don't have time...

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We homeschool because we can't afford the tuition at the local private schools, and the public schools are not academically very rigorous. We are short of cash at the moment, like many people. I had a lot more money when we started homeschooling than I do now, so I am lucky to have a lot of books already. However, I am thinking about selling many of these books and switching to over to more free "online" resources for next year. Here are some of the things I am already doing and am thinking of doing.

 

I use free literature and other books from AO, I use the selections that are free online. There are great AO yahoo groups that have the various years readings formatted in PDF and word files with illustrations, of course totally free to download. Amazon also has a kindle application for free to use on your PC, and I use it to download free ebooks, along with google books. I also use Librivox when I need a break from reading. I also read to my kids from www.mainlesson.com quite a bit. I'm also really lucky to have a great library that is very homeschool friendly, and I can check out books as intra-library loan from all over the state and pick them up and drop them off at my local branch. I also have a "teacher" library card so I can check books out for longer periods of time. I try to save gas by planning our other errands around trips to the library, so we only have to make one trip a week.

 

I love MEP math, I am using it to supplement Singapore Math, but I'm thinking of switching over to it entirely. People bring up the printing costs, but I use it without printing it, so it is truly free. We use the online interactive work pages found on the website. The kids do the pages on the computer, and they get instant feedback as to whether their answers are correct or not. These are great because the kids can check as they go, and I can see instantly what they are having issues with. I also downloaded the workbooks and teacher pages to my hard drive. On days when I prefer my kids to write their problems manually instead of using the online activity pages, I pull up the pdf of their worksheet pages on the laptop and they reference this as they write the answers on notebook paper, or on their dry erase board.

 

I am going to start using ElizabethB's free online phonics lessons and Webster's Speller from the Don Potter site. I downloaded all the files onto my hard drive, but I am not going to print anything. I am going to make my own concentration game and flashcards with index cards and materials I already have. I do have AAS for my son who is dysgraphic, but I am going to see how he does with Webster's and make the switch if I can.

 

I am also thinking about making the switch to KISS grammar, if I do we will use the workbooks on the computer the same way we do with MEP, my kids will copy their work onto either notebook paper or their dry erase boards. I am not the most fluent in grammar, and so KISS seems a bit daunting, but they do have a great yahoo group.

 

I have also been checking out the Maxwell's Composition books on google books, and I may be making the switch to them for composition as well.

 

I use www.grooveshark.com for music appreciation and combine it with www.makingmusicfun.com and www.classicalkids.com for composer studies.

 

I use this free typing curriculum with my older kids. I am hoping when they are typing fluently they can start typing their writing assignments and we can save on paper that way. http://www.freetypinggame.net/free-typing-lesson.asp

 

If I do feel the need to purchase a book, I will scour the used curriculum boards, Amazon, ebay, and www.paperbackswap.com to get the best deal I can. I have the complete set of Singapore Math textbooks and workbooks grades 1-6, and I only paid about $30.00 total. It took me time to find all of them, as I purchased them used seperately, but for me the savings is worth it, and I think that a complete 1-6 math curriculum for $30.00 is pretty good, especially since we reuse the workbooks.

 

As a former teacher, I have a real love/hate relationship with workbooks. They are so convenient, but they aren't really necessary. All schools used to use non-consumable books, after all. That is what "slates" were for. When I was growing up the only workbook we used in public school was for Spelling, we used notebook paper for every other subject. I was able to buy looseleaf lined paper two years ago at Walmart for a great price. It was the week after back to school, and they were only $.15 for 250 pages. We bought 15 of these, and we haven't run out yet. For me, the savings is worth any extra time and effort on my part, because my kids will benefit from my frugality.

 

One thing I am still trying to find is a free online Latin program or text that I could use with my kids despite my limited knowledge in the subject (I am learning along with them). Many of the older public domain Latin texts are too advanced for me. If anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears!

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I already posted but I would possibly go back to virtual public school. They provide most of what you need (with the exception of pencils and paper and some do a little of that). The ones in Ohio even reimburse internet expenses. I would go this route before putting them in a b&m public school, certainly for high school. We may do it for high school anyway.

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We homeschool because we can't afford the tuition at the local private schools, and the public schools are not academically very rigorous. We are short of cash at the moment, like many people. I had a lot more money when we started homeschooling than I do now, so I am lucky to have a lot of books already. However, I am thinking about selling many of these books and switching to over to more free "online" resources for next year. Here are some of the things I am already doing and am thinking of doing.

 

I could have written this post!!!!! What we are doing is MEP for math, and a combination of Higher Up Further In and Tanglewood for literature and history. Science is the only one that is up in the air for me. I think I'm going to put my own together based on state standards, but I just discovered Elemental Science. So I'm looking into that.

 

If I have the funds, I'd like to add in Growing with Grammar, Soaring in Spelling and Draw Write Now. But those are extras and not necessary at all.

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If I was allowed to use what I already have:

 

Next year - MEP, Miquon, GP Junior English1, WWE2, BFSU, SOTW2, Apples & Pears Spelling, literature at home. (I cheat and buy in advance. ;))

 

After that, um, probably MEP, some form of ILL from googlebooks, A&P spelling (I bought the whole series already), possibly CHOW or some form of US history based on what I can piece together at my library, which is tiny, (and googlebooks - my husband owns a print shop, so I can print for free) and nature study, or I'd have to beg my MIL to buy us some science stuff. Also videos on the internet and in the library. Oh, and we have the History of Britain on DVD. I'm sure I'd work that in with Our Island Story or something.

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As someone who lives below the poverty line anyway, I think that your suggestions for how to homeschool "free" are pretty expensive.

 

For one almost all of them assume a vehicle and gas money. Most of them assume a computer and internet (and printer and ink and paper).

 

We do scrimp and save for our internet conection and books, but trying to put it altogether on my own would cost more in many cases then some books.

 

Cheap textbooks at used book stores or from friends kids and a supply of someones recyle paper would probably be the cheapest way for us. But our local library is not good (and the librarian is really mean) and it is still 10 miles away (so we couldn't walk or ride bikes). Even now we go to the big library that is about 35 miles away only once every 2 or 3 weeks, because I just can't afford the gas to go more often.

 

I also think that if we were to make even less money and really couldn't scrape together any money for "homeschooling" it would be because something else is really wrong in our life- a death, a sever sickness, dh laid off, something wrong. And in that case the "free" homeschooling methods would be least likely to work.

 

Sure I could plan a course for next year that was "free" and with our vehicle and insurance and gas and computer and internet and printer we could homeschool for free. But I believe that if circumstances forced me to have no money to spend on homeschooling then probably free homeschooling wouldn't work.

:grouphug: We are actually below poverty level as well. We are blessed because our housing costs are so low (We live in the farm house I grew up in with family and split bills). If they were not, I do not know what we would do. :(

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