We have all been dumped into a new world and that means that we may have to quickly cobble together a homeschool curriculum for our kids.
Even if you are choosing to send you children to in-person school this year, you still have the likely possibility that you will end up in quarantine or self-isolation at one point. This means that you have to be prepped for at least some time with your kids at home. Besides, for not wanting your children to fall behind on their learning and skills- it is significantly easier to have your kids home when you have things to keep them occupied.
I don’t like spending money. I don’t have a lot of money. Like many of you out there, I am working on a very tight budget right now, so I do not have too much money to spend on tons of money to create a homeschool curriculum. However, certain things need money to be spent on. While I try to reduce expenses as much as I can I also have to realize that life costs money and I can’t overly deprive my kids of learning opportunities.
Budget-Friendly Homeschool Curriculum
I have put together some resources here to help you put together a budget-friendly homeschool curriculum.
My kids are younger and attended Montessori preschools. I LOVE the Montessori tray concept and I have found that there are so many household items that you can use to create math, reading, fine motor, and life skills trays.
You may not have all these items in the house but you can usually find these things for really cheap (Target Dollar Section and Dollar Tree are a great place to start).
First: Start now and save all the following items. Do not throw them out! They will be valuable to you!
Here are some great materials that can be easily repurposed for so many things: Cereal Boxes, toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, all boxes, plastic wraps, corks, jars, containers (We are all becoming our grandmother right now- wash out those mayonnaise and peanut butter containers!). These are great for activities and for storing all your new materials- no need to spend a lot of money on containers etc.
If you get any circulars in the mail- keep them! they can be used for collages, ripped paper activities, and sorting activities.
Keep an eye out for anything you have that can be used for counting, moving, sorting, or opening and closing. You would be surprised at how many tools you have lying around the house.
Now, of course, we are all human to expect ourselves to put together a homeschool curriculum out of thin air is a bit much. I like to base my ideas on what the professionals have already out together. Thank goodness there are many teachers out there who have done the hard work of putting together curriculums and ideas for us to use.
They do not operate on a tight budget though so I have to adapt them to my own uses:
- Reuse and Recycle. Whatever you can use that you have in your house- USE! Don’t buy containers or utensils if you have something you can possibly use even if it’s not perfect.
- Do without. Pick activities and lesson plans that don’t need materials that are expensive or are likely to only be used once.
- Bargain shop. Whatever you do need to buy, make sure to shop around a bit and get the best deals.
- Borrow. Get books from the library or from other free places. Ask around on community Facebook pages or WhatsApp groups for anything you can borrow. maybe someone is giving something away? maybe a kindly mother is happy to lend something out?
- Sign up for free stuff. Sign up for these free book clubs. Utilize free trials (see below). Follow savings blogs for free activities, materials, or experiences.
- Buddy up. See if you can find another mother who is in the same predicament as you (this works best if you have kids of similar ages) and split any big purchases that need to be made.
Resources to help you put together a Homeschool Curriculum:
- Education.com – is mostly paid materials but they have some free sheets. They have also specifically put together sets of materials for at-home learning that are free to download.
- Teachers Pay Teachers– is all materials made by teachers that they upload so that you can purchase and help dedicated teachers supplement their income. They have some free materials that you can use as well. This is a site where teachers post lesson plans, printable worksheets, classroom resources, handouts, and other coursework. If you poke around you can find some great teaching ideas and resources for free and tons and tons of resources that you can pay for.
- Happy Teacher Mama – is a great blog about homeschooling. They have some paid printable worksheets and lesson plans but if you subscribe to the email list you can get tons of free stuff as well. The blog is great to read as well!
- Living Montessori Now – my kids are in a Montessori playgroup so I have been trying to keep up all the amazing stuff they do in their school. This blog has some paid features but a lot of great ideas and lot of free printables as well.
- Montessori Mom – still within the Montessori theme is this great blog with Montessori themed ideas, trays and printables.
- NASA– my kids are obsessed with all things outer space so good thing NASA has a whole section on their website with STEM resources.
- Simple Living. Creative Learning. – is a homeschooling blog with great homeschool curriculum ideas and tons of free resources and printables. Why reinvent the wheel when you can follow the experts?
- TrilliumMontessori- Speaking of experts- these are the Montessori experts. They have a great blog and mailing list with lot of curriculum development, webinars, course and resources to bring your teaching to a whole new level.
- The Artful Parent- is the blog you need for all your crafting projects and experiments that you will be doing!
- All Free Kids Crafts– has TONS of fun and easy craft ideas for you to do with your kids. You can sign up her to get a Free Kids Craft E-book!
- Cosmic Yoga– is the cutest, most adorable YouTube Channel which has yoga for kids presented in the most cute and adorable way.
Jewish Homeschool Curriculum Help:
- Chinuch.org is the motherload of Jewish resources. Started by Torah U’Mesorah, this is a site where teachers from around the world post their sheets, lesson plans and ideas for free download.
- Torah Tots is a great website to get materials for younger students or if you are not so confident of your own Jewish Knowledge. They have very basic lesson plans about the weekly parshah and Jewish Holidays. They also have great coloring sheets to print.
Sometimes you have to spend money:
Fact is you may have to spend some money on resources to make this work. Its unrealistic to think that you can make this homeschool curriculum work without spending money. I would suggest utilizing the free trials available for these resources before signing up. 30 days free is 30 days free! don’t spend money until you are sure that this works for you. And don’t forget to cancel your free trials if you are not able to pay for it! Set an alarm or reminder on your phone or email a few days before your free trial is up so you don’t forget!