How Pro Home Schoolers Get Curriculum Cost-FREE

cost free homeschooling

Have you been pricing home schooling, lately?

I sure have!

I see that as the provider companies’ costs go up, ours must, too.

Yet, I know there still is a way, so pay attention!

Having begun presenting informative slide shows to parents who are thinking about home schooling, I know the subject of cost always comes up, so I figure I should bring it up myself, instead of making someone ask.

The cost!

The least expensive actual curriculum I’ve found isn’t bad—around $225 or so per child, per year, which is not even $2.00 per school day.

The big thing that hits some home schooling families hard is having a large family. At $225 per child, six children’s curriculum could end up costing over $1000! Per year!

How can I say there could be a way that “pros” provide their children with curriculum, cost-free?

Not too hard, actually.

It depends on the type of curriculum you choose

You see, all curriculum provider companies are NOT equal!

Ruling out those who now claim to be agreeable to the Common Core (Those will cost you LOTS more than just money!) there are several ways to eliminate or greatly, GREATLY reduce your curriculum costs. This is something you may only realize after you’ve been in the business awhile and looked around with more seasoned eyes.

And noticed a secret thing or two. Heh heh.

And spent a lot of money you didn’t need to.

The “fee” for “free” adds up

Not all curriculum types are created equal. Did I mention that?

Before we go on, we should discuss some of the tricks you can find “out there”.

First, there is a deep flood of stuff that claims to be curriculum, provided on the Internet, free for the swiping. That’s great. If it’s what you really want, it’s great.

However, most of it is:

  1. Aimed at preschool age or slightly above
  2. Not designed by educational professionals
  3. Common  Core affiliated, linking you to government watchdogs
  4. Not connected to any overall scope and sequence.

This means you could start a young child easily enough, if you know exactly what you are doing and have time and training to triage it and design a course content, yourself.


Then you’ll be happy to know the other objection to the free things is that they must all be printed.

By you.

Which means you need a printer, paper, and INK!

If you want to provide your child with, say, ten pages per day of seatwork (after designing and finding everything you need) then you are looking at 1800 pages of printing, since there are 180 school days in a school year.

Printing 1800 pages per child per year can REALLY mount up if you should possibly be able to find all you need for all six of your children (if you have a large family) which would be 10, 800 pages per year.

But that’s just for one year. If you were still not convinced and you were to continue with this plan the rest of their school years, you would potentially have printed 129,600 pages.

No doubt, you would have bought that many pieces of paper, too, and, no doubt, a new printer, sometime along the line…

And large three-ring binders. And gummed reinforcements.

Announcing the solution!

Go back to the $225 company.

Find $225. Pay up. Wait for delivery. Notice the books are hard-bound and very well-constructed. Use the books. Never need to print anything. Realize it all fits neatly on a small bookshelf.

Repeat next year for the next grade.

Wait—how is that free?

The freedom of this way adds up, just as the cost of the “free” way does.

You see, you’ll be passing these $225-books down to your next children.

At no cost.

If you have six children, spaced at every 2 years, you would have to spend about $1300, two years in a row. (This is just an example; No pressured intended!)

After that, you would spend nothing.

Zero. Zip. Nada.

The breakdown:

By the end of home schooling 6 children for 12 years apiece, your cost for ALL SIX children would still be that same $2600, but by then it would be divided by 12,960 total school days, or:

Are you ready for this?

Twenty cents per day per child. That’s all. Merely 20 cents.

Still not free, you say?

Well, I’m still not done.

But I am done home schooling, and I found a way to recoup lots of even the 20 cents. Hold on to your seat belt, here…

When you buy great, well-made curriculum, you can always find a market for it online.

YES! You can sell those used books to someone else, who needs “free” even more than you do.

Of course, the shape they are in will determine how much they will be worth, but if you teach your children how to make book jackets, and require them to do so, the books will be clean and mostly un-worn in appearance, making them fetch more than most used books. You will be surprised.

And that, my friends, is how we did it. 😀

Published by Katharine

Katharine is a writer, speaker, women's counselor, and professional mom. Happily married over 50 years to the same gorgeous guy. She loves cooking amazing homegrown food, celebrating grandbabies, her golden-egg-laying hennies, and watching old movies with popcorn. Her writing appears at Medium, Arkansas Women Bloggers, Contently, The Testimony Train, Taste Arkansas, Only in Arkansas, and in several professional magazines and one anthology.

14 thoughts on “How Pro Home Schoolers Get Curriculum Cost-FREE

  1. It sounds like you have had a LOT of experience with homeschooling, Katharine! You make some good points. It is very hard NOT to have any curriculum. When I taught fourth grade, we had no social studies curriculum. We had some old copies of books about our county that we let the kids share, and then we passed them from class to class. We used coloring books, read a lot to build our background knowledge, got stuff off the internet, scrounged. It was hard, and we were trained (somewhat) to write curriculum. Eventually, I did get my master’s degree in curriculum and instruction, and did write curriculum for the county, but it was still hard work! I say all that to say that this is good, no, great advice! 🙂

    1. Oh, Yes! Marsha! 25 years! Ha! I often say “a quarter of a century”! That sounds like even more. 😉
      Children are SO much more adaptable than we give them credit for—a decent teacher and a source or two can make all SORTS of learning happen.
      And just think: Some of those children will look back as adults and say, “I don’t know how on earth she did it; I surely respect her!” ❤

      1. It does sound like a lot, and it is. It sure flies by, though. I know that some of mine have done that. I have had several teachers come out of my classes, and that makes me especially proud. I ran into one young man at our social studies conference the year I was president of the organization. He had since moved to Los Angeles. It was the best thing that happened to me all conference, and it was a great conference. 🙂

  2. I used the curriculum from A Beka with my kids, all the way through grade 12. It was wonderful, and worth every dime. Initially, they were not making family discounts, but as time went on, there were deep discounts for reusing books and flashcards etc. A Beka is not Common Core compliant, and they are accredited, which means you can get a high school transcript, and they keep records, which can be helpful when dealing with nosy school boards.

    1. We had a very low income and could never have afforded Abeka. However, I am sure it was good.and, of course, children are worth every penny! 🙂 Thanks for your comment and for stopping by! ❤ K

  3. Marsha! Thanks for this amazing reply and WELCOME to Home’s Cool!
    Wow. Such verification coming from a trained educator is a treasured experience, to me!
    Yes, I taught my own kiddos for 25 years, and tried several means for getting the message across. Ha! My favorite, always, was when I wrote my own, but I actually did that only for two occasions, when I simply could not find something I liked. I’m picky.
    And one of those was grade-school U.S. History.😉 I had an old, old book (since it was history, that did not matter, right?😉 ) But it came without a teacher’s manual, and I knew that I knew how I wanted to work it. My kids learned. I think learning is a function of childhood and the most important thing is not so much the curriculum as the fact that they are exposed to it in a loving way.
    Thanks, again, and I hope you visit often.:)

  4. Enlightening post Katharine.

    This is the first time I landed on your page and I’m so glad I did. (BTW – it was a link from Henneke’s enchanting marketing).

    As a new homeschooling family, we have been struggling with the curriculum issue and for a moment I was convinced that it’s worse than private schools.
    The printing, the buying of books, stationery etc is really crippling, but after what you just laid on this page; I sure know what to do.

    Thank you.

    1. Hello, Thembi Lin! Thanks for this kind comment AND for following, and WELCOME to Home’s Cool! 🙂

      There is not as much cost to home schooling as many people think, actually. And I know how it may seem to be a great cost, but there are even more ways to save, as I’ve written in past posts, especially here:

      So do not despair! And feel free to write me here any time, if you need help:

      And come on back and

      Oh, and don’t you LOVE Henneke!

  5. Love these ideas – i’m gearing up to start homeschooling in the next year or so and it’s so intimidating (cost aside even!) – your strategies are so helpful 🙂

    1. Vanessa! BRAVA! to you for taking the plunge! 😀 And WELCOME to Home’s Cool! 🙂
      If you are thinking of beginning with a very young child, I know where you can get all you need for a year, for about $25 or so. Holler and I’ll hook you up, or you can go here, which is a vendor and will charge a bit more: for K3 AND: for K4-5
      It’s fun, easy on Mom, and kids love it!

  6. As a Mama of 6, I know this really adds up. I have one who will graduate this next year. The only thing we’ve had to replace are the workbooks, but that is nothing compared to everything else.

    1. Ah, you are so right, Samantha! And WELCOME to Home’s Cool!:)
      I did not mention the workbooks because I think of them as very inexpensive, and actually, not even considered necessary, in some cases. I always used them and most years, my additional expense was equal about to notebook paper and pencils and erasers, in other words, NOT MUCH!😀

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