Homeschool Costs: Low-Price Alternatives for the Upper Grades

Looking at curriculum and really digging into planning for the next school year has been stressful so
far this summer. It has not been stressful as in anxiety-causing, but stressful as in mind-consuming. I spend a LOT of time thinking about what to choose, but I still don’t have all of my materials decided…and it’s already the middle of July. I have about one more month before we begin. Ahhhh!!!

I’m chalking up my excitement to the fact that my oldest will be entering his secondary education. He’s no longer a primary elementary learner; he’s in the big-time junior high. One would think that with my background in teaching, and having taught seventh grade for a decade (yes, 10 full years), that I would be an expert. And while I do feel like I’m more in my comfort zone compared to elementary instruction, I’m nervous because it’s such a change, and that change leads to some worrisome questions. 

Have I prepared him enough to take on the next level of thinking? 

Is he going to be frustrated at the increased work load? 

How much money is it going
to cost me to gather a sufficient multi-subject curriculum suitable for upper grades? 

At this point, I usually sigh. I close my eyes and I smile, because I know that everything will be fine. I have taught my children the elementary grades for next to nothing…a book here, some paper and ink there. Cost is a major issue for our family, as I know it is for many other homeschooling families. We chose to homeschool for so many reasons, but hoping to spend a thousand dollars on materials every year for each child is not one of them. 

So, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that there are a ton of good, free resources for
homeschooling. Some are entire curricula; it’s amazing. I follow lots of homeschool blogs, and the amount of freebies that show up in my inbox daily is just incredible. I still have quite a few elementary
years, so those emails will be helpful. The bad news is that most of those freebies are geared toward younger students. It is rare to find freebies for junior high and high school learners. When I do, they are normally just individual worksheets instead of whole year, or even semester, courses. 

So, what is the on-a-strict-budget homeschool parent to do? 

Fortunately, there’s better good news: Discovery K-12, Easy Peasey All-in-One, and An Old-Fashioned Education. In the next few posts, I will address and review each of these entirely free, entirely online, entire curricula for your student’s entire kindergarten through twelfth grade education.  They’re pretty awesome; stay tuned!

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