Financial strain is a heavy burden that often comes with the homeschool lifestyle. And, since many families sacrifice an income in order to educate their children at home, there’s often a need to homeschool for free in order to make it feasible.
(Post contains affiliate links; see disclosure for details.)
As nice as it sounds, you can’t homeschool for free. Well, not totally, but can come pretty close to homeschooling for free. Here are seven great options to consider:
7 Ways to Homeschool for Free (or Almost Free)
1. All in One Homeschool
All in One Homeschool is a blessing to homeschool families for many reasons. One of those reasons is that it’s a free comprehensive curriculum for preschool through high school. As long as you’ve got high speed internet access, this is a fantastic choice for homeschooling for free.
There is some additional cost that could show up due to printing needs and projects, but those could be skipped or adjusted as needed if they seem too costly. Even so, the All in One curriculum itself is fantastic and one to consider if you’re looking to homeschool for free.
2. Maximize Your Library’s Potential
It’s not uncommon for homeschool families to be faithful library patrons, but that library usage is usually viewed as a supplement to homeschool rather than the foundation.
Have you considered that it’s entirely possible to use books like Home Learning Year by Year or Give Your Child the World to homeschool for free? Owning a copy of Home Learning Year by Year could serve as the blueprint in your homeschool because it gives suggestions for what to cover in each subject for each grade level.
Additionally, Give Your Child the World could be used to cover literature, history, geography, and culture studies. Both of these books could be used to homeschool for free by using them to find the required books — or similar resources that would accomplish the same goal — through your local library system.
3. Get the Most out of Your Kindle Fire
If you’ve got a Kindle Fire, you can easily put it to work in your homeschool. Even better, if you’ve got a Kindle Fire and you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can use it to homeschool for free in a few different ways.
- You can borrow free Kindle books through your local library and through Amazon Prime.
- You can purchase many classic books at no cost through the Kindle Store.
- There are tons of free educational apps available through Amazon’s App Store.
- Streaming through Amazon Prime Music helps with music appreciation.
- Amazon Prime Video has great educational video options, including TV shows, movies, and documentaries.
That said, none of this is free if you’re not a Prime member or don’t have a Kindle Fire, but these are all ways we regularly use our Kindles and they’re all free for us. The good news is that Kindle Fires are inexpensive and you can even try Amazon Prime through a 30-Day Free Trial to check it out for yourself.
4. Search for Free Resources on Pinterest
Pinterest searches can go a long way in efforts to homeschool for free. If you’re willing to invest the time, it can be used to find free unit studies, printable packs, lesson plans, and projects ideas to use in your homeschool.
Since it’s pretty much a visual search engine, a guide like Home Learning Year by Year would be helpful here also. A guide will help you know what you’re searching for and keep your Pinterest time on track.
Without that guide, it’s easy to get lost in a sea of recipes, quotes, and home improvement projects. Those are great, but they don’t exactly help the efforts to homeschool for free!
5. TV and Video
Between Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube, and PBS, there’s no shortage of educational viewing options out there. You technically have to pay for most of them, but you’re most likely paying for some type of streaming service as a part of your household expenses already.
That’s why TV and video are great for free homeschooling. You can work educational options into your kids’ regular viewing time or just use individual episodes and videos to teach specific concepts.
For example, I’m happy to let my kids watch Wild Kratts on their own because they learn about animals and biomes through the episodes. However, they would only watch Season 1, Episode 3 if learning about aardvarks was on our agenda.
Keep in mind that streaming sources like Netflix and Amazon Prime regularly change their offerings. Documentaries and TV episodes once available aren’t guaranteed to be available six months into the homeschool year.
I’ve shared about teaching language arts through TV shows and teaching math skills through TV before. Those two posts should give you an idea of where to start with homeschooling for free in that way.
6. Ambleside Online
Ambleside Online is another great way to homeschool for free, especially if you’re drawn to a Charlotte Mason-inspired homeschool. The curriculum itself and many of the needed resources are free through the Ambleside Online website, while many of the reading selections are available for free through online databases and local libraries.
7. Khan Academy
Khan Academy has been a loved resource in the homeschool community for several years, but mostly for the free math lessons.
There’s more to Khan Academy than math, though. Khan Academy also has free lessons for science, music, art, grammar, history, test prep, and more. This free resource is especially helpful for older students because it primarily contains upper-level coursework and lessons.
It’s your turn now: what are your tips for homeschooling for free, or as close to free as possible? Share them in the comments below!