I love the back to school season! I look forward to gearing up for learning, cooler weather, and all of the holiday festivities of the Fall season.
The next five weeks are all about back to school. I’m going to be writing about how we are preparing our children, schedules, and home for this exciting transition.
This school year, we are doing things a little differently. I’ve decided to homeschool my youngest son.
He’s endured some challenges in the public school system, which I won’t rant about today. I will share that my son is very active and his learning style seems to respond best to a system that public school simply can’t provide.
Even though we are beginning this new adventure of homeschooling this child, I’m not new to homeschooling.
I homeschooled my daughter from pre-k through 5th grade, before returning to work, hence sending her to public school.
She has thrived in public school and I think it’s due to the solid foundation that we provided in her homeschooling journey. Not to brag, but I think we did pretty good.
When I homeschooled my daughter, we went all out setting up her classroom, decorating it with posters and artwork, purchasing all sorts of curriculum, exploring different methodologies, and connecting with groups and co-ops.
I learned a lot from our first homeschooling journey.
The biggest takeaway from my first go around is that it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to homeschool a child.
With the help of the internet and the public library, I plan to homeschool my son for less $50 (excluding some supplies).
Today I’m going to share with you exactly how I plan to do it.
How I’m Homeschooling My Son For Less Than $50
You may be wondering what subjects I’m going to be teaching for less than $50. Now you’re wondering, “how did she know that’s what I was thinking?” I know, it’s crazy!
Here’s a list of the subjects I’m going to be teaching my 4th grader:
Language Arts (Reading, Grammar, Spelling)
Good Citizenship (State of Texas Requirement for Homeschoolers)
That’s a loaded list for 50 bucks right?!
Well, here’s how I’m going to do it.
The Good And The Beautiful Curriculum
I found an AMAZING curriculum that’s going to do a lot of the heavy lifting for me. It’s called The Good And The Beautiful by Jenny Phillips. This curriculum seems to be true to its name.
The Good And The Beautiful offers lots of subjects, including Language Arts, History, Handwriting, Science, Typing, and Math.
Our focus is on the language arts study and handwriting.
This Christian curriculum is chalked full of beautiful illustrations, stories, fun learning activities and engaging assignments.
The Language Arts curriculum not only includes spelling, grammar, reading, and writing exercises but also has a strong focus on geography and art appreciation. If all of that is not enough, there is a healthy dose of Christian morality content weaved throughout.
The curriculum is categorized by course levels. There is a placement test on the site to help you in determining which curriculum is best for your child. I encourage you to have your child do the assessment and not try to make a determination based on grade level.
We are going to be using the level 4 course book. This curriculum comes with 2 volumes a part 1 and part 2. It also comes with a book called Creative Companion, which includes lessons on writing, art, and geography. There are also supplementary materials included as well. Geography and spelling cards.
Now, hold on to your seat because here’s the best part …it’s absolutely FREE! No, that is not a typo. It’s free!
Okay, there are a few things you should know before you get too excited.
Number one, you have to print off the free version of the curriculum. It comes in an easy to download and print PDF file.
Number two is that you have to purchase the readers that go along with the curriculum for the course level of your choice. The level 4 course has two supplemental reading books. The purchase of these two books was $10.75 (at the time of this writing).
Number Three, the free downloads are only available for levels 1-5. So if you’re looking for Pre-K curriculum or middle school level (and higher) curriculum, those are paid curriculum.
We simply purchased our books, that are being shipped to us, and accessed our free downloads. There are hundreds of pages of learning goodness in this curriculum.
I won’t go over the details because this isn’t a review post and we haven’t had a chance to dive into it thoroughly, but I promise to keep you posted in the months to come.
For now, I’m pretty happy with the price point and willing to tweak anything that needs it.
I also want to mention that in addition to the language arts curriculum, I also purchased the handwriting curriculum. I went with the PDF version for this as well which cost me $9.
My grand total for art, geography, handwriting, spelling, grammar, and reading curriculum is …$22.91 which includes shipping for the two readers.
So here is another look at our subject list:
Handwriting Language Arts (Reading, Grammar, Spelling) Geography
Physical Education (PE)
Good Citizenship (State of Texas Requirement for Homeschoolers)
What we have left on the list is math, science, biblical history, PE, and citizenship. We covered four subjects with just that one FREE resource!
Here’s what we are doing for math.
Prodigy Math App
My son is NOT a fan of math.
He moans and groans when it’s time to do his math, drags his feet, plays with his pencil, hangs upside down in his chair, and does anything else he can think of to get out of doing it.
And you know what, I get it!
I’m not a fan either.
But math is just one of those things in life that you just need to know. So how do you teach a subject that elicits so much resistance? First, you say a prayer, then you wrap it up into something fun and exciting and give present it in a lively manner.
That is what this app is providing for me.
Prodigy Math is a fun video game-type math app that any gamer child is sure to love. My son loves to play video games in his free time and actually works really hard to earn the opportunity.
Math in a video game is just genius!
The Prodigy Math App provides assessments for your child to determine their skill level and then creates interactive games to increase their skills. The children have to reach levels in the game by solving math problems in order to win.
What I love about it is that you will receive a detailed report about your child’s progress.
The best part about it is …you guessed it, it’s absolutely FREE!
Prodigy Math App is free for teachers, so you must sign up as a teacher and not a parent.
Again, I won’t provide review information for this app in this writing but will keep you posted at a later date.
Homeschool Group Physical Education Classes
Time with friends and physical activity is pretty important for my soon-to-be 9-year-old. We will be sure to have daily trips to the park and nature walks around our neighborhood.
In addition to those experiences though, I want to be sure that he is connected with other homeschooled students and is benefiting from some more structured activities.
For our physical education, this year we will be incorporating a local homeschool groups PE classes. These classes will cost us a grand total of $25.
We will be meeting up at the local community center which has a pretty hefty membership fee, so this is a great deal for us.
Science Unit Studies
Science is one of my son’s favorite subjects. He enjoys learning science during his free-time. He usually will become completely immersed in a specific topic and then do research on his own.
He likes to research the topic online, watch videos, and check out books from the library. He already has the foundation for learning science, so my job will simply be to come alongside him in his journey.
I’ve always been a fan of the interest-led learning, simply because all of us enjoy learning more when it’s something that we are interested in.
I will be creating a little more structure to his self-led exploration of science by just asking him to document some of his findings and hypothesis.
He can do this either by journaling, video recording, audio recording, art expression, building 3D models, or any other form of documentation.
With this subject, supplies will probably be our greatest expense, but I do intend to utilize everything we can from around the house or other free resources.
We will be exploring history through the Bible. We’ll be creating a timeline and using the theme from Superbook, time-traveling back in time to document what we see or notice.
My son LOVES Superbook, if you haven’t heard of it, you’ve got to check it out. I actually enjoy watching along with my son.
I plan to use the concept to captivate my son’s attention as we engage in pretend play to try and get a feeling of what things were like in specific timeframes.
I’ll let you know how this goes after we get a few months under our belts, so please stay tuned for that.
Of course, we have our bibles and I’d like to start the timeline with a little help from the internet. Since we already have those supplies (bible, internet, and paper) there is no out-of-pocket expense for this subject.
That just leaves us with good citizenship.
Good citizenship is one of those things that you teach on a daily basis, day in and day out.
There is no curriculum needed to teach good citizenship necessarily. Having your child out in the community and teaching them how to be polite, helpful, courteous, and well-mannered is truly how I believe it’s taught.
This is something that we teach our children regardless, whether a requirement or not.
Therefore, I’m going to continue teaching my son to be chivalrous, well-mannered, and helpful.
However, I am thinking about having him participate in some more formal volunteer opportunities. I’d like him to gain a healthy appreciation for the struggles of others.
I like using Volunteer Match to identify volunteer opportunities in my community. The site allows you to filter the type of opportunities that you’re interested in. This includes age. I can find opportunities for my son’s age group and then narrow those down by interest.
This site is absolutely free to use and is very good about keeping participants updated on new opportunities as they come available.
Wrapping It Up
Please notice that this is NOT a sponsored post, no one is paying me to mention these products and/or services. This is a true representation of our homeschool plans.
There you have it! My entire plan for a $50 homeschool year. Let’s see, we’ve covered all of the following subjects:
Handwriting Language Arts (Reading, Grammar, Spelling) Geography Biblical History Science Math Art Appreciation PE Good Citizenship (State of Texas Requirement for Homeschoolers)
I have to say that I will be using plenty of ink and paper though. I have copy paper on hand so I’m not worried about that and I’m not including the cost of supplies in this post. However, one cost that I will share with you is for a monthly printing/ink supply through subscription HP for my printer. That subscription costs me around $5.98 per month, so it saves me a ton of money.
All in all, my grand total for homeschool curriculum is $47.91!
So what do you think …is this a feasible plan for homeschooling my little?
Let me know in the comment section.
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Blessings, and Happy Homemaking!