Do you ever think about homeschooling your kids, then open a youtube video on homeschooling where they share a big pile of curriculums, fancy textbooks, extra reading books, fun games & activities, a full equipped homeschool room and just give up? Because there is no way you can afford all of that. I’m here to tell you that you CAN homeschool your kids just fine by spending almost nothing. I’m going to give you some tips from my own experience, cause I had no choice but to homeschool my kids and we were going through some financially rough times in the meantime.
I was already thinking about homeschooling, but then we moved to another country and I had no other choice but to homeschool my boys since they didn’t speak the language. Now if my kids would’ve been english speaking then I could’ve gotten everything online, but in another languages the resources are a little more limited. I couldn’t use library because obviously there aren’t no books in our language, and let’s not even get started going around in a new country, in a big city, in public transportation with two young kids. I couldn’t order anything from our country either cause we were broke. Sometimes I couldn’t even use the printer cause the toner ran out and we had to wait until we could afford it, so I had to do things by hand. I had to get creative. That’s what I love about tough times, they teach you so much, things you thought were impossible still get done, because you find a million different ways to do stuff, to live. I am beyond grateful for those times in my life. Now let’s move on to the tips.
First grade doesn’t really need anything. All they need is to learn how to read, write and do math. And a little bit of science, just basic things about nature. For learning letters just draw them on paper and make your own letter cards, use the magnet toy letters if you have those, show them random letters on books, newspapers, products and ask them which letter it is. To write all you need is paper or maybe you have a whiteboard or a chalkboard at hand. Show them, help them, do your own practice sheet in their copybook: write A with a pen, then a few times lightly with a pencil for them to go over and some spacce for them to practice on their own. For math you can use whatever items at home: toys, crayons, foods etc. Once they know their numbers, you can start to write the calculations and use simple drawings to illustrate. Maybe you can’t draw a 2 cats plus 3 cats, but I’m sure you can draw circles, triangles or other shapes and hey, in the meantime they learn also different shapes. For science you can look at pictures in books, in the computer, show them videos, get outside and explore and explain as you go. Make them draw stuff, you draw them stuff. Drawing is not that hard, nowadays you can find so many easy tutorials. As far as for arts, physical exercise and music – that they do pretty much anyway. Kids love to draw, kids love to run around at the park, they love to listen to music. At this age it doesn’t need to be more complicated than this. You get to choose your priorities and what you want to teach your kids. Maybe you have a piano or another instrument at home, then you can play to them, teach to them sing together. My husband does martial arts and he played with the boys and teached them moves and exercises which counts as P.E. Whatever works for you :)
Search online. The most obvious tip, as I said, if your kids are english speaking then you get anything you need from the internet. But if not then you do get a big portion, some things like math you can search in english and still use. Other things you can translate. Sometimes you can find online workbooks to print out, but other times they are already filled out. What I did was either write the exercises manually in their copybooks or use an online photo editing program to cancel the answers.
Apps. There are a lot of great apps to use, especially for the english speaking kids. Older kids can still use math apps even if they don’t speak english or they can use apps for small kids to learn english :)
Library. If you’re not living abroad like we do, then use the library. I don’t think there’s anything else to add here.
Passed down textbooks & workbooks. I was lucky enough this year to get some old textbooks sent to us from a relative who’s son is a few years older.Even if the workbooks are filled in you can still use it to get ideas and to see what your kid is supposed to learn and do. And thanks to those I didn’t have to search for the internet what does my fourth grader need to learn in history and geografy. I just searched for extra material on the topics that were covered there.
No homeschool room, no problem. Also you don’t need a special homeschool room, one cupboard or a few shelfs or drawers are enough. They just need a table to write on, a dining or a kitchen table are totally fine if you don’t have a desk. We do it on the dining table in ur living room and sometimes they do their stuff in their room on their beds, on the floor or on the surface they have on top of a toy drawers. Their room is small and they don’t have a desk, but I also have a toddler who won’t stop bugging them no matter have many activities I give him, so they will finish a lot faster in their own room. As for storage they have one shelf for their copybooks/notebooks, a two shelf small cupboard for their supplies as in pens, crayons, colors and some craft stuff and I have a shelf for the old textbooks and workbooks and a few things I need that year.
So there you go, it’s all achievable. You just need to work a little harder and to get more creative. I will definitely do a post on how I plan our school year in the future. I hope this post gave you hope, a little inspiration! Until next time dear ones.