5 Sofia’s Ideas on Frugal Homeschooling

November 22, 2010

Homeschooling 5 children can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are 5 Sofia’s Ideas on Frugal Homeschooling…

photo via homemadebyjill.blogspot.com

(Well, its more of a roundup, really. Why reinvent the wheel when there are so many brilliant and generous people who have already paved the way?)

1. Make your own art supplies. How much glue do we go through in a day? Tons! Crayons? Forget about it! And unless I stock up during the back-to-school sales to last us a whole year, it gets expensive! Not to mention all the plastic!

Rae Grant’s Good Old-Fashioned Paste Recipe:: Simple Kids.

DIY molded crayons:: homemade by jill.

Homemade Play Doh:: Simple Mom.

2. Make your own notebooks. We glue everything into composition notebooks, but now that we are on our last set, its time to start making our own. Recycled eco-friendly composition notebooks never go on sale! At least, I’ve never seen them on sale.

Cereal Box Notebooks:: Alphamom.

Reuse workbooks. We take our workbooks apart, and put the sheets into sheet protectors, in a binder. The kids use dry-erase markers in assorted colors, and we erase them for the next child or the next day. We mostly do this for the little ones (tracing, coloring, connect-the-dots; doesn’t quite work with writing essays).

photo via frugalfamilyfunblog.com

3. Make use of what you have on hand. Nature studies, science experiments, math manipulatives can all be done without spending a dime! Frugality in homeschooling only requires you to think outside the box… Or, think inside the box, your recycling box, that is!

Plastic Bottle Caps:: Sofia’s Ideas.

Nature Study Kit from Recyclables:: Frugal Family Fun Blog.

Resource Depot:: Turning Waste Into Wonder!:: Sofia’s Ideas.

4. Put together your own unit studies/lapbooks. Or search online for other homeschoolers who share theirs for free! I recently discovered and am loving

1 + 1 + 1 = 1

Homeschool Creations

Homeschool Share

A Charlotte Mason Homeschool Sampler

5. Invest a few dollars a month in Netflix. They have a plethora of documentaries and a section called Homework Help on DVD. Often times, we don’t even have to wait for a dvd because they have so many things available for instant viewing. We watch Netflix through our wii, and the service is included with our nominal monthly fee!

  • You can even try Netflix for a month for FREE! Click here to get started!

Yes, we do utilize the library for films but I have to be honest & say that I prefer not having to bring them back within 7 days or suffer the financial consequences! The last time I had to pay library fees, it came out to $79. Need I say more? Library books? yes. Library dvds? not so much.

There you have it! By doing these few simple things, we are able to create a home education environment that fits into Sofia’s Ideas on Simplicity, Frugality, and an Eco-Mentality!

What about you? What have you done to keep home education costs down? or what tips do you have for providing school supplies on a budget?

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }


I don’t homeschool but those look like some great ideas for any parent! The netflix tip is great. I didn’t realize they had homework helper dvds!
Anne recently posted..In memory of Charles – Wordless Wednesday


Margaret @ Creative Madness Mama

This is a great post! When I was visiting my sister she was telling me about keeping the cotton from vitamin bottles for projects with clouds and such. Every which way we can save a dollar is worth it!
Margaret @ Creative Madness Mama recently posted..Cross Stitch



What a great post! Thanks for the awesome ideas!


Sofia's Ideas

Thanks, Maryam! And welcome to Sofia’s Ideas! I hope you’ll come by often!



I miss homeschooling… my sons are grown and gone. I love the ideas though. Some of them I did out of necessity because there weren’t a lot of resources around back then!
Alida recently posted..Thought for Today


Sofia's Ideas

Hi Alida! Welcome to Sofia’s Ideas. I hope you’ll share some of that experience & expertise then! Would love to see you back here soon, and often! 🙂



Great tips! We plan to homeschool in a few years. Also, you can watch a ton of free documentaries here. http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/ Many of them are from the UK and are organized by topic.
Jenn recently posted..Breakfast Burritos- on-the-go and on-the cheap!


Sofia's Ideas

Hi Jenn! Welcome and thanks for this great site! Bookmarked!


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