Bountiful Homeschooling On a Budget

I am doing an online book study with the book 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker right now and it is a fresh reminder of why I wrote the book, Bountiful Homeschooling on a Budget. So often, our decisions about money are based solely on what we want or can afford, and we often neglect to consider how our financial choices glorify God, or how they don't, whatever the truth may be.

So, over the next several weeks and just in time to help you save for the holidays, I am going to be highlighting some key ideas from the book.


One of my favorite ideas for saving money on homeschooling is to form a learning community with local friends. Homeschooling is so much more fun in community, but if you are trying to do it on a budget then many organized co-ops such as Classical Conversations may be out of reach. 

As well, there may be a particular learning focus that is important to you, and so a one size fits all approach is not going to be in the best interest of your family.

We have had a homeschool co-op in some form for over ten years, we started one when we lived in the Northern California foothills, grouped up with some homeschoolers while in Mexico, and have one in our current little town as well. 

Some years, the focus has been on science and other years we study history. We are currently working our way through Early American History and having a blast with a small group of local friends.

For myself, the areas of learning that are really hard for me to cover are art and science experiments so when we have a co-op we make sure to have those areas covered. This has also saved me lots of money on art and science classes as we have been able to learn from other moms in our community those skills which we might lack.


Interested in forming a co-op but not sure where to start? 
Here are a few easy tips to get you going.

1. Find a few friends who are interested in getting together to learn. Usually 3-4 families is optimum for an in-home co-op.

2. Set up a meeting to discuss the schedule and expectations. I usually plan a year's worth of topics at the beginning of the school year. For instance, we might meet once a month and cover a chapter in a science book at each meeting or we might cover a different time in history at each meeting. 

3. Plan who is responsible for teaching. In our co-op, we usually have rotating duties which include; hosting, art instruction, geography and snack. In our science group we would assign a different mom to each science book group (some children were in high school textbooks, others were in elementary Apologia books).

4. Give each mom a calendar and then form a Facebook or other group to keep the moms in the loop about where you are meeting and what they are responsible for.

Having our own homeschool co-op has saved me thousands of dollars and hours of time. I did check into Classical Conversations one year, but with a family of my size and even with working as a tutor it would have been very expensive and even more time consuming. For now, forming our own co-op has been a wonderful and creative option for learning in community and gaining new skills. 

If however, Classical Conversations is the best option for you, I know some excellent tutors and directors. Comment for more info.

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  1. What a cool idea! Our girls are all grown up now--there are so many more resources available now than there were back when my husband homeschooled them.

  2. I read 7. It is a great book and has a lot of good insights. My friend has a co-op, but I have never really looked into it. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Good advice! I agree that participating in a homeschool co-op is a great idea. We did that in the past. Now my kids are older and they are not interested in a co-op :).

    ~Urailak (Fruit Bearer on FB)