Most homeschooling families probably say they homeschool frugally. It’s usually a necessity when you consider that the average homeschooling family subsides on one income. Many people use their computer as a way to find a cheaper alternative when buying their homeschooling books and curricula. They look online for information about swaps and used book sales. They look for other homeschoolers who are trying to sell previous year books. They check online auction sites and the like.
While those are good things to use the computer for, try giving a little thought to using your computer as a means to homeschool frugally, rather than a means to find other ways to homeschool on the cheap. What am I talking about? Your computer can be your primary tool in your homeschooling, or it can be a supplement to your current curriculum. With the exception of your internet costs, most of the sites that you can use are free, or are free with limited functions.
If you want to look into using the computer as a primary tool for homeschooling, there are several choices for good online curricula. You can find Christian programs and secular programs, you can find some programs that are strictly online based and you can find some that are CD or DVD based. An online homeschool curriculum that is strictly online based means your children can have access to the website from any computer with an internet connection, without being tethered to the one computer you installed the program on. Generally, you won’t find free curricula, but some are most definitely cheaper than others.
Looking at using your computer as a supplement to your current curriculum? This is where the flood gates really open. There are sites out there for everything! You can find free sites for watching educational videos, playing online games; like math games and keyboarding games, for finding spelling lists by grade levels and so much more!
Another great benefit of using the computer in your frugal homeschool is the ability to research and look up information without having to leave the house. Even though the library is a free resource, there is the travel expense to get there, and for many rural families, that travel expense can be a burden. If your children want to look up how WWI got started, they can. If they want to look up how to use liquid nitrogen to freeze and shatter a giant rubber koosh ball, they can. With proper adult supervision, your child can literally have access to the world.