by Contributor, Christina Merriweather

It’s back-to-school season!

For obvious reasons, school looks a little different for everyone this year whether your kids are going back in-person (socially-distanced of course) or attending virtually. And if you are a parent whose child’s school has mandated learning from home or you have opted to homeschool, you may be feeling an extra squeeze on both your time and money as you make room in your home and budget to provide a suitable educational environment for your child.

Whether you’re an anxious first-time homeschooler or a seasoned pro, this post is for you!

Today, we are sharing some simple ways to create a home school classroom in your home on a budget and we’ve asked some new homeschooling moms to spill the beans on how they stretched their dollars to create a thriving classroom for their children.

Decide on your curriculum. 

Before you purchase anything, it’s best for you to map out what subjects and types of lessons you are going to be teaching. This will help you be more strategic in putting together your supply list and assessing what kind of furniture you may need. You will also want to take into consideration your child’s unique learning style.

Will they require more visuals for their lessons?

Are they more tactile and in need of space to move around?

Consider all of these things when considering what supplies you will need. 

Create your supply list and take inventory of what you already have. 

Now that you have a general idea of the curriculum that you plan on teaching this year,  you can start to create your supply list. But before you hop online and start ordering things, don’t forget to take a minute to assess what space and materials you already have and can allot for your homeschooling classroom. 

Will you be using your entire home or just a room or two?

Do you have outdoor space that might be suitable for lessons?

One mom shared that during the warmer months, they have a pool that they use for lessons because her child is very physical and enjoys swimming so they incorporate lessons subtly into pool time. Also, take a survey of the furniture that you already have in your home. Party folding tables and chairs collecting dust in your garage or storage closet can easily double for a classroom table. Add in a few folding chairs and you’ve got a ready made desk. Price tag = $0 

Hunt for deals.

Okay, so you’ve made your list, checked it twice and crossed off things that you already have at home for your homeschool classroom. Now it’s time to bargain hunt for those remaining items that you need. When asked about their must-haves, a few moms shared that a whiteboard, supplies organizers, and pencils, pens, notebooks and crayons were among the most essential supplies that they needed to purchase and were pleased to find good deals online. Here are their best tips on finding deals and steals. 

Whiteboard – these can easily be purchased from Amazon for as low as $35 and many come with dry erase markers and an eraser for a few extra dollars more. 

Craft and writing supplies – Dollar Store is always there for the win when it comes to purchasing inexpensive school supplies like pencils, markers, crayons, and notebooks. Amazon is also running an essential school supply deal with upwards of 47 pieces for $35.

Supplies organizers – Organizers and storage boxes can be found cheaply at the Dollar Store or ordered online through Amazon for as low as $11 and upwards of $65 depending on how much you have to store and how sophisticated you need your organization system to be. 

One last tip to help you save: if you are planning on homeschooling long term, consider ordering your own student and teacher IDs so that you can get student and educator discounts at bookstores, museums, and more.

Have a great school year! 

*Featured Image by Santi Vedri from Unsplash.com

Parenting

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