You may think homeschool is free. But it isn't. You have to buy books, subscriptions, online courses, and all the things that make for a good classroom. Sure, you can get some free stuff, but not everything you want is without a cost. It's a shame you have to pay your taxes for the schools when you don't use them. I like to day dream that we would get the same money that the state does (wouldn't that be a bonus?) Here are some ideas that are working for me right now:
1. Sell your old books on Amazon.com. Some books get a good price, such as Teaching Textbooks. But sell everything you will not use again or didn't work for your students. Even if it is for only $8, it will add up. Don't have a seller account? It is easy.
2. Sell anything you can on Amazon.com. Look through your kids old video games, I have sold a number of these. We had two game consoles, one xbox and one sony playstation. We sold the playstation. I have a signed copy of Nixon's Memoirs up for sale. Try eBay as well.
3. Buy books that are used on Amazon or eBay.
4. Combine your buying power and buy with a Co-op. I use the homeschoolbuyers co-op. They save you money.
5. Search the garage, clean out and sell anything you do not need. An extra fridge? A saw your husband never uses? I have sold a cement mixer, a fridge, a saw, a lawnmower and leaf blower on Craigslist.
7. Ask grandparents if they want to contribute to a class or curriculum.
8. Check your school district or county board of education for any homeschool programs funded by the state. In Southern Calif, we had one that was in the district for K-8 and one that was county-wide for 9-12. We used both of these at different times.
8. Enroll in free courses online.
9. Community colleges often waive the fees for high school students. Look into that option.
10. Check the Library for materials to supplement. E-books are now available and audio books over the internet.