Teaching Science on a Budget

I Thessalonians 5:21 says, “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” As we homeschool our children, we must train them to seek knowledge and learn how to recognize and solve problems, test, research, and come to well-founded conclusions.This is our role as their guide and instructor.

However, teaching science can seem like a daunting task. In fact, one aspect of homeschooling that can be challenging for parents is its cost. Choosing to homeschool can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to cost a lot. Thanks to the internet, libraries, and discount stores, you can teach science to younger students for less than $50 for the entire year, which also includes supplies for experiments.

Here are a few ideas you can try.

Science Curriculum

You can buy science books for $5 or less from stores like the Dollar Tree and Five Below. The materials are usually aligned with the current state standards and have been pre-tested by teachers and students for their effectiveness.

Cheap Science Curriculum

From Five Below

Here are some examples I use.

Dollar Store (by Teaching Tree)

Science Experiments & Inventions: This book provides standards-based worksheets, and enough ideas to last the entire year. In addition, most of the experiment supplies can also be purchased while you are at the Dollar Store.

Dollar Tree Workbooks

Writing Prompt Dollar Tree Science Cards

Dollar Tree Finds

Also, don’t hesitate to check out your local library for books on specific science topics after you check online to see what skills are recommended for each grade level. Another cheap way to obtain science curriculum is through your local thrift store. This last option is not guaranteed to have what you need in stock, but you can often find something you can utilize. I have found new science kits, science flashcards, gently used microscopes, and more.

Thrift Store Finds

Cheap Science Kit

Use Internet Videos to Reinforce New Concepts

Use internet videos to reinforce new concepts. You will need Wi-Fi; however, many public spaces like libraries, some parks, museums, some train stations, restaurants, etc., offer free Wi-Fi. Also, did you know that YouTube has a free app just for kids on Android and IOS devices? Using Youtube Kids helps streamline the content so it is more child-friendly and safe. In the search field add the topic that you are teaching and the closest relevant video will appear.

Use free educational websites for related printable worksheets. There are a lot of free options available too. One of the first places that you can check out for free resources is your local library. Many areas often pay for expensive subscription services that your budget may not allow. Many libraries also have special STEM workshops and classes available for children.

Free printable worksheets: If you are keeping a portfolio of your child’s work, you may want to add worksheets to your curriculum to help reiterate the lessons you are teaching.

  • IXL.com – This is the site I use the most often to print check grade level standards and print worksheets.
  • Jumpstart.com – The site has worksheets categorized by grade level, but the page also lists the topics, which is useful.
  • Super Teacher Worksheets – Not all of the printable pages are free on this site, but usually several in each category are free, and the subscription for individuals is inexpensive. However, if you like a lot of printable worksheets, I recommend that you get a workbook like SPECTRUM, because the workbook is a lot cheaper than printer ink.
  • About.com – The worksheets are categorized by subject.
  • Pinterest will also give you some great ideas.

Reader Question – Do you have a favorite place to find cheap curriculum to help you homeschool effectively? If so, please tell us about it in the comment section.

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Elle Cole
CleverlyChanging.com, where she blogs, about health, homeschooling, finance, and parenting. Elle Cole is a wife and mother to twin girls. She enjoys writing and sharing frugal tips to help families thrive. If you find one of the tips she shares helpful, please be sure to leave her a comment.

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