Sunday, September 20, 2015

Top FREE 7 Tips to Parenting and Homeschooling an Asynchronous, Self-Directed Child on a Shoestring

These are SEVEN tips our family has found invaluable to our homeschool lives. Except for internet at home which we pay for, the rest of these things on our list can be available for FREE. 

1. Library. Without our library, we calculated that we would spend around $1,000/month on various media alone.
    • free books and audio books 
    • free stuff on Kindle too
    • free movies on Hoopla
    • free music on Freegal
    • free video games
    • free space to hang out
    • free resources and meet ups
2. Internet. Home to Google, YouTube, Online Presence, Networking, and Social Media.
    • Google:
      • research on the spot
      • free visual images 
      • endless online resources
      • create tabs for your child's favorite spots on the internet 
    • YouTube:
      • free videos on demand
      • subscribe to educational channels
    • Online Presence:
      • depending on your family, you may want to have an online presence
      • for kids who love tinkering
      • my son loves to blog and is currently most excited about vlogging
      • my son also receives FREE books in exchange for honest video book reviews 

    • Network and Social Media:
      • join groups that help you and your child
      • follow organisations to learn about recent studies and news on parenting and education issues
      • my favorite is GHF, of course. Disclaimer: I volunteer over there because I love the organisation so much. Did you know we reach over 700,000 individuals a month?
3. Local Community Resources. Many programs are free to homeschoolers! Many have homeschool days.

Our FREE Police and K9 field trip.
That's a Cayote about 5-10 feet away from us at the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory. We saw and/or touched many animals on a FREE 4 hour field trip.
    • check out your local outreach programs. If they go to public schools for free, they will offer their services to homeschool groups too. We've had field trips to the Police and K9 teams, Fire Station, Forensics Lab, and more. Want to meet wild animals up close in personal? This doesn't mean just the zoo, you can visit local ecology labs or pet shelters.
    • museums. If the entrance fee is not free, then programs may be free or fairly priced ($5/kid for 3 hour programs where I live).
    • theatre. If your kid is the theatrical type, let him/her audition for a role. If you get it, the theatre education is FREE and priceless.
A Pizza Restaurant Field Trip.
    • restaurants. Check out their kitchen, operations, and dine in for cheap (our field trip above was $5/kid to make your own pizza and eat it with a drink too). 
    • the list is endless. 

4. Homeschool Coop. If there isn't one you like, start one. While many coops require fees, I started a FREE project based homeschool coop. The beauty of a PBH coop for asynchronous learners is the creation of a passion-based community of kids:

    • yup... you can create one for FREE
      • meet at a park
      • meet at a church that requires only a donation
      • make sure families ALL contribute to the existence and maintenance of the coop

    • kids in a Project Based Homeschool classes do not have to be at the same level of learning
      • multi-ages are welcome
      • individualized topics are allowed
      • sharing with peers creates deep dialogue and sparks interests
      • less teaching required from parents and more active learning from students
      • weeding those who don't fit in the group is a very quick process: some families prefer instruction and rote learning
      • our popular classes/events have been: LEGO, DIY, Debate, TEDEd, Project Fairs

5. Clubs. Depending on your child's interest, join one or start one.

My son wanted to start a Pokemon Club. So we did. Who knew it would be so popular?
    • most are free 
    • your kid will want to join 
    • their interest will grow in ways you don't anticipate
    • you will watch in amazement how your kid interacts with others who have the same interests
6. Park Days with other families. Organize one near you.
    • meet at a park, NOT your house (less clean up for you that way)
    • your child can meet friends 
    • your child can experience new situations in a safe and understanding environment
    • parents can create a vibrant community for their families
7. Free Services from organisations like the Davidson Young Scholars. HG/PG tested kids are accepted. While many gifted programs require fees, DYS services are FREE:
    • academic support and educational advocacy
    • talent development, college planning and early college
    • child and adolescent growth

I am participating in the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum September 2015 Blog Hop: Parenting Gifted/2E Kids on a Shoestring.


  1. Great list of free or cheap options for homeschooling families!

  2. I think there should be a diet plan tips for kids too ;)