Special Needs Homeschool on a Small Budget.

Are you figuring out how to run things on a small homeschool budget? I've been there. Today I'm sharing all of my favorite free and inexpensive resources!

Small Homeschool budget

When I first thought about homeschooling, I wanted a perfect program to walk me through, step by step.  I wanted boxes to check off, and I wanted to know I wasn’t missing anything.  I hounded all my homeschooling friends for the details.  “What do you use?  Do you like it?  What is your advice?”  I was terrified of homeschooling.  The one thing that everyone told me was, “You will want to buy a box set your first year, but do not do it!  You will be wasting a ton of money.”  I used Cathy Duffy’s top picks to narrow it down, but the cost was still freaking me out. I wasn’t even convinced we would succeed at homeschooling, nor was I certain any of these products would be the right fit.  With Special needs kids, there can be so many different age ranges anyone kid can fall into.  Their strengths and weaknesses can be all over the map, so where you go from there?

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We ended up holding our breath and trusting God to provide the way and the resources.  We found plenty of free resources and many inexpensive resources.  I’m going to share them with you here!

Teachers Pay Teachers

Knowing about this little gem, was what gave me the courage to attempt school without a boxed-set.  I had found them prior to homeschooling when I was helping my youngest with learning to read before he started Kindergarten.  The prices were beyond reasonable when compared with a standard homeschool curriculum.  I also knew that switching around was a high likelihood for my son with Autism.  Using TpT meant that we would be out $5 here and there if something didn’t work out.  Regardless if it worked for him, it would be around for my youngest as well!
Some of my TpT favorites include The Moffatt Girls, Rachel Lynette, Lita Lita, Games 4 Learning, and Curriculum for Autism (depending on your child’s place on the spectrum).  I loved the idea that we were helping out small business owners/teachers as well.  We found plenty that fit our academic needs, but not as much for our social skills practice.  My son is high functioning academically but is functioning at less than half his age socially and emotionally.  After several months of frustration, I decided to open my own store to fill with resources we could use!
Teachers Notebook and Educents have similar offerings as Tpt, and all 3 give you credits towards future purchases after you provide feedback on purchased items.  You do not have to be a teacher to purchase from these sites! Before I forget- there are also a TON of amazing “freebies” on each of these sites! Many stores offer 50% off of new resources for the first 48 hours, and you can also search #2fortuesday and #thriftythursday to save more.

Schoolhouse Teachers

Talk about value here….  especially for special needs families or families with multiple grades at home.  You have access 300+ courses ranging from pre-k through high school. The membership covers all courses, for all of your learners. The pricing? Only $179 for the entire year, which includes Applecore recordkeeping, streaming videos, and a World Book library online.  If you’ve got more than one student to shop for, this is such an incredible value.
It gets even better though, they offer 40% off annual memberships to:
  • Military families
  • Home Life Academy members
  • HSLDA members
  • Homeschool Benefits Association
We are currently using Schoolhouse Teachers for 4th-grade grammar, Art, WWII history, and Social Studies.  The great thing about having access to all these courses is that your child(ren) can work to their abilities in each subject.

Mystery Science

Can. not. say enough good stuff about these guys.  They offer your first year free!  We signed up last year and it was always our favorite school day.  We were more than ready to plunk down the tiny $69 for the annual membership our second and third year around!

YouTube

There is a video for everything here.  Everything.  I’ll just leave it at that.  I especially love them for math and science.  You may want to grab my linked up list of my favorite YouTube channels below.

Pinterest

A great place to find free and inexpensive crafts and resources that will compliment your current areas of study.  Check out the Autism Homeschool Mama boards here.

Other Useful Sites

  • Math-aids– Everything you could need as far as math worksheets go, free.
  • Time For Learning– I have never used this site, it’s a little pricey for me personally.  I did want to include it though since I know so many people who have raved about it.  If you use it as your sole material or only have one student, the cost is relatively low.  I’m thinking I may be trying it out next year.
  • Khan Academy– We use this to touch base in math and make sure we are learning all we need.  They have a great bank of instructional videos and they also have a computer programming course.  They are free, but also accept donations.
  • Read Works– Free access to tons of reading comprehension passages for all skill levels!
  • Epic-This app is $4.99 a month and switches out books (It’s “the Netflix of books”) monthly.  They also have audio books and “read to me” books for struggling/not yet independent readers.
  • Brave Writer– My son was a very reluctant writer, but following the brave writer lifestyle has been a huge change for us!
-Jill
Your turn: Did I miss any sites you love?  Let me know in the comments!

 

Homeschooling the Child with ADD (or Other Special Needs): Your Complete Guide to Successfully Homeschooling the Child with Learning DifferencesHomeschooling the Child with ADD (or Other Special Needs): Your Complete Guide to Successfully Homeschooling the Child with Learning DifferencesSpecial Education At Home: Out-of-Box-Learning for Out-of-the-Box LearnersSpecial Education At Home: Out-of-Box-Learning for Out-of-the-Box LearnersThe ADHD Workbook for Kids: Helping Children Gain Self-Confidence, Social Skills, and Self-Control (Instant Help)The ADHD Workbook for Kids: Helping Children Gain Self-Confidence, Social Skills, and Self-Control (Instant Help)Everyday Autism: An Inside Look at Parenting a Child on the Autism SpectrumEveryday Autism: An Inside Look at Parenting a Child on the Autism SpectrumTeaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Step-by-Step Guide for EducatorsTeaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Step-by-Step Guide for EducatorsLogic Links Puzzle BoxLogic Links Puzzle BoxMindWare Logic Links: Level BMindWare Logic Links: Level BLearning Resources Helping Hands Fine Motor Tool SetLearning Resources Helping Hands Fine Motor Tool SetHelping Children to Improve Their Gross Motor Skills: The Stepping Stones CurriculumHelping Children to Improve Their Gross Motor Skills: The Stepping Stones CurriculumSet of 3! Tangle Jr. Original Fidget ToySet of 3! Tangle Jr. Original Fidget ToyRatoop Fidget Cube Relieves Stress and Anxiety Attention Toy for Work/Class/Home, Black/GreenRatoop Fidget Cube Relieves Stress and Anxiety Attention Toy for Work/Class/Home, Black/GreenADHD Non-Medication Treatments and Skills for Children and Teens: A Workbook for Clinicians and Parents with 162 Tools, Techniques, Activities & HandoutsADHD Non-Medication Treatments and Skills for Children and Teens: A Workbook for Clinicians and Parents with 162 Tools, Techniques, Activities & HandoutsSpiky Sensory Finger Rings (Pack of 10) - Great Fidget / Sensory Toy for Kids and AdultsSpiky Sensory Finger Rings (Pack of 10) – Great Fidget / Sensory Toy for Kids and AdultsAnalogies for Critical Thinking Grade 4Analogies for Critical Thinking Grade 4

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Author: Jill C

Jill is a Christian, homeschooler, “boy mom”, and special needs parent. Jill, herself, has ADHD and has learned firsthand how adapting environments can be key to finding success! Her current mission is to empower parents whose desire is to homeschool their special needs children and helping them squash their self-doubt!

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