Frugal Homeschooling + General Plan for the Rest of the Semester

frugal homeschooling

Robert and I have looked at finances for the next few months.  We are taking a backpacking trip next weekend, then we are going to Colorado in October to spend time with my in-laws.  The main costs are gas and food, but it adds up.

Then we will begin saving up for Christmas (which we are keeping simple this year, but again, it adds up!).

We are having to be on a super tight budget for everything else.

Because of these things (which we feel are priority), I have decided to use what I have + free resources for the rest of the semester.

I’m still trying to figure things out (using Brave Writer and planning units).  I’m going to use what I have PLUS use the library and free things from Teachers Pay Teachers.  I realized how helpful the library is the other day when we went for the first time in a long time.


We will spend the rest of this week and next week studying Africa and finish The Colors of the Rain.  I will read several books that I have and do some activities.  I also have more books about desegregation and things that go along with our book.

We will continue going quickly through the math level that they are on.  The boys are more than halfway through and Karis is almost halfway.  We didn’t start till the end of August.  They are moving quickly because I am just filling in gaps.

We will continue going through the Story of the WorldThe Story for Kids, and some Good and the Beautiful grammar and spelling (I just printed off the free language arts and highlight what I expect them to do).

For writing, they will finish their free-writing that they started a while back and we will revise, edit, and publish it.  The Wild Words project hasn’t been a much of a hit as I hoped.

For science/nature studies, we will study this the last week in September, then continue studying rocks into the first week of October.

Instead of trying to alternate between science/nature studies and geography/cultural studies, I will spend a week at a time on each.


We will begin our study of Mexico and read Esperanza Rising. This is an Arrow study through Brave Writer.

I will look for fiction picture books at the library to go with this.  I also have so many amazing books to study the geography and the culture.

We will study rocks for a week into October, then move to studying astronomy.  I won’t need to buy anything for this study either.  I have actually narrowed down what I will use to the Planetarium, Astronomy Lab, and The Moon Book.  The others are just extras if I need them (I took this pic a while back).


The kids will probably all be ready to move to the next level in math.

We will continue going through the Story of the WorldThe Story for Kids, and some Good and the Beautiful grammar and spelling.

We will do the Book Jacket writing project through Brave Writer.

For Poetry Teatime, I will include It’s Halloween by Jack Prelutsky.


We will study Thanksgiving for the 3 weeks leading up to taking a week off for the holiday.  We will read and study 1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving.  I also have many picture books to read aloud.

We will continue studying astronomy.

They will continue math.

We will continue going through the Story of the WorldThe Story for Kids, and some Good and the Beautiful grammar and spelling.

We will do a thanksgiving (thankful) writing project from Teachers Pay Teachers (free!).

For Poetry Teatime, I will include It’s Thanksgiving by Jack Prelutsky.


We won’t have a lot of time this month to do much study.  We will have about 2 weeks, and we will focus on studying Christmas.  We will read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and other various picture books from the library.

We will finish up our astronomy study.

They will continue going through their math.

We will continue going through the Story of the WorldThe Story for Kids, and some Good and the Beautiful grammar and spelling.

We will do a Holidays Around the World scrapbook project through Teachers Pay Teachers (free!).

Elf for Hire Christmas Persuasive Writing Project through Teachers Pay Teachers (also free!).

For Poetry Teatime, I will include Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem by Maya Angelou.

Read Alouds/Morning Time

This is the center of our homeschooling.  I read aloud to them for quite a while.  The boys enjoy doing things with their hands while they listen (especially Ethan).  It helps them to really take in what I’m reading.  We go through Arrow or Boomerang guides or I just plan some things on my own.  We read through a novel and/or picture books.

Morning time 2

I read The Story for Kids to the boys and discuss.

We also do our geography or science during this time.  Karis does geography with us, but not science.

We start writing together (I explain and instruct).

We do Poetry Teatime and Friday Freewrites most Fridays!

Independent Work

They actually really enjoy doing things on their own, so even though I wasn’t planning on it, they are using some Good and the Beautiful grammar and spelling.  We will see what happens when we have finished up the free printouts.

They do Story of the World on their own… they read, answer questions, and do a written narration.

Karis does her own Bible study and science (Master Books General Science 1).

They do their math on their own unless they need help. They are required to watch the video and for now are doing two pages a day.  Same with Good and the Beautiful… independent unless they need help.

They also read for 30 minutes, but I’m not requiring them to do a reading response anymore.  I want them to just enjoy reading.  The reading response journal is something I did when I was teaching… and the goal was for them to be able to answer questions correctly on a state test.

They spend some time on their own working on the writing project if possible.

All of this to say… when I’m having a rough day (which, sleep is hard for me), I don’t do the read aloud… they just do their independent work (and I help them when I can with things they don’t understand).  I’m okay with that!  They are getting a great education with just that.  The read aloud time is enriching it even more.

I’m not super concerned with what they learn about science and things (at least the boys) because I feel that they will learn what they need to when they get into junior high and high school and start doing their own (like Karis is doing).

We’re in a pretty good routine, but I’m just trying to let go of some things AND be content with what we are doing (and without spending money).  I’m also realizing how much of a resource the library and Teachers Pay Teachers are.  And I have soooo much!

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