Cheap Homeschool Curriculum (when you’re on a budget)

cheap homeschool curriculum, pic of child and mom homeschooling

I’m always on the lookout for cheap homeschool curriculum. I use a lot as a supplement materials because I homeschool year-round, but many resources can also be used as a main curriculum and work well if you are homeschooling on a budget.

In this post, I’ve listed some publishers that offer very affordable homeschool curriculum options. Following the list, are some helpful tips on things to consider when you buy inexpensive homeschool curriculum.

All of the curriculum choices below are for the elementary grade levels.

For some free options (includes high school), you may be interested in reading my free homeschool curriculum article.

This post contains affiliate links.

Cheap Homeschool Curriculum Options

1. Hooked on Phonics

This company has been around for years helping kids learn how to read. So many new reading programs have come on the market after them, so it seems this one isn’t talked about as much anymore, however, this is still effective in teaching kids to read – and it is both affordable and simple to use (not like the newer reading programs out there now). 

I used it successfully with a Kindergarten student to teach him how to read and I will use it with my daughter too. I love it so much that I even wrote a Hooked on Phonics Review article here. You can also see the level we used here.


2. Alpha-Phonics

This program will also help kids read in 128 lessons. It is not as pleasing to the eye (it’s in black and white) as Hooked on Phonics (which is colorful), however, it is less expensive and will have your child reading at approximately a Grade 3 reading level by the end of it. I talk a little more about it in my Kindergarten Homeschool article.


3. Evan-Moor

You may have already heard of this company because they are very popular in producing curriculum workbooks for grades 1-8 for teachers and homeschoolers.

Many of the workbooks are designed to be used throughout one school year and there are teaching tips in many of them as well as answer keys. The ones I like for Language Arts are the Building Spelling Skills for each grade level (see them here), and also this workbook for writing skills, called 6-Traits of Writing.

These workbooks are so affordable and both the spelling books and writing books offer a lot of practice in them. For these particular subject areas, you don’t need a fancy curriculum and they are just as good as the more expensive options out there, in my opinion.

If you find the Evan-Moor Spelling books are too easy for your child’s grade level (some people do), you can always get a grade higher for your child.

I also recommend the Evan-Moor Skills Sharpener workbooks for Science (these in particular) and they offer them for Geography too.

If you don’t have a lot of time to teach these subjects, these workbooks are short, and colorful to keep kids’ attention. Again, these are very affordable so you don’t have to spend a lot of money for a Science or Geography curriculum.

If you’re on a homeschool budget but you still want a solid math education for your kids, their workbooks are great. They have a few options but I particularly like the Math Fundamentals and Daily Math Practice workbooks.

If you can’t fit both of them in your budget, then go with the Math Fundamentals here. I like the idea of having both because the Daily Math Practice books goes over learned concepts throughout so kids don’t forget what they already learned, while Math Fundamentals covers each topic sequentially and provides explanations of concepts.


4. Explode The Code 

These are fun workbooks for phonics and spelling. Kids can do these on their own with little help so it’s great for independent work if you need to work with other kids and still need them to be working on something educational. There are different levels but they are not by grade. Your child can progress through each book, which runs until book 8. 

To save money on these workbooks which are already inexpensive, you can skip the teacher’s guide. They are basic enough to understand and work through even though the teacher guides do offer additional teaching suggestions. 

It may also be more affordable to buy a set of workbooks instead of buying them individually. It’s actually how I bought them. For example, at the time of posting this, books 1-4 are available as a set here

I’ve heard of kids who did poorly with other phonics programs and excelled with these fun workbooks.


5. Modern Curriculum Press (MCP)

This company has been around for a long time and produces very affordable workbooks for kids. I particularly like using a combination of Spelling Workout (seen here), with MCP “Plaid” Phonics, because it follows the same scope and sequence. 

There are Teacher edition guides, however, if you’re on a budget, you can just get the student edition workbooks because it can still be done.

Both Spelling Workout and Plaid Phonics start at level A for First Grade, although Plaid Phonics does have a Level K.


6. 240 Vocabulary Words Kids Need To Know by Scholastic

You can have your child learn vocabulary words for their grade level with this cheap homeschool curriculum resource. Using a word bank each week, kids will work through activities and sentences using the vocabulary list. It doesn’t have to be done every day but it’s a great way to give your kids more exposure to different words without breaking the bank. Check them out here.


7. Daily Grams

Teaching grammar is simple when you are using this particular book. Your child does one page a day and they can do it independently. it is affordable and just enough for daily work in the area of grammar. You can spare yourself from getting more expensive alternatives and use it to successfully add a grammar component to your child’s curriculum. It starts at the Grade 3 level.


8. Scholastic Success (‘Success with’ Series Workbooks) 

Scholastic has a series of books for different subject areas (by grade levels) that are very inexpensive. For example, they have Success With Writing, Success With Grammar, and I also like the Success With Reading Comprehension (seen here). 

Keep in mind that these are thin workbooks and may not take the whole school year to go through but they are a great resource to use when you want to switch things up to keep your child from getting bored with the same workbook. 


9. Harcourt Family Learning (Flash Kids) Workbooks

This company has affordable workbooks for kids in various subject areas. The one I particularly like is for reading comprehension. It’s colorful and provides very good value at an affordable price. See the Reading Skills book here.


10. Handwriting Without Tears

This is one of the most popular companies for handwriting curriculum. Luckily, they are quite affordable too. This is the workbook for 1st grade handwriting. They do a fun and great approach to teaching writing.


11. 180 Days of Practice (Series Workbooks)

If you have both limited time and a limited budget, the 180 Days of Science (on amazon here) and the 180 Days of Social Studies are good choices. This keeps it both cost-effective and simple to teach these subjects. They also have the workbooks for Geography too. One page a day is all that is needed to do for 180 days.


12. Spectrum Workbooks

These workbooks are so cheap and are made for a variety of subjects. I like them for math. I find that the math is a little advanced in these workbooks which could be a good thing, depending on the particular child it is for. They even have them to practice Algebra. This company offers a great bargain for sure.


13. The Good and The Beautiful Curriculum

This is a very affordable homeschool curriculum for all ages through high school (and for many subject areas). They also offer digital download copies to make it even more affordable (and also free – as mentioned in my free homeschool curriculum article. They are Christian-based.

I have used (and will continue to use) their Language Arts curriculum, It covers spelling, grammar, writing, geography (in upper-grades), and even art appreciation. They offer high value for a low cost.


Cheap Homeschool Curriculum – Things To Consider

For homeschooling Language Arts, you will need something for the different components: reading and phonics, spelling, vocabulary, grammar, writing, and reading comprehension.

While looking for affordable options, don’t make the mistake of buying an all-in-one workbook for Language Arts. You will often skimp on quality for cost and you don’t want to do that. I have found that going with one workbook for Language Arts is not enough as it only covers very little for each area. It is not enough practice. 

The only exception to this is The Good and The Beautiful for Language Arts, although I would (and actually do) supplement with a few other resources mentioned above too because we are year-round homeschoolers.

If you are looking for a cost-effective Language Arts curriculum, BUT that is also comprehensive, go with separate workbooks for each area.

If you are looking to only supplement an existing curriculum, then an all-in one Language Arts workbook would be an okay choice.

Although almost all of these subjects are recommended as separate workbooks they are all inexpensive and together make a solid, yet affordable language arts curriculum.

Lastly, if you haven’t already (and if you live in United States), be sure to check if you have any state requirements for homeschooling here

Final Thoughts 

If you are homeschooling on a budget, I highly suggest you use this list of cheap homeschool curriculum! It’s available for all the elementary grades and their are enough options in case you decide to switch. You might like one company over another but they are all similar in what they offer and they are all made affordable for homeschooling parents.

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