20 August 2010

Your Back-to-School Shopping List, Part II

Part I here.

I'm curious as to what you're spending on education stuff, if you'd like to share.  Would you like to see my list?

Clothes $0
I'm not counting these.  Really.  My middle boys are entirely on the hand-me-down system, except for a few items such as new sneakers here and there.  It is an absolute hoarder sty at my house, as I've saved every scrap of clothing from Patrick and G, the oldest two (16 and 15), for my middle children, Elf and Emperor (ages 10 and 9) .  Then I save Elf and Emperor's old stuff for my tiny boy Woodjie.  Big bags, tied up and thrown into an old playpen in the basement, and I dig for the sizes I want when seasons change based on the label I penned on masking tape when it went into storage.  Well, not too fashionable, but I'm sure this system has saved us gobs of money.  Did I mention we're working on paying down our mortgage whilst we dress our children in rags and they use thrift store walkmans?  Remember... the ones with cassette tapes? $3, yo.

Electronics/Mathematics $400

We got a little laptop so that Elf and Emperor can do their maths stuff separately.  We spent about $200 on the laptop and $200 on the math curriculum once you factor in extra workbooks.  Really.  So... $400 total there.

Pencils/Pens/Paper/Supplies and Art $200

Um, pencils and paper and markers run me practically nothing.  But I admit that I keep buying "sticker books," craft kits and that sort of thing.  I also like the 3-ring binders that are only one inch thick.  They're expensive if you want 'em to last, but sometimes we just splurge and live life a little.

English  $300

$40 for the Landmark Freedom literature curriculum (McGuffey readers)
$60 for Rod and Staff English (including extra workbook for Woodjie and Rose to use later)
$150 for BJU Press Spelling and Bible curriculum (Bible manual I bought used, or I'd be logging an even $200 here). 
Assorted reading book purchases, retail and otherwise, runs me about $50.

Science $45

$28 for our chemistry curriculum, and a bit more money thrown into the total for incidentals.  We still have plenty of Lifepacs from last year to finish and review this school year, not to mention the 4,000 books we'll be checking out from the public library when we're done with all that.

Chess $60

I haven't spent it yet, but I'm thinking there will be a tournament for them to go to at some point.  Maybe two.

History/Geography  $100

This includes colouring  and sticker books, a Lifepac on Greece and Rome, History Pockets on Egypt, Greece and Rome, and the Mary Pope Osborne Odyssey, Rome, Greece and Egypt books.  We also have quite a number of very good thrift store finds on Greece and Egypt.  I think I hit the place right after a teacher decided to do a different curriculum next year and pitch her current *good* stuff into the donation bin.  Otherwise I fear I would have spent quite a bit more.  Am slightly overestimating here for round-number purposes.

Printer ink $250

I'm thinking that deserves its own category.  Yowch.

Grand total $1355 or about $675 per child this year. 

Am I the only one who spends MORE as I find more neat things that I "have to have" each year?  I'm looking at this and thinking perhaps the DVD curriculum in a box isn't as expensive as I first thought... the sticker shock of seeing that they want so much money for the teaching lessons you must return in a year, and knowing I'd have to get another book kit for the other homeschooler AND rent the DVD later if I want to homeschool Woodjie and Rose... wow.  Sticker shock.  It might just be easier that way, though I couldn't see giving up our math.

Though it's different to homeschool a first-grader.  Paper, paper, paper, some simple books and a lot of reteaching.  I think I spent about $200 that first year with Elf at home.  I also think that if I *really* needed to, that I could pare back on some of the fun things I enjoy teaching.  I look at it more as an expensive hobby.


  1. I think I spent about 2500 dollars on the kids but, that includes co-op classes piano lessons, and tutuor sessions. That is for two kiddos. Tutor is not cheap but really needed.

  2. I have never tried to add it all up! I would probably keel over in shock if I did!
    Griffin is our most EXPENSIVE child by far so far! He costs us $150 a week just in extra lessons. *sigh*

  3. I refuse to add it all up. I spend $2000 a year that hubby knows about LOL. That doesn't include all the extra's I "HAVE" to have.


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