Budget pages with calculator showing a homeschooling

Muslim Homeschooling on a Budget

Homeschooling can be an expensive choice but in the current economic climate, it can seem unaffordable to many.  Even in families where only one parent works, regardless of whether they homeschool, educational expenses can feel like an added burden.  However Muslim homeschooling on a budget IS possible!  I’ve made a lot of (expensive) mistakes in my homeschooling journey, so read on to save yourself some money and learn from the error of my ways inshaAllah!

homeschool community

Homeschool Community

The most valuable resource for Muslim homeschooling on a budget is definitely a community.  It doesn’t have to be a thriving Muslim homeschool co-op in your area, few of us are blessed to have one of those.  However online groups and forums are goldmines for advice and suggestions for homeschooling on a budget.  

There are often homeschooling parents who club together to gain a group discount.  In London, there is a sister may Allah reward her, who regularly organises trips and excursions for Muslim homeschoolers.  They visit well-known attractions and educational sites for a fraction of the normal cost of entry.  Another sister here in jeddah, links up homeschooling families to secure group discounts for online subscriptions like IXL.  

If you join local or even international WhatsApp groups or forums, you’ll be able to benefit from other Muslim homeschooling parents’ experiences bithnillah.  You can seek advice about purchases, free resources, group discounts and more!

Ink tank printer showing a wise homeschooling purchase

Make Wise Purchases

The biggest expenses in my homeschooling journey have been all the needless purchases.  For example, the curriculum that was purchased because I was over-ambitious about what we could realistically achieve.  Or the fractions hands-on resource pack I bought because it was heavily discounted but ended up gathering dust on my shelf.  The low-quality materials that broke easily and had to be thrown away. Wise purchases are absolutely essential to Muslim homeschooling on a budget.  

It might mean that you have to invest in something that saves you money in the long run.  Something that I put off buying but has been hands-down the best purchase for my homeschool is a smart tank printer.  We went through several cheaper printers but it felt like they were always running out of ink and ink was expensive!  I tried not to print too much and definitely not in colour.  In hindsight,  that meant I wasn’t getting the most out of some educational subscriptions because I was hesitant to print too many pages.  I bought our ink tank printer 2 years ago (on sale) and we still haven’t used half the ink that came with the printer!  This is incredible because I truly print a lot.  I print all our homeschool pages plus all the resources that I create so I can photograph them for homeschooling families to see them in action. 

Here are some tips that I really should have followed!

  • Don’t buy something just because it is discounted.  Ask if you would use it at least once a month.
  • Wait a week or so before purchasing.  If you don’t feel as strongly about it a week later, it’s probably not essential.
  • Be realistic about what you will actually be able to use in your homeschool.
  • Check for any sales or discounts that are likely to happen soon.
  • Ask others for reviews about an item you are considering buying.
  • Quality over quantity (you’ll have to tidy and find a place to store it all)
  • Look for items that are multi-purpose or multiple kids will enjoy (e.g. magnet tiles)
  • Invest in items that could save you money in the long-run (if your budget permits)

Check what is working

There are lots of educational subscriptions out there that are really worthwhile but they might not be worth it for you.  It’s important to keep an eye on any recurring payments and to check whether you actually use those subscriptions on a regular basis.  You can also pause or cancel for a few months if you are going to stop homeschooling such as during Ramadan or the summer holidays.  

Swap and share resources to help with Muslim homeschooling on a budget.

Swap and Share

Another top tip for budget homeschooling is to swap and share resources.  You can borrow and lend phonics books, maths cubes, textbooks and more.  If you are happy to share your books, it’s a great idea to write your name on them. I actually bought an affordable custom stamp from eBay years ago and I use it to stamp all the family books.  It helps to avoid any confusion when books inevitably get mixed up.  

If you have any friends with children just a little older than yours, that is perfect.  You can ask to use any textbooks etc they are finished with.  

Free worksheets to help with Muslim homeschooling on a budget

Use free educational resources

Another blessing for those Muslim homeschooling on a budget are free resources.  There are lots of free worksheets, lesson plans and workbooks available.  The only investment is your time while you scour the net for something suitable.  It sounds really obvious but make sure to bookmark any sites that have lots of useful material.  Life is so busy and it’s easy to forget where you saw that great activity pack.  

Here is a list of links to useful websites:

A Muslim Child is Born – no longer updated but full of ideas and resources still

A Muslim Homeschool – use the sidebar to find so many useful links and resources

Umm Maimoonah – a complete section generously shared full of free worksheets

TJ Islamic Studies – Completely free Islamic studies worksheets and activities

Teach Me Islam– Sign up for the e-mail newsletter here & access the free resource library

Parental discretion necessary:

Teachers Pay Teachers – use the filter to select only free items

Twinkl – it’s a subscription site but it has a lot of free resources

Education.comit has a premium membership but a lot of the worksheets are free

Worksheets created about Ramadan showing how you can create your own resources when Muslim homeschooling on a budget

DIY and harness your creativity

There are so many ways you can save money by just doing it yourself.  It does take a bit of time and creativity but it can really pay off.  Living in Saudi has meant that sometimes even when the budget permitted, activities or resources simply weren’t available.  Alhamdulillah, it’s forced me to be creative and I’ve also hugely benefitted by other sisters sharing their creativity too.  

Here are some ways that you can save money by doing it yourself:

Clubs – Instead of girl guides and scouts, start your own club!

Tuition – Offer to tutor another child in exchange for tuition for your child.

Resources – Create your own worksheets, Canva is free and has lots of free templates.

Group discounts – Contact educational companies or venues to ask if they offer a homeschool group discount.  Then put the word out on groups to get numbers.

Sports – Rent a local pitch or hall and collect enough to cover the cost.

Free local resources and facilities

Most homeschoolers are experts at this but just in case you hadn’t explored your local area in a while.

Parks, libraries, forests/deserts are all free to use!

Become a bargain hunter

I love discounts.  It actually makes the item or activity so much more enjoyable to me if I know I have got a bargain.  

Here are some places to look for deals:

Online voucher codes – never buy anything online without checking first for a code or using an browser extension like Honey

Special sales – eg. Amazon Prime Day, Twinkl home educators week

Ebay – Second hand or as good as new, there are lots of bargains on ebay.  Just after the holidays when people resell their unwanted gifts is a good time!

Charity shops – they vary so much so if you find a good one, stick to it!

The end of sales – at the end of the sales there is normally one rack where the items are heavily discounted

Free trials – Use free trials (but make sure to set a reminder to cancel), if they ask for a reason why you want to cancel, select budget and they often will offer a deep discount.

The Ant free resource, information and activity sheets about ants in the Quran

Free resources to help you with Muslim homeschooling on a budget

I hope you have found these tips for Muslim homeschooling on a budget helpful.  If you would like to get a FREE resource to help connect Muslim kids to the Qur’an then join the mailing list here to download a fun activity pack about one of the Animals in the Qur’an, the ant, and gain access to the free resource library.

On a final note, if you know someone who needs Islamic resources and is financially struggling, e-mail me at teachmeislamtpt@gmail.com.  May Allah grant us with ample provisions and aid us with educating our children Islamically, aameen!

Here are some other blog posts you may be interested in:

5 types of Ramadan activities for young kids to try this Ramadan

5 Ways to Involve Young Kids in Ramadan

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