Tips to Frugal Homeschooling

homeschool philippines

On my previous post, I shared my thoughts on homeschooling only for the rich. This made me think, what have we been doing in our homeschool to be frugal? Let me share with you some tips based on our own personal experience.


First and foremost, come up with a budget for that school year - or at least for the first quarter. List down what are your needs and wants. And adjust your list according to your budget.

I admit that I don't always follow my budget. Laging may extra na nabibili kapag lumalabas or nag-oonline. Kaya, include the buffer to your budget. Para yan sa mga bagay na di mo naman kailangan kaagad pero bigla mong nakitang naka sale at di mo kayang palampasin. Believe me, when you are homeschooling, it's hard to control oneself when it comes to buying (hoarding??) learning materials. Tumigil na kapag di na kaya ng budget! (note to self. Haha!)

Buy preloved

Our storybooks collection is 90% pre-loved. I take advantage of warehouse sales at Scholastic and Books for Less in Pasig to score books. For brand new books at discounted prices, I also go to Manila International Book Fair, and recently the Big Bad Wolf.

Preloved books

For Kuya V's grade school textbooks, I buy or ask from friends for preloved copies. I can save as much as 80% as compared to buying it brand new.


If a learning material is too expensive for you, find a substitute that has the same result when used. For example, wooden clothespin were expensive in 2014 since there were very few online sellers then. What I did then was substitute it with the regular sipit you can buy from the market.

Or perhaps those interlocking cubes cost thousands of pesos? Get the ones from divisoria or local online shops that sell them for less than 300 pesos.

Check if you can find a substitute for an expensive learning material.


Most of the time when I did DIY learning materials for my kids it is because I didn't want to buy the actual tool. If they are beyond my budget, I make it (and may I note you should find time to actually make them).

DIY pompoms

You may read about my DIY projects in the past:


One of the many things my parents shelled for a lot of money when we were still studying were school supplies:  textbooks, bags, notebooks, etc. When homeschooling, you don't have to buy new ones each school year. You can reuse your school supplies from last year.

The books I used on Kuya V will most likely be used by Toddler Z and Baby I. I may sell or donate some but the ones that helped me teach are staying on my shelf.

Repurposed our crib to use it as a study table. Read more about it here:

Additional Tips:
  • Need a map? Get a free map of the Philippines from a calendar of a drugstore company.
  • Paint and reuse bottles to become as pen holders
  • Use scratch papers
  • Put printed exercises in a paper protector and let your child use dry erase markers. We have saved a lot of ink and paper by doing these instead of reprinting several copies of writing activities.
  • BORROW! Borrow learning materials and tools from family and friends.
With paper protector

Recycled milk container and cup

Free activities

Putting kids to special classes on music, art, and sports can be costly. You are always thinking of activities for your kids but backing out the moment you compute the expenses.

Take advantage of free activities, workshops, and entrances to exhibits by subscribing to FB pages or websites of goverment bodies. Your local library may even have a special workshop this summer for free. Or a free entrance to a museum. Or your barangay or local church may have ukelele classes or basketball. Some may have fees but they will be cheaper than enrolling them to a center.

You can also watch tutorials on YouTube.

You may also ask a friend to teach your kids. You can teach them how to bake. Or grandpa can perhaps teach chess while your husband teach basketball. I specially like grandparents teaching their grandkids about gardening and farming.

Go on a hike.

Play at the playground.

Play board games.

Art activity at an indoor playground

Free online resources

We are at a time where our resources are available at the tip of our fingers. There are thousands of free learning tools and materials online and I could not imagine myself surviving homeschool without internet. I admire those who homeschooled without the net. Lodi!

Free Bible app for tablet

A precaution though you might get overwhelmed at the first time but don't worry, you'll get the hang of it. Eventually you will learn to ignore those that are not fit for your kid.

Make use of what you have at home

Walls can be converted to a chalk board with just paint or using chalk board sticker from Daiso.

We use the dining table as our study table.

You don't have counters? Use the cookies in the jar. Or the grapes. Or the spoons.

Sungka and shells for fine motor and counting activities

And lastly, make the world your classroom. Kids can learn from their environment, from you, the places they go to and the people they meet. Make every time spent be a learning experience.

Homeschooling with grandma at the supermarket

Homeschooling need not be expensive, kelangan lang madiskarte ka para makatipid. :)


  1. Yan ang magandang mommy, madiskarte dapat. Hindi naman need gumastos ng bongga for new items. Right?

    1. True! Kapag Nanay talaga, kelangan madiskarte. Always look for the value. Not all expensive are valuable naman kasi.


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