Lorielle Hollaway teaches her two children Ava (6) and Nadia (8) at their home in St. Petersburg, Florida. Hollaway saved money after school and reviewing school supplies such as crayons, markers, and glue from thrift stores for books and classroom materials. Aileen Perilla / The Penny Hoarder
For many families, starting school this year means figuring out how to create an appropriate study space at home.
If you've searched on Pinterest, you may think you need a special homeschool room that's carefully organized, decorated in bright colors, and adorned with child-sized furniture. And although that's nice, we all don't have free guest rooms that we can convert into a classroom. Children will definitely study this year at kitchen tables and in corners of rooms.
We also don't have unlimited budgets for preparing an instagrammable classroom. After all, our country is in recession and has record unemployment.
If you are looking for simple and inexpensive solutions, here are some tips on how to create a classroom (or just a small corner in your house) without spending too much money.
1. Inventory what is at home
Before you buy anything, go around at home and write down what you already have. In the past few years, you may have chosen to put new versions of everything on your child's school supplies list, but you don't have to buy crayons and glue sticks if you already have them at home.
If you have multiple children, save money by letting them share supplies instead of buying separate items for each child.
Think about what furniture – tables, chairs, desks, etc. – you already have that is suitable for your homeschool setup. Think about where your children normally do their homework and whether this is sustainable for virtual learning on a laptop.
2. Think outside of the beginning of school
You may find good deals when you start school, but these aren't the only ways to save.
Lorielle Hollaway, a mother from homeschooling in St. Petersburg, Florida, said she'd find better prices for school supplies a few weeks after school started when customer demand dropped and retailers tried to get the goods off the shelves.
Another strategy to save money is to buy cheaper branded products than branded products. In contrast to office supplies such as Office Depot or Staples, discounters such as Dollar Tree or Dollar General also offer cheaper consumables.
If you have friends who also set up classrooms, consider buying supplies in bulk in warehouses like Costco or Sam & # 39; s Club and splitting the costs up. Make sure you get a quote by checking if the unit price is cheaper than buying it individually.
3. Buy second hand equipment
Another place Hollaway has found deals is in thrift stores. Aileen Perilla / The Penny Hoarder
Another place Hollaway has found deals is in thrift stores. Search your local second-hand stores for books, teaching materials, or even desks and chairs. Also check the children's consignment stores.
Also search for used items for your classroom at the flea market or on Craigslist. If your city has an active Buy Nothing group, you can get free equipment for your homeschool room this way.
If you have a family or friends with older children, ask if they have something they want to share, such as index cards, puzzles, or other learning aids.
4. Get equipment from your schools
If your children are doing virtual learning from their schools, ask what types of equipment are provided.
Technical devices such as laptops and tablets are among the most expensive devices for starting school – but are absolutely necessary for online training. Fortunately, many school districts across the country provide students with the equipment they need.
Ask not only how you can access virtual lessons, but also what other types of resources you can borrow from schools, e.g. B. Calculators, rulers, protractors and painting utensils.
5. Use Artwork for Decor
If your kids love to scribble and draw, hang their artwork on the walls to liven up their classroom. Make a project at the end of summer by creating posters or collages.
Using Washi Tape is another inexpensive way to add pops of color. You can create an accent wall with washi tape in your school area or use it to decorate a table or tabletop. As soon as you no longer need a classroom, you can remove the tape immediately.
Blackboard contact paper is an inexpensive, non-permanent alternative to using blackboard paint in your room. Your chalkboard surface can serve as a decor and surface for your children to practice math problems and write vocabulary.
6. DIY organizational solutions
Hollaway uses a blackboard to teach her daughters Ava (6) and Nadia (8). The girls also use handicrafts for part of their learning. Aileen Perilla / The Penny Hoarder
You need something to store school supplies, papers, and notebooks – especially if your dining room has a double duty as a home school room and you need to clear everything away before dinner.
Instead of buying storage containers and containers, get creative with things you have at home.
Take empty glasses out of your wastebasket and use them as a holder for pens, crayons or other school supplies. Turn old cereal boxes into magazine holders where you can store your children's notebooks and papers.
Larger boxes – as with all Amazon supplies you've received – can be used to correct library books or keep materials for a scientific project in the works. Cover the boxes with wrapping paper or washi tape to make them look pretty.
Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.
Ready to stop worrying about money?
Get the Penny Hoarder Daily