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Catholic Homeschooling on a Budget

Catholic Homeschooling Made Affordable. Saving Money with High Quality Online Classes Loyal to the Magisterium.

Budget with used books, Compassion Grant, Unlimited Access, and more!

Homeschool Connections offers two ways to access our catalog of courses: LIVE (interactive) and recorded (self-paced). With LIVE classes, students receive instruction in real time, have live interactions with the instructor, and submit homework on a schedule like any in-person class. However, LIVE classes do not suit the schedule or budget of every family. If you are looking for ways to stretch your homeschooling dollars, you may want to consider Homeschool Connections’ Unlimited Access option for recorded, self-paced courses.

With Unlimited Access, you pay a flat monthly rate of $34.97 (you can cancel anytime). In exchange, you get access to our entire recorded catalog, which to date features over 500 courses! With an average course length of twelve weeks, that’s 6000 hours of class time—or 500 weeks of instruction—for around thirty-five bucks! Unlimited Access really is the way to go if you are on a tight budget. Here’s all the ways you can save money with Unlimited Access:

  • Can Extend to the Entire Family: Unlimited Access is truly unlimited; that extends to the whole immediate family, parents too! There is NO other deal like Unlimited Access in the homeschool world. Binge watch classes with the entire family; plug the computer into the TV and learn as a family. Youngers can skip the homework but participate in family discussions about the lecture. You can take full courses, use them to supplement other instruction, or have on hand for when you end up down a rabbit trail. Not only is your access unlimited, but the way you can use these recordings is unlimited as well!
  • Purchase by the Year! Access to 6000 hours of instruction for only $34.97 is already a fantastic deal, but the deal gets even sweeter if you purchase annually. An annual subscription is $360, which breaks down to only $30 a month.
  • Cheaper than Private School: The comparison of a semester of Unlimited Access compared to a private school really highlights the savings you get with Unlimited Access. In the United States, the average semester of Catholic high school costs $4,895 per student—that’s $1,224 per month for a single child (source). The $34.97 a month for Unlimited Access is beans compared to that!
  • Cheaper than Hiring a Private Tutor: Unlimited Access is also cheaper than hiring a private tutor. Homeschooling tutors typically charge in the rage of $40 an hour, depending on location and subject matter. Even if your child only saw that tutor once per week, Unlimited Access is still going to be about 128% less expensive. It’s still a better deal even if you pay extra for Instructor Access.
  • Remember, Time is Money! Perhaps you’re not going to private schooling or tutoring, but just back to full-time homeschooling on your own. If you are, more power to you! But remember, if the decision is a financial one, time is money. Homeschooling requires a time commitment, and there are so many hours in the day. Many families enjoy Unlimited Access because it frees up time—time for housework, or a part-time job, or rest, or recreation. There is always a cost for everything, and the cost of going alone is our time, which is the most precious resource we have.
  • More Financial Wiggle RoomThe savings of using Unlimited Access may give you the financial wiggle room you need if you want extra services, such as a personal homeschool coach, teen accountability mentor, or Instructor Access.
  • Compassion Grants. If you are a member of HSLDA and in serious financial need, then apply for a Compassion Grant. Grant recipients also receive a deep discount for Homeschool Connections LIVE & recorded classes.

Textbook Savings

After tuition, the highest cost in education is typically going to be textbooks. Thankfully, Unlimited Access can also save you money here as well. There are a variety of ways you can use the flexibility of Unlimited Access to save money in the textbook department:

  • Find Courses That Don’t Require a Textbook:  With Unlimited Access you can choose which courses best suit your needs. A great way to save money is to use the catalog to find classes that don’t require a textbook. Jason Negri’s U.S. Citizenship and Civics and Phillip Campbell’s Early American History are two examples, but there are tons more.
  • Skip Instructor Access: Some recorded classes come with Instructor Access (optional). This is a fee paid directly to the instructor to grade a child’s homework. This fee varies from course to course, depending on the difficulty of the grading. It is usually priced very reasonably. Still, if you’re looking to work as inexpensively as possible, you can choose to grade on your own (we supply answer keys where possible).
  • Use BookFinder.com for Used Books: For classes that do require a textbook, use BookFinder.com to get the best deals. Using Unlimited Access means you start the class on your schedule, so you have more time and flexibility shopping around to get the best deal.
  • Reserve Books Online from a Public Library: In that same vein, many libraries also have free audiobooks. Some libraries have special perks for educators (such as longer checkout times); ask if this extends to home educators.
  • Public Domain Books Available for Free: If instructors use public domain books, these can be obtained for free from the Gutenberg Project or Librivox.
  • Use CathSwap: CathSwap is an online group where home educators can buy, swap, or sell Catholic curriculum resources. They have an email list (here)  and a Facebook group (here). Again, using Unlimited Access means you can begin a course on your own schedule, allowing you the time to scrounge around to wheel & deal for the resources you need at the best prices.
  • Use the Homeschool Connections Community: If you are planning a certain course and looking for materials (or selling old materials) you can post ISO or For Sale posts in the Homeschool Connections Community or the HSC parents Facebook group. These are fantastic networking resources.

Of course, you don’t have to rely exclusively on Unlimited Access; many families prefer to blend live and recorded courses together for a more varied experience. While live classes remain an ideal for most families, Unlimited Access is a fantastic resource for the budgetarily challenged. To learn more about the benefits of recorded courses in general, please see our article “Benefits of Self-Paced Online (Asynchronous) Classes.”

Finally, remember that at Homeschool Connections, we are Catholic homeschoolers, too. We understand the challenges; we know firsthand what it is like to live on one income in a two-income world. We work hard to keep our services affordable, yet high quality. Our own children take Homeschool Connections LIVE and recorded classes! We offer tons of free resources to help you navigate the world of homeschooling with minimal hassle—and expense! We offer free homeschooling forms on our website, free scopes and sequences, free blog, a free homeschooling podcast, and access to the collective knowledge of Homeschool Connections parents, staff, and instructors through the free online Homeschool Connections Community.

Homeschool Connections has plenty of resources available to help you meet your homeschooling goals within your budget. And there is really no better value than Unlimited Access anywhere in the homeschooling world!


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