Homeschooling Elementary Home Economics

Homeschooling Elementary Home Economics ~ Our Cozy Den

This post is a long one, but it’s PACKED with goodies! Scroll down for both a FREE printable {Marketing Scavenger Hunt} as well as a GIVEAWAY!!! 

I’ve shared in the past a little about how we homeschool. One of the things we do in our homeschool is that we have 1 elective each year that rotates. The reason I do this all goes back to my first year of homeschooling…

Connor was 5, and we were doing Kindergarten. I also had a 3 year old, a 1 year old, and I was pregnant with Finn. In addition, it was the year we moved from Tennessee to Germany. To say it was a crazy year would be an understatement. On top of all that, I was terrified that I would somehow screw up this homeschooling thing, so I was teaching my five-year-old over TWENTY SUBJECTS. We were literally trying to do it all. Reading, writing, math, spelling, art, music, history, science, sports, Spanish, German, Arabic, health, geography… and more. 

Then I met Jennifer, my first homeschooling friend, who is now one of my closest friends. I look to her often for homeschooling and parenting advice. She quickly eased my fears and helped me to learn that I don’t have to do it all at once! 

So now, we switch out our elective each year. Last year we did health. Next year it’s going to be art. But this year we’re doing Home Ec.

Right now, my {school-age} kids are 5, 7, and 9 — so I knew that whatever we covered would have to work for those ages. However, it wasn’t quite easy to find curriculum on this subject for younger ages. Most of what I found was for high schoolers.

I considered what I wanted to cover, and came up with 6 subcategories: sewing, etiquette, cooking, baking, personal finance, and home management. Since our school year is 36 weeks, it was easy to divide it up into six 6-week sessions. These are the materials we used and my plan for each category!


Homeschooling Elementary Home Economics ~ Our Cozy Den

The books I used for teaching etiquette and manners were these two from Emilie Barnes, called A Little Book of Manners: Courtesy and Kindness for Young Ladies, and A Little Books of Manners for Boys: A Game Plan for Getting Along with Others.

This is what we covered in our 6 weeks of etiquette:

Week 1: Greetings & Introductions

Week 2: Talking to adults, answering the phone, respectful responses

Week 3: How to treat guests, how to be a respectful guest, and how to deal with conflicts

Week 4: Dinner etiquette, table manners, proper table settings

Week 5: Saying thank you, writing thank you notes

Week 6: Self-control


Homeschooling Elementary Home Economics ~ Our Cozy Den

The main core of our sewing unit was this book, called Sewing School. The other materials we purchased to go along with it were a needle threader, needles, embroidery floss, stuffing, ribbons, and fabric.

Week 1: we worked on threading needles, types of fabric, sewing basic stitches (straight stitch and whipstitch), and we picked out our projects for the following five weeks. This book has tons of projects, each rated 1-star (easy), 2-star (medium), or 3-star (hard).

Week 2: each child chose a 1-star project.

Week 3: another 1-star project.

Week 4: 2-star project

Week 5: another 2-star project

Week 6: final project, a 3-star project

Sometimes they would need help (especially Sophie, my 5-year-old), but for the most part the did it all on their own! By the end of the 6 weeks, they were sewing like pros. Now the book and all of their sewing supplies are in their own sewing bin, and they keep sewing for fun in their free time, even long after the classes are over.

Home Management

Homeschooling Elementary Home Economics ~ Our Cozy Den

Our home: 3 floors, 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1600 sq. ft., paid in full!

The only “curriculum” I used for this unit was our house! I wrote up a plan for what we were covering each week, and it looked like this. It involved a lot of housework, but also learning! The main things I wanted them to learn was how to take care of the home, including how to clean properly, how the inner functions work (insulation, plumbing, electricity), and why we do certain maintenance.

Week 1: How to clean windows, baseboards, & curtains; basics of electricity; periodic home maintenance items, such as changing furnace filters, flipping mattresses, changing smoke detector batteries.

Week 2: How to clean walls, floors, & furniture; how to do laundry

Week 3: How to clean the kitchen; how appliances work and how to clean/use them

Week 4: How to clean the bathroom; plumbing basics

Week 5: Exterior home care (gutters, foundation, other maintenance); lawn care (mowing, weeding, trimming)

Week 6: Vehicle care (what all the gauges on the dashboard do, how the engine works, how to check fluids, how to get gas)


Homeschooling Elementary Home Economics ~ Our Cozy Den

For our cooking unit, we used The Children’s Quick & Easy Cookbook. It has an assortment of appetizers, sides, entrees, and desserts. It also has an introductory chapter, all about rules of the kitchen and how to get started. There is also an index, with instructions (and photos) on how to do things like basting, blending, beating, mixing, whipping, etc.

Week 1: We went over the introductory chapters, read instructions in the index, and chose our menus for the other 5 weeks.

Weeks 2-6: Each week, each child prepared a part of the meal (appetizer, entree, side, or dessert). So every week, they all had their own dish to prepare. I made a chart so that each one would prepare each type at least once. They made lots of delicious things, like Spicy Chicken Burgers, Peppermint Creams, Thai Kabobs, Tiramisu, and more!

Personal Finance

Homeschooling Elementary Home Economics ~ Our Cozy Den

For our personal finance unit, we used Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace Jr.  {This link goes to, which is currently the cheapest place to buy it, at $19.99 plus free shipping. Occasionally, runs sales that make it cheaper, especially around the holidays – so check there too!} I teach his grown-up Financial Peace University classes often, and I’m a huge believer in the principles he teaches! I also went to the kids & money section at my local library, and we read TONS of books about money, banks, saving, spending, investing, and more!

Week 1: Lesson 1 (working);  books about the history of money, plus we looked at money (both U.S. money, and our collection from our world travels) and discussed the images on it

Week 2: Lesson 2 (giving); books about giving back and volunteering, Bible verses about tithing

Week 3: Lesson 3 (saving); books about banks, how they work, activity about compound savings and how it adds up

Week 4: Lesson 4 (spending); books about spending, discussions about making good spending choices

Week 5: Field trip to the bank – we learned about the parts of the bank, how it works, and the bank let the kids go look in the vault

Week 6: Field trip to the mall, where we did a fun Marketing Scavenger Hunt — to learn about all the different tricks that stores use to entice us into spending more.


CLICK HERE to download a FREE copy of my Marketing Scavenger Hunt — along with a Parent’s Guide full of marketing strategies you can discuss with your kids!


How to enter ~ leave a comment below to enter the giveaway. Each comment is another entry. Earn additional entries for sharing this blog post on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, liking us on Facebook, and becoming an email subscriber!

Win a full Financial Peace Jr. curriculum set from Our Cozy Den!!!

Giveaway rules: open to residents of the US. Winner will be drawn Sunday, September 27th and notified soon thereafter by email. Failure to claim prize within 48 hours forfeits your rights to the prize. This prize was purchased by me (Christy) and was in no way sponsored by any company. It’s simply a product that I love and wanted to give away to my lovely readers!


Baking is our last unit — perfect for the cooling days of fall, and the season of apple pies, pumpkin bread, and lots of yummy baked deliciousness. For our 6 weeks, each of the big kids (Connor, Lia, and Sophie) are choosing 2 items to bake. They can choose out of the Children’s Cookbook we used for cooking class, or out of my own arsenal of recipes. Then each week, all 3 kids will help make the baked good of the week, while we learn about measurements, cook time, preheating the oven, how to blend ingredients (wet first, then dry), and professional taste-testing!

So what do you think?

Do you teach Home Economics with your elementary school kids? Which subjects do you want to cover but haven’t?


“I Don’t Think I Could Homeschool.”

I Wish I Could Homeschool... Our Cozy Den

Since the day I started homeschooling my kids — 5 years ago now — I was getting comments from other parents. Some of them were positive, like “You’re doing such a great thing for your family!” Others were negative, such as “You’re ruining your kids by homeschooling them.” But I was surprised how many were wistful parents, expressing how much they’d LIKE to homeschool, many even expressing that they feel God is calling them to homeschool, but they feel they can’t.

These are the parents I’m talking to today.

I’m going to address several reasons people think they can’t homeschool, and why that is, in fact, not true.

“I’m not patient enough.”

Let me tell you something. Patience is not something that I was born with. It is something that has been grown in me over time, and developed over patience-demanding situations. It’s a commonly-held belief that 10,000 hours of practice in any field will make you an expert. If that’s true, then I’m well on my way to being a perfectly patient parent. Without this “practice” during our homeschool days, I would not be as patient a mom as I am, because I would not have been honed in that way. Believe me, it’s one of those skills that God develops in you on-the-job, not beforehand!

“I don’t have enough time.”

Homeschooling, in my opinion, actually gives us the blessing of time. Since we are not tied to a school system’s schedule, we are free to do whatever we want with the hours God has given us. So, if you want, you can sleep until 10. Or do school at night. Or school on the road.

Most homeschoolers I know spend an average of 2-3 hours (for elementary) and 3-4 hours (for middle/high school) on school work. I don’t know about you, but that sound like less time than a kid in regular school would spend: a) getting dressed; b) gathering supplies; c) driving/walking/riding the bus to school; d) driving/walking/riding the bus home; e) sorting through the multitude of things they brought home; f) and doing homework. And none of this even includes the time they are actually at school.

Our days look more like this: Sleep in, family breakfast, do a little schoolwork, go do something fun together, a little more schoolwork, rest/read/play, do some chores, eat dinner together, play some games, and family reading time before bed. It’s a TON more low-key and flexible than it would be if the kids were in school all day.

“I don’t have enough money.”

You guys know I’m ALL about saving money. I’ve done the math many times, and I’ve come to the conclusion that homeschooling is actually CHEAPER than sending my kids to public school. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of places to get curriculum for free. And there are a dozen more ways that the family saves money by homeschooling. I have an entire blog post about the subject here.

“I don’t know enough.”

Here’s a little secret… the answers are in the back of the book.  Seriously, though. “Real” teachers don’t know 100% of the knowledge they teach our kids. They need a refresher on this stuff just like we parents do. The answers are in the book, and if you need further help on a particular subject, the internet is a vast and exhaustive resource.

Also, when you don’t know the answer, this teaches your kids a few valuable lessons: 1) how to seek the answers when they need to know something, and 2) the humility of admitting you don’t know, instead of playing it off like you know everything. And learning things together is a fun bonding experience!

“I’m worried about socialization.”

This one is just a ridiculous societal myth about homeschoolers. It’s true, there are some homeschoolers that live out in the boonies and never see people. But probably 99% of us are very involved in our communities. We go to so many activities, that many homeschoolers are guilty of OVER-socialization. In my family, we are involved in swim lessons, homeschool PE, summer camp, open gym, church, kid’s club, library programs, and multiple programs within our local homeschool group. Studies actually show that homeschooled students do a BETTER job of relating to others than kids who go to public school, because they have so much experience talking to people of all ages in many situations. Children from public schools spend all day in a classroom with children their own age, so they are trained to relate to people with the same age and life experience as them. No place in the “real world” is like this. In a real-world work setting, people will be working with a wide range of ages, from fresh-out-of-college to the brink of retirement. Homeschooling better prepares them for this environment of varied ages.

“My spouse won’t let me.”

This is the only reason that I think is a valid one. The Bible tells us to submit to our husbands, and I believe this means that the husband has final word over decisions like this. But I also believe that a good husband will listen to your words and opinions and take them into consideration. So this is how you should/could approach the idea of homeschooling, if your husband is less-than-keen on the idea. Gather information – books from the library, blog posts, articles – that show the many benefits of homeschooling. Present all of the information to your husband, along with how/why you personally feel God calls you to do this, and any reasons specific to your family. Don’t be pushy or over-explain, just give him the information and ask him to read it over. Then pray. Ask God to change his heart. Occasionally mention that you feel God is calling you to homeschool your children, so he knows that it still matters to you, but don’t nag him about it. In time, if it is God’s will, he will come around.

Those are the biggest and most common reasons I’ve heard from people who wanted to homeschool, but feel like they can’t. What do you think? Did I miss any?

Indian Creek Petting Zoo

Indian Creek Petting Zoo ~ Northwest Ohio Day Trips  from Our Cozy Den

Recently we took a little trip over the border into Michigan to visit Indian Creek Petting Zoo. It’s located in Lambertville, Michigan, just outside of Toledo, Ohio. My dad had scored a good deal on a Groupon ($25 for our tickets instead of $40), so he gifted us some tickets for our admission.

We’ve been learning about animals this year in science class, so it was the perfect time to visit. We went on a drizzly Friday morning, so it was not crowded at all. Here are some of the animals we got to see (and touch!) during our visit:

Indian Creek Petting Zoo ~ Northwest Ohio Day Trips  from Our Cozy Den

Petting baby goats!

Indian Creek Petting Zoo ~ Northwest Ohio Day Trips  from Our Cozy Den

The peacocks were really cool!

Indian Creek Petting Zoo ~ Northwest Ohio Day Trips  from Our Cozy Den

Alligators creep me out — but the kids liked them!

Indian Creek Petting Zoo ~ Northwest Ohio Day Trips  from Our Cozy Den

It took Connor some warming up before he would touch any of them. Finally the sheep won him over.

Indian Creek Petting Zoo ~ Northwest Ohio Day Trips  from Our Cozy Den

Lia is definitely my little animal whisperer: she loved interacting with all of them!

Indian Creek Petting Zoo ~ Northwest Ohio Day Trips  from Our Cozy Den

More goats!

Indian Creek Petting Zoo ~ Northwest Ohio Day Trips  from Our Cozy Den

What’s this called again? A za-donk? Zonkey? It’s half zebra half donkey.

Indian Creek Petting Zoo ~ Northwest Ohio Day Trips  from Our Cozy Den

Sophie liked the llamas. And of course she kept chanting, “Llama llama no more drama… llama llama mad at mama…” and other lines from the books.

Indian Creek Petting Zoo ~ Northwest Ohio Day Trips  from Our Cozy Den

The bunny pen was another favorite!

Indian Creek Petting Zoo ~ Northwest Ohio Day Trips  from Our Cozy Den

Petting bunnies!

Overall, we had a really nice time there! Like I said before, we didn’t pay for our tickets (we did buy a cup of food to feed the animals). I’m not sure I would pay the full admission price. I can imagine that it costs a lot to run a place of that magnitude, so I understand the need to charge that much, but $45 would have been a lot for our family to spend on 90 minutes of entertainment.

Here is my overall take on the place:

  • It is kind of expensive, unless you go with a coupon or other deal.
  • It was really nice to have hands-on interaction with some of the animals. We got to feed and pet goats, sheep, llamas, & bunnies, and we got to see many other animals as well.
  • The selection of animals was rather small, compared to a regular zoo, but that also made it easier to see them all and spend time with them.
  • It was only sort of stroller friendly. The paths are not paved, so it made for bumpy riding, but it wasn’t so bad that it was impassable.

You can check out current ticket prices & hours on their website HERE and check out Groupon for current deals HERE. (*the deal posted today is not the same deal our family got, it costs more but includes more stuff*)

Check out our other Northwest Ohio Day Trips ~ and follow me on Pinterest for more homeschooling, travel, & recipes!

How We Go to the Zoo (with FREE printable activity sheets!)

How we go to the zoo (with FREE printable activity sheets!) ~ Our Cozy Den

In our homeschool this year, we’ve been doing Field Trip Fridays – with a fun educational outing each and every week. We’ve been to some pretty neat places, but one of our favorites is the zoo! I don’t know about you, but a trip to the zoo with a vanload of kids can be pretty stressful for me. That is, until I changed the way I did things! Here’s my failproof, stress-free zoo plan!

1. Break it up.

Don’t try to see the whole zoo in one trip. There’s no rule that says you have to look at everything every time you go! For our family, a yearlong membership paid for itself in only 2 visits. We got the membership, and then made a plan to see small pieces of the zoo in greater detail over the span of a year.

A few reasons this rocks:

  • You’re not running around the whole zoo like crazy trying to see it all.
  • You can spend less time there, knowing you have another trip in the works. Our zoo trips are usually only 1-2 hours.
  • The kids actually absorb more and learn more when you’re going at a slower pace.

2. Do your research.

Go to your zoo’s website, and download a zoo map. Look at which animals are in which areas and which ones are indoors vs. outdoors. Print off a map, and draw your planned route for the day.

3. Plan your route around your studies and/or the season.

We are studying animals in science this year, so I have broken up our zoo trips into our areas of study. In fact, I planned our homeschool units in this order, so that we could study the indoor zoo animals in the colder winter months, and the outdoor animals in the summer.

Our homeschool runs on a calendar year – January through November. (Read more about that here.) We did reptiles first (Jan/Feb), then amphibians (Feb/Mar), invertebrates/bugs (Mar/April), mammals (May-August), birds (Sept/Oct), and lastly sea life, the fish and marine invertebrates (Oct/Nov). We are taking 1 trip to the zoo for each unit, except the mammals unit got 3 trips since it is so large and extensive.

4. Tell your family the plan.

Make sure the kids know what’s going to happen! Avoid meltdowns (“I didn’t get to see the monkeys!?!”) by telling them ahead of time, “We’re only going to the reptile house today. We’re going to see the monkeys on another visit.”

5. Bring along some activities.

Kids like to be active in their learning. Don’t just show them the animals and expect them to learn anything. Engage their senses, by having them observe and record what they see! See below for free printables!!

6. Have fun!

Don’t get too crazy about your route and your plan. If you have a little extra time, it’s okay to swing by and see the elephants (even if you haven’t studied them yet, gasp!) My husband is the one who really enforces this for us, since I tend to be more plan-oriented. He makes me a better mom!

How we go to the zoo (with FREE printable activity sheets!) ~ Our Cozy Den


I made up some zoo activity sheets for you guys, to make your zoo trips more educational and FUN!

The printable pack includes 3 activity sheets:

  1. A “Zoo Fun Sheet”, geared for elementary school aged kids who can read and write on their own.
  2. A preschool page that requires no reading or writing, just drawing and coloring.
  3. A Zoo Scavenger Hunt, for all ages (non-readers will need help knowing what to look for). You can do all the sections, or pick and choose which ones you are doing on that day’s trip — for example, just the color and name sections, or the people and classes sections — it’s up to you how much to do, based on how much time you have and their attention spans! You could also do one section at a time, with a winner for each section, and that person chooses which section to do next. There are lots of ways to use this!


By clicking the link above, you agree to the following terms of use:

All printables on Our Cozy Den are for personal use only. You may save the files for your future use, but please do not send them directly to others. Instead, direct them to this blog post so that they may download them.

Thank you for visiting, and may you have many happy, stress-free zoo trips in your future!


10 Ways Homeschooling is Cheaper than Public School

10 Ways Homeschooling is Cheaper than Public School ~ Our Cozy Den

Many people have told me that it’s too expensive to homeschool! You guys know how much I love saving money, so I wanted to tell you all the ways that homeschooling is actually CHEAPER than public school! There’s a lot of math in this post, so let’s have some fun breaking down the costs! I think you’ll be surprised at some of the numbers!

1. Curriculum

Yes, curriculum can be expensive if you choose to go that way. But there are hundreds or thousands of free resources online (too many for me to count). So you don’t have to spend any money unless you want to.

Here are some of my favorite resources for free homeschooling:

  • Easy Peasy All-in-one-Homeschool
  • The FREE list from Only Passionate Curiosity
  • Free curriculum from
  • Your local library — check out books on just about every subject, and you can have a complete, well-rounded curriculum just from library books.
  • Pinterest – millions of choices for awesome unit studies, free printables, and more!
  • Google – do a search for anything you want to study along with “free printable” or “worksheet”, and you’ll find what you needed in seconds.
  • YouTube – millions of videos to show you how things are made, teach you about history, take you on virtual tours of places… YouTube videos cover virtually every subject known to man!

There are many, many others: this is just a small sampling. But you can see that you can cover any subject, for any grade, for no cost – if you wanted to.

Public schools are also not free, as many believe. Every school I have ever heard of charges fees. These fees average $76 for elementary school and go up to $414 for high school, per student.

Homeschool cost: $0; Public school cost: $76

2. Clothes

I did some research to find out how much the average American spends on back-to-school clothes, and got many different numbers ranging from $179-$285 per student. Multiply that by how many children you have, and that is a LOT of money. When you have school at home, there just isn’t the need for a wardrobe like that. Kids won’t get teased for wearing the same outfit twice in a week, or wearing the same jeans more than once. You can even have school in your pajamas if you want to! I spend about $50 a year on clothes for ALL FOUR of my children combined. If they were in regular schools, I know that would not be a reasonable expectation.

Homeschool cost: $13; Public school cost: $200

3. School Supplies

Along the same lines of clothes, there is a lot we don’t need to buy pertaining to school supplies. In public schools, parents spend an average of $100 per student per year. In addition to the fact that you need to buy new items each year, you also have to outfit the classroom with general purpose items like dry erase markers, tissues, antibacterial wipes, hand sanitizer, and more. In our homeschool, we don’t have to buy any of those items (okay, well I do buy tissues, but we are almost never sick, so a 59¢ box lasts 6 months or more). The school supplies we DO buy, like paper, glue, pencils, crayons, etc. – last several years and all 4 students share. I pick up supplies when they go on clearance in September, and I spend probably $8 a year for all of my kids.

Homeschool cost: $2; Public school cost: $100

4. Food

The average school lunch costs $2.08. Multiply that by 180 days of school, and you get $374 per year per student. For my 4 kids, that would be about $1,500 a year! I’ve shared about our low-cost grocery plan, and we spend about $25 a month on lunch for all six of us. That’s less than a $1/day to feed six people lunch, as opposed to paying $8.32 a day just for the kids.

Homeschool cost: $30; Public school cost: $374

5. Snacks and Parties

And then there are the snacks. I have several friends with kids in public schools, and they share that they are “required” (i.e. = requested but made to feel guilty if refused) to provide snacks for their children’s classes once or twice a month. If you have to provide a snack for 30 children once a month for 4 kids’ classes, that’s a lot of money — especially since the teacher asks that the snacks be store-bought, pre-packaged snacks that cost more. Figure $15 per month per student for class snacks.

Then there are school parties, where parents are requested to bring a snack or dish for the class to share. You can add another $30 a year per student for this cost.

Homeschool cost: $0; Public school cost: $165

6. Fundraisers

School fundraisers are a way of life. I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want to spend my time doing is hawking goods for my kids to help them earn some junk I will throw away in a few months anyway. The fundraisers are terrible for children, because it forces them into a competition, which feels more like a popularity contest. One friend of mine even shared that kids who didn’t sell enough had to sit in the classroom and read while the other kids went to a pizza-and-movie party. That’s just wrong to exclude children that way!

As for the financial part of it, parents spend an average of 13 hours selling on behalf of their children, and they personally spend an average of $49 (for the school to receive less than 50% of sales), for an average of 2 fundraisers per year.

The things that schools are raising money for are expenses that we just don’t need to cover in our homeschools.

Homeschool cost: $0; Public school cost: $98

7. Gas

The average American household is 3.6 miles from their child’s elementary school, and 6 miles from the high school. (source) Let’s use an average of the two (4.8) for our math here. Most children today are driven to school, as opposed to riding the bus or walking. So that means parents are driving 19.2 miles per day driving their children to and from school. Today’s national gas price average is $2.80, and the average family vehicle gets 17 mpg in the city. Multiply that by 180 days of school, and your cost is $569.22 per year to drive your children to school.

Homeschool cost: $0; Public school cost: $569

8. Vacations

You might think, “What does vacation have to do with homeschooling?” When we homeschool, we choose our own schedules. So we can take our family vacation in February or September, when off-season prices make things cheaper and easier. Imagine: half-price hotel rooms, no long lines, no waiting times at restaurants, just a nice, relaxing trip!

The average American family spends $1,145 per person on their annual vacation. It’s common to save 40-60% by traveling in the off-season, taking your price per person down to $572.50. That’s huge savings!

Homeschool cost: $573; Public school cost: $1,145 

9. College

Colleges are expensive, and having a leg up on the competition is key to getting accepted and getting scholarship money. You might not know that colleges are accepting homeschoolers at a higher rate than traditionally schooled students, because they are more qualified and more well-rounded than their public-school peers. Homeschooled students also typically graduate high school with more college credits under their belts, saving even more there. Homeschooled students enter college with 8.7 more credits than public schooled students (14.7 vs. 6.0). With average cost per credit hour at universities being $400, that’s a savings of $3,480!

Homeschool savings: $5,880; Public school savings: $2,400; not including unknown amounts for increased scholarships for homeschooled students

10. Priceless Growth

The amount of quality family time, sibling bonds, personal growth, educational experience, and fostering independent learning is priceless. Even if homeschooling costs were ten times that of public school — which I have proven here is not the case — I would still do it. Homeschooling is worth it.

Totals Per Student Per Year:

(not including college savings)

Homeschool Cost: $618

Public School Cost: $2,727

Savings per student: $2,109

If you multiply this by my 4 children, I am saving $8,436 PER YEAR for choosing to homeschool them! That’s $109,668 over twelve years of school!

I’d love to hear from other parents! Are there any public school costs that I missed on the list? Are there any other ways your family saves money by choosing to  homeschool?

Mansfield, Ohio

Ohio Day Trips: Mansfield ~ Our Cozy Den

We love doing Field Trip Fridays in our homeschool! I’m going to share with you about one of our recent trips – to Mansfield, Ohio!

First stop:

The Mansfield Fire Museum

There were a lot of things I loved about this place. First of all, it was FREE. They even gave my kids some free fire hats as souvenirs! There were a lot of things to do and see: real fire trucks, equipment, photos, costumes, and more. There were a lot of don’t-touch displays, but some hands-on stuff for the kids as well. Click here for their website with address, hours, etc.

We loved all of the fire trucks from different eras.

We loved all of the fire trucks from different eras.

Finn, of course, was going berserk over them!

Finn, of course, was going berserk over them!


We studied the history of fire fighting, and looked at the equipment used over the years.

We studied the history of fire fighting, and looked at the equipment used over the years.



The kids got to play dress-up in firefighter uniforms.

The kids got to play dress-up in firefighter uniforms.


There was a fun little model house inside the museum, where you could practice fire safety and escape procedures.

There was a fun little model house inside the museum, where you could practice fire safety and escape procedures.

There was also a miniature town from the old days, with a firehouse from back when they used horses instead of trucks!

There was also a miniature town from the old days, with a firehouse from back when they used horses instead of trucks!

Sophie said "I'm going to marry him!" *shaking my head*

Sophie said “I’m going to marry him!” *shaking my head*


The cute little "old town".

The cute little “old town”.


Stop 2:

Richland Carrousel Park

This carousel was awesome! It’s indoors, so you could visit rain or shine. The cost was reasonable — 6 tickets for $5. (See their website for full pricing info and hours.) The kids had a blast jumping on and choosing their rides. I liked that they had several seating options: many different kinds of animals, some that go up and down and some that don’t, and sleigh bench seats.





Connor was SO excited to see a hippocampus! He just finished reading the Percy Jackson series, so this made his day.

Connor was SO excited to see a hippocampus! He just finished reading the Percy Jackson series, so this made his day.

And finally:

Downtown Mansfield

You could technically include the carousel in this, because it is smack in the middle of downtown. But these are the other things we saw & did downtown.

The streets were very clean and well-maintained, even the back alleys!

The streets were very clean and well-maintained, even the back alleys!

We stopped in a cute little book store with a great selection of local books and old maps.

We stopped in a cute little book store with a great selection of local books and old maps. (Book store link)

This made us all laugh: "Remove hand before closing." Duh.

This made us all laugh: “Remove hand before closing.” Duh.

We had a great day on our field trip!

Ohio Day Trips: Mansfield ~ Our Cozy Den