10 Tips for Homeschooling Geology on a Budget
New day, new school year, resolutions, planning. Oh, yes, planning. To be sure, our kids have been out of the home for a while now. But I do remember that wonderful turn of the year; a time for planning for the spring. Especially planning for our state home school convention was enjoyable. It was always a late winter or early spring affair. And it was a great time to get away and get refreshed. But I don’t think I was ever quite ready for making purchases. I was often hit with sticker shock as I contemplated what was going to work for us the next year. Can you relate? If so, here are some tips from a seasoned homeschooling parent for homeschooling on a budget for teaching Geology.
Why Consider a Budget for Geology
Homeschooling usually takes a chunk out of the budget. It only makes sense, as we seek out ways to best help educate our kiddos. We don’t want to fret about the impact to our budget, but let’s face it: that’s exactly what we do. We can’t make dollars appear where they simply aren’t.
Our focus, of course, is geology, and helping our kids be well equipped to stand firm in their faith. So needless to say, we think this subject is important! But many parents rush by it without pausing to think of the benefit to spending some good quality time here. Truly, geology is the foundation of the historical sciences. How you view geology will impact how you view biology, paleontology, archeology, and so on. So this is not a subject that you want to slight!
Most Kids Show a Natural Interest in Geology
We want you to be able to study it when the bug hits your kids. And we want it to be a wonderful time of learning. A real hands-on time vs. a dry time of looking at black and white pictures, with no real connection to the world around them. But I have seen the look of dismay that comes over parents’ faces when they see the amount of money that it can involve. The samples don’t come cheaply!
Painless Budgeting Ideas for Studying Geology
So, with that in mind, we wanted to give you some ideas on how to study geology if the budget is a bit tight. Let’s start with some very painless ideas:
- Depending on where you live, you may have access to all kinds of samples in your own backyard. Get outside and do some digging in the garden!
- When you’re traveling on vacation, stick a collection bucket in the back of your car. Stop when you see some good road cutouts, or venture down a country road and collect. (Of course, be sure that you are not collecting in a national or state park! That could get you a big fine, and we are trying to SAVE money!) Be sure to pack a hammer or pick to help with removing samples that are a bit trickier to get out. Other items to pack would include a small notebook and a pencil to make notes of your discoveries. A pen probably is not a good substitute, because if there is any moisture where you are hunting, it could ruin your notes.
- Call a local rock club and find out where they go to find specimens. Then plan your own trip to collect.
- If you know that you are going to be studying geology, determine to set aside a certain amount each month to help with purchasing supplies that you might need. If you could even set aside $10 a month, over a year, you will have squirreled away a very nice stash!
- Be sure, in your collecting, that you at least indicate where you found each sample. The story in the rocks is not just about what you find, but where you find it.
Budgeting for Geology Books and Supplies
When you are ready to make a purchase of books and supplies, we have some ideas that can help you to make the most of what you have put aside.
- We love books! But sometimes it helps a family’s budget to go with something like a Kindle edition. So, some of our books and guides are available on Kindle. We can’t put these in the kits, but we can help you figure out what you need, and how to get it.
- The study of geology is in large part, about worldview. Don’t spend your money on something that will undermine your worldview. If your dollars are precious to you, how much more your children’s spirits and souls? Put your dollars where they will count for Biblical instruction.
- We make custom kits all the time. Whether it is because you already have some samples, or you are using a different book to study from, we can get you the samples that work just for what you are doing. No need to buy a kit that you don’t need!
- Remember that although specimens tend to be pricey, they are non-consumable! Other family members can use them and they are often appreciated and studied for years to come. So be sure to keep them in a collection of some sort. Don’t throw them away! Egg cartons make excellent containers for keeping everything separate and labeled.
- Many of our kits at Northwest Treasures have similar samples. If you contact us, we can talk through how to combine different studies so that you aren’t purchasing samples that you don’t need.
So, there you go! I hope that these ideas help you as you are working through just how you are going to study geology. Your kids will thank you!