If you’ve just started homeschooling or you’re thinking about doing it, one of the first things you might wonder about is the cost of homeschooling vs public schools. Are public schools always the cheaper option? Will homeschooling break the bank? In this article, we’ll break down the cost of homeschooling vs public school so that you can make the best decision for your child and family.
The Cost Of Homeschooling
The cost of homeschooling your child will depend on several different factors, including:
- School Supplies and Textboks
- Extracurricular Activies
- Type of Curriculum
- Number of Kids to Be Homeschooled
- Membership in Homschooling Organizations
- Other Expenses
Your kids will need software, computers and/or tablets for homeschooling. Access to wifi becomes important when you’re incorporating any kind of online lesson into your homeschool routine.
School Supplies and Textbooks
Another important homeschooling cost to take into account is school supplies. This includes regular school supplies as well as textbooks and curriculum sets.
If you’re new to homeschooling, it can be quite easy to overspend on supplies. To avoid overspending, we recommend that you start out with the basics: pencils, pens, paper, folders, and your curriculum book(s)/ online course of choice. After a few months you’ll have a better sense of if there’s anything else you need to buy.
Extracurricular activities should be considered for homeschooled children, just like you would for kids attending public schools. Some public schools allow homeschool students to join their art, sports, and other groups for free.
Even with homeschooling, there are activities that cost money, such as visiting zoos, theaters, or museums. Consider the cost of having your child take private lessons in music or language studies. We suggest that you try a mix of free (libraries) and paid (foreign language, music, swimming) lessons to help expand your child’s extracurricular activities.
Type Of Curriculum
You will need a homeschool curriculum in order to teach your child effectively at home. The cost of a curriculum for homeschooling can run up to a couple of hundred dollars, and it’s one of the most expensive homeschooling items. When deciding on a curriculum, you need to think about how your kids learn best. Mastery Genius offers an affordable and quality curriculum for math and reading.
How Many Kids You’re Planning To Homeschool
The cost of homeschooling is also affected by the number of kids you’re planning to homeschool. Obviously the more children that you have, the higher the expense.
Membership In Homeschooling Organizations
Often, homeschool parents join homeschool groups, like co-ops, or homeschool associations. They do this in order to be updated about state laws and requirements regarding homeschooling, and to learn more about available materials and resources, and to get extra support in their homeschool journey.
Other homeschooling expenses includes things like streaming services for educational programs, the cost of a homeschool tutor, and so on.
The cost of homeschooling includes a variety of facors, such as outdoor activities that your kids are involved in, school supplies and books, the curriculum you choose, and whether you decide to join a homeschool co-op or not.
Depending on what activities you want, the cost of homeschooling can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. Usually, the first year of homeschooling is the most expensive one because you developing your homeschool plan as you go.
Can Homeschooling Be Free?
If you have a tight budget, there are always ways to make homeschooling cheaper, and even completely free. Below, we will go over some affordable ways to enhance your homeschooling that won’t break the bank.
- Free online school courses
- Library (free classes and books)
- Free worksheets and a free homeschool curriculum
- Virtual museum field trips
- Free local travel landmarks and visiting the museum on free days
- Listening to podcasts
- Nature hikes
- Watching YouTube videos
The Cost Of Public School
In this section, we will go over the costs associated with public schools:
- Home Equipment
- Extracurricular Activities
Home equipment for public school students, includes things your child will need in order to do research for their assignments, like a stable internet connection, a computer, and a printer.
Many parents are still working when their child’s school day ends, so a lot of public school children require after-school care. The price of after-school care will vary depending on your location, but it can be around a couple of thousand dollars per year.
Even though there are science, art, and sports organizations for your child at public schools, parents still need to pay costs associated with these activities such as: costumes, uniforms, sporting gear, event tickets, and, at times, enrollment fees.
Is Homeschooling A More Practical Financial Option?
One of the main reasons why homeschooling is more affordable than public school is because homeschooling parents avoid many of the fees that public schools often require for various activities and events. If your kid is interested in drama class, sports, cheerleading, or any other activity at the school, there will often be fees you will need to pay in order for them to participate.
Also when you’re homeschooling your kids, you only buy the things that you need, and you can be as careful as you want with your budget. Public schools often require the purchase of a lot of items, including school clothes, backpacks, resources for projects, a countless number of folders and notebooks, highlighters, pens, and pencils.
However, public schools take on the burden of teaching and building a curriculum for students. This can be a plus or a minus depedning on how you look at it. Having you child in a physical school also gives parents the opportunity to work outside of the home and not stress about lesson plans. However, if your child is struggling in public schools, you’ll often find yourself helping them after working all day. You also might not feel that the public school curriculum is the best fit for your child.
Cost Of Homeschooling vs Public School
In this article, we covered the cost of homeschooling vs public school, and whether free homeschooling is possible or not. There are also personal costs to consider: time, stress and social opportunities. Homeschooling requires a lot of time from parents. The added responsibility of teaching your child can also add more stress to your life. And having your child home alone all day could be hard on their social development. However, public schools also take a toll on your time, stress levels and the social development of your child.
When deciding on homeschooling vs. public schools, be sure to consider all of the costs of homeschooling vs public school as well as your individual child and which environment they will thrive best in.