Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, more and more parents transitioned to homeschooling their children compared to previous years. Though homeschooling seems easy to an outsider, there may be legal requirements, hidden costs, and other unknown factors. Therefore, conducting outside research or getting information and helpful tips from other homeschooling families in your community is best.
Homeschooling Expenses: What to Expect
The decision to remove your children from a public school setting can be difficult for many parents. Most private schools require costly tuition fees, making homeschooling more enticing to families. However, you might not be aware of the expenses and costs of homeschooling. Homeschooling expenses consist of:
There are some free options for homeschooling; however, most options are not free. You might also need to purchase student workbooks, teaching materials, and other learning materials required to complete the classwork. Typically, curriculum requirements vary state by state, so it's essential to research your state's requirements before committing to one source.
Similar to public schools, homeschooling requires school supplies, like pens, pencils, notebooks, and other supplies pertinent to learning, reading, writing, and more.
Homeschooling necessarily does not mean you're learning from home at all times. For example, you might need to plan for field trip expenses, sports, arts and crafts, and other activities outside the house.
In addition, you might face other fees throughout the school year, such as state-mandated testing fees, cooperative fees for families associated with a co-op, tutoring, or different needs.
Homeschool Planning and Budgeting
You might notice how quickly homeschooling expenses and fees add up, especially with multiple children at home. So before you remove your children from school, ensure that you're well-researched regarding the options and curriculums available. Then, once you've estimated the price range of your expenses, make sure to read through your state's rules and regulations so you'll find a curriculum that fits your child's needs.
Homeschool Budgeting Tips
- Spend extra time researching curriculum options that fit your child's needs while having little to no cost for you. Ultimately, a free curriculum might not benefit your child and could waste time.
- Try purchasing second-hand curriculum packages. Buying a used curriculum may still require the purchase of workbooks; however, the teaching material is often in excellent condition.
- Look into all-in-one curriculums. If you plan on homeschooling your children from kindergarten to graduation, try looking for a K-12 curriculum. Although the expenses might be large upfront, it can save you money along the way.
- Purchase your school supplies in bulk or during a sale to ensure you're saving money.
- Check out your local public library and get a library card. A library card can give you access to learning materials. In addition, it can offer free or low-cost printing to help reduce your expenses.
Hidden Costs for Homeschooling
Most fees associated with homeschooling are upfront and easy to decipher. However, hidden fees still exist. These fees can include anything from supplies for the classroom to an increase in your grocery bill.
While you might expect to purchase items like pencils, markers, binders, and notebooks, you'll also need items for other activities. Examples include science lab experiments, art class, or physical education to maintain a healthy homeschooling lifestyle. In addition, you can expect an increase in your grocery bill since your child will consume more snacks and meals at home.
Even though there are plenty of free homeschooling curriculums, people tend not to discuss that other options can cost families over $1,000 or more per school year. However, if you are a family with multiple school-aged children, consider reusing curriculums as your children grow.
According to Investopedia, the average price per year for homeschooling one child can be upwards of $1,800. If you decide on homeschooling your children, ensure you spend an ample amount of time researching and understanding the laws of your state. Also, keep in mind the average of a curriculum and ensure you're budgeting for any unexpected expenses for the school year.