The Cost Of Homeschooling:
The Essentials

To a large extent, the cost of homeschooling is similar to all lifestyle choices.

The amount you spend comes down to your own priorities, how much you want to spend and how tight your overall budget is.

My son William’s drawing of a fancy rocket-propelled car illustrates the point beautifully.

Who wouldn’t want to own a car like that?

Our real version has done over 100,000 miles, is 12 years old and has lichen growing round the window seals. But we still get reliably from A to B.

So far anyway!

What more do you need?

Drawing of a rocket car

And that’s a very important point. If you look at the research into homeschooling, you’ll see something fascinating.

homeschool research

So you don't have to spend loads to make sure your child does well at home.

To a large extent, the homeschooling cost is as little or as much as you like.

And, of course, you don't have to pay all the bills you would if your child went to school.

Nonetheless, you need to know which bills are the ones you can’t escape.

And there is one inescapable budgetary deficit.

My husband Rob and I are living on one income.

Most homeschool parents choose to have one person at home with the children, though obviously that could be both partners working part-time.

Nonetheless, that just goes to prove you can homeschool on a low income.

The Homeschooling Cost: What You Have To Pay

stack of coins

These are the basics you can’t escape:

  • Higher home energy bills.
  • A computer (almost obligatory these days).
  • Membership of national homeschool organisations.
  • Legal association dues (US only).
  • Travel to and from homeschool groups plus a contribution to cover hall hire etc.
  • Entrance costs for educational visits to castles, museums, parks, zoos etc.
  • Cost of educational sessions run by outside organisations.
  • Stationery and, particularly, craft materials (my weakness!)

In addition, in the UK one essential cost you’ll face is if you decide to enter your child for High School exams (GCSE, IGCSE, A/As, Open University etc.)

The cost per GCSE/IGCSE varies. The average price seems to be about £140 per subject, though it depends on the exam center and you can pay half or double that depending on the school.

You also have to pay the exam centre, which costs on average £40 per exam.

You'll find an interesting summary of the different costs facing home educators in the UK in this interesting article which Melissa researched and told me about.

Thanks Melissa!

Other Costs

piggy bank

These will vary according to how you choose to homeschool:

  • Curriculum course fees (can be very expensive)
  • Tuition fees for specific subjects
  • Workbooks and Textbooks
  • Educational software

Finally, there’s the cost all parents incur to a greater or lesser degree:

  1. BOOKS to encourage your child’s interests - in our case anything from Asterix to astronomy.
  2. Educational activity kits and toys (blast-off bottle rockets are a favourite as well as an electronics kit and the super-inventive Lego.)
  3. Microscopes, binoculars, telescopes, sewing machine as appropriate.
  4. The cost of outside activities your child enjoys e.g. swimming, sailing, chess club, drama, tennis lessons, snow boarding…

I would add: the cost for a family pet – but maybe that’s just me!

Seriously, though, in the US:

American homeschool families say the cost of homeschooling is from between $300 and say $3,000 per year.

Recent statistics show that:

homeschool costs

You can see some tips for cutting the cost of homeschooling here.

All in all you can keep the cost of homeschooling very low and there are ways to make it affordable.

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