So which costs more: homeschooling or sending your child to school? To find out, I asked my 19,000 Facebook fans to share their experience.
What you'll find is that, to a large extent, the cost of homeschooling is similar to all lifestyle choices.
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?
And that's a very important point.
There are plenty of brilliant free on-line homeschooling resources for you to use to teach your child right through high school.
To prove the point, this infographic features the best free educational websites so you can see for yourself that teaching your child at home doesn't have to cost much - and is also far more effective and successful.
"For us it's public school. Honestly. My kid carried her lunch and we had to provide our own snacks so that's a draw but my curriculum is less than the fundraiser fees that were pretty well mandatory.
I buy supplies as we need them instead of having a set list that ended up being returned because they never used it or they changed it from class to class so my supply list is much less. And that doesn't mention school clothes.
What it does cost more of, my time."
~ Eva, homeschool-activities Facebook fan
"We've done Private, Public and now, homeschooling. Private for us was most expensive, almost $10K, plus uniforms, plus supplies, other fees not included in tuition, the gas to get there, come home, go back pick-up and come back home.
I can't put a price tag on homeschooling though, my children are my everything. As parents, we don't get very much time with them before they become adults. I want to be a sponge, very much like they are and soak up as much time with them as possible. You just can't put a price tag on that."
~Kim, homeschool-activities Facebook fan
It's easy to forget what you have to pay if your child goes to public school:
"Public school was way more. New dress code conforming clothes and shoes every few months, fundraisers, class parties, constantly supplying things like paper towels/wipes/etc, lunch money or sending lunch daily, new backpacks, gas money or bus money, after school care.
Not to mention the emotional toll it took fighting every single morning to get them out of bed at 530am so we could get breakfast, dressed, to school and parked by 730 because school started at 8 and they had to be there by 745. They had to be walked to the classroom every morning and picked up in person every afternoon. It was a nightmare."
~ Lindsey, homeschool-activities Facebook fan
Beba goes on to give even more detail:
"For me school cost more and stressed me more. Public school is not free.
Yearly we budget $2,500 -$3,000 for my son to go public school and always we had to put more money to be covered. I'm talking Middle school and High School.
~ Beba, homeschool-activities Facebook fan
If you look at the research into homeschooling, you’ll see something fascinating.
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 like school supplies, field trips, special programs or other "extras."
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.
However, that just goes to prove you can homeschool on a low income because thousands of people are doing it already.
These are the basics you can’t escape:
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.)
You also have to pay the exam centre, which costs on average £40 per exam.
It's probably best to budget £150-200 per subject for exam costs and if you find it cheaper,
that's a bonus. You may also need to factor in travel costs, depending
on where you live.
There's no doubt some families do find homeschooling costs more. But listen to Beth:
These will vary according to how you choose to homeschool:
Finally, there’s the cost all parents incur to a greater or lesser degree:
I would add: the cost for a family pet – but maybe that’s just me!
Seriously, though, in the US:
To give just one example, this is what Beba pays:
"Homeschool: We spend money just on extracurricular classes. Fieldtrips I have a local private group on Facebook and plan fieldtrips usually for free. Extracurricular $200 a month and she takes Acting, Dance, and Singing. Lunch we make at home. Curriculums you can resell and get part of your money back for next school year. Also the community are always giving away curriculum and games etc. to share with other families and you can find resources for free.
Recent statistics show that:
You can see some tips for cutting the cost of homeschooling here, including this great infographic on the best free online educational websites.
All in all you can keep the cost of homeschooling very low and there are ways to make it affordable.
Let's leave the final words to Eden about why sending your child to school is more expensive than any money:
Click on the picture to go to the page:
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