Is homeschool expensive? Truth + Financial guide

Parents’ perceptions of public schools have totally changed.

The cost of public/private schools has shocked many parents. With the high cost of education in the public and private sectors, homeschooling is becoming a popular alternative for families.

With the dozens of perks, benefits, and advantages of homeschooling, the question, Is homeschool expensive? is often asked.

The truth is, it doesn’t have to be! In fact, many families who homeschool spend far less than families who send their children to private or public schools.

is homeschool expensive

To get the right answer on this, I dig deep into this topic and talked to the experts. Here’s what I found about homeschool financial advice.

The cost of Homeschooling a child

After researching and looking around homeschooling forums, I figured out the average cost to homeschool is $800-$1200 /year, which isn’t expensive for most people around the globe (I believe). Depending on the state you live in, the curriculum you use, and whether you purchase books or other materials. However, many families spend far less than this amount.

Some people spend a lot on their curriculum, while others get by with very little. Some people have several children and are able to purchase curriculum in bulk, while others only have one child and must buy everything separately.

In addition, some families are able to find used curricula and other materials for a fraction of the cost, while others prefer to buy everything new.

So, Is homeschool expensive?

It all depends on your unique circumstances. However, in general, homeschooling is much less expensive than private or public schooling, which just costs around $800-$1200 a year. With a little bit of creativity and planning, you can find ways to homeschool your child without breaking the bank.

What makes homeschooling expensive?

Is homeschool expensive can be answered by how you’re spending.

Without wasting your time, I’ll cut to the chase. Here are some of the things that can make homeschooling expensive:

Curriculum

This is one of the biggest expenses associated with homeschooling. While you can find free or low-cost curriculum options, many families choose to purchase curriculum kits or individual books and materials.

According to a study by Home School Legal Defense Association, parents can go as cheap as possible in the range of $50 to $100, the moderate curriculum range is $300-$500 while the expensive is more than $500.

But here also, you have to be tricky as most curriculum vendors sell shits only. While discussing with Omer (California based, two homeschoolers’ dad) he said, “I’ve been homeschooling my children for the past six years, and I’ve found initially that most manuals, bells, and whistles are unnecessary that will all along cost you around $3000-$5000 per year on curriculum (which is insane), but I’ve drastically reduced my costs by using a few key resources.”

Verdict: Be careful about the cost of curriculum. Research well and purchase only what you need. There are many free and low-cost curriculum options available, so don’t feel like you have to spend a lot of money on homeschooling materials.

Purchasing supplemental materials and resources

purchasing homeschool supplemental materials and resources

In addition to the curriculum, you’ll also need to purchase supplemental materials and resources for your homeschool kid. This can include everything from art supplies to math manipulatives to science experiment kits.

While you can find many of these items second-hand or even for free, they can add up quickly if you’re not careful.

Average spending budget per year: 200 bucks

Verdict: Again, try to find used or low-cost materials whenever possible. You may also be able to borrow books and other materials from your local library or homeschool co-op.

Field trips and extracurricular activities

Another expense associated with homeschooling is field trips and extracurricular activities. Field trips are as much a part of the homeschooling experience as anything else, and they can be very expensive if you’re not careful.

Many families choose to join homeschool co-ops or groups in order to get discounts on field trips and other activities. You may also be able to find free or low-cost options in your area.

While interviewing Sarah, she said, she spends $400-$500 on average every year (considering both field trips and curricular activities). According to her the cheapest options for extracurricular activities are scouting, 4-H, and various church youth groups.

extracurricular activities expenses for homeschoolers

Verdict: You don’t have to be over-fancy here as there’re lots of budget-friendly and less stressful options available.

You know what! I noticed if you try to over-spend on things and try to make them more luxurious, this will only lead to worse, consume much time, and lead to overscheduled children.

There are lots of decent opportunities around you, like bookbinding and art classes by libraries, recreation centers that offer volunteer opportunities, sports, and much more. 

To add more, homeschool co-ops and groups can really help you with this.

Testing and evaluations

Another expense associated with homeschooling is testing and evaluations. In most states, homeschoolers are required to take some form of a standardized test or have their work evaluated by a certified teacher.

While you can often find free or low-cost options for testing and evaluation, it’s still something that you need to budget for.

The right budget for this should be around $50-100 per year.

Few meager, but nifty expensive to keep in mind

There are a few other expenses that you might not think of at first, but that can add up quickly if you’re not careful. These include things like

  • Computer, desk, Internet, Chair
  • Homeschooling association membership fees
  • Enrolling in online courses or distance learning programs
  • Joining a co-op or Homeschool organization
  • Attending Homeschool conventions or conferences

How do smartly cut up on expensive? Tips at a glance

Is homeschool expensive to you? Well, you can save money by cutting some unnecessary expenses associated with it.

Here are a few tips to help you keep your homeschool budget under control:

cut up on homeschooling expensive

1. Use free resources.

There are a lot of free homeschooling resources available online and in your community. For instance, use your library for books. You can always start with these before you start spending money on homeschool materials.

2. Buy used materials.

One of the best ways to save money on homeschooling materials is to buy used ones. There are a lot of great resources available second-hand, so be sure to check out your local thrift stores, consignment shops, and online marketplaces. Half Price Books is one of the stores.

3. Join a homeschool co-op or group.

Homeschool co-ops and groups often offer discounts on field trips, extracurricular activities, and other resources. This can be a great way to save money on your homeschooling costs by diving into the cost for many individuals.

4. Find free or low-cost options in your area.

There are often free or low-cost homeschooling options available in your community.

Look for weekly discounts on trips, places, and other materials, and free low-cost youth sports.

5. Don’t overspend.

One of the biggest mistakes that families make when homeschooling is overspending on materials and resources.

Always buy in bulk, check for online discounts, and buy things that you can pass to your siblings or juniors.

Get the benefits of Online Homeschooling

If you’re looking for a way to save money on your homeschooling costs, an online homeschooling is definitely worth considering. Because it can go as cheap as a $50 curriculum (seems unbelievable Na!)

If you’re not familiar with online homeschooling, it’s simply homeschooling that is done entirely online. This means that all of your child’s coursework, lessons, and materials are accessed and completed via the internet.

homeschooling online

There are a few benefits of online homeschooling that can help you save money. For instance,

1. You don’t have to buy as many homeschool materials.

2. You have access to free or low-cost resources.

3. You can often find discounts on online courses and programs.

4. You don’t have to pay for gas or travel costs.

5. Many online homeschooling programs are affordable or even free.

📌 Also Checkout: 14 reasons to Why do parents homeschool their child?

Before you Homeschool your kid: My financial advice to you

You need to make sure that you can afford homeschooling for your kids for over many decades.

Because I know many parents who start off homeschooling their kids, and later they quit saying that it’s too expensive.

Because homeschooling isn’t the same as virtual learning because it requires the input of parents as a teacher. So you’ve to compromise on many things, maybe it can be your part-time business, job or even full-time work.

If both parents are working it’s confirmed that one of you has to be at home 24/7 for the kids and their activities.

As said many times, it can be a bit challenging for you as a beginner, and here are a few things that you need to keep in mind when budgeting for your homeschooling costs:

1. Make sure you have a clear idea of what your costs will be.

2. Make sure your availability to work and homeschool at the same time.

3. Decide what your priorities are and what you’re willing to sacrifice.

4. Have a realistic idea of how much time and money you can commit to homeschooling.

5. Make sure you have a B plan for how you will pay for homeschooling costs.

Cost of Homeschooling vs Public School

We have a detailed guide on homeschooling vs Public school. But let’s talk about the budget here.

The cost of homeschooling can vary widely depending on your family’s needs and budget. Some families spend very little on homeschooling, while others spend a bit more. The average cost of homeschooling is between $800 and $1200 per year, but this number can be higher or lower depending on your family’s situation.

Although Public schools are free in the United States, there are some costs associated with attending public school (activities, materials, equipment, childcare, transportation). This makes the average cost of public school about $10,000 per year.

FAQs

Is it free to be homeschooled?

Homeschooling isn’t free.

But can be a very affordable option for families. There are many resources available, both online and in print, to help families get started with homeschooling on a budget. Curriculum materials, books, and other supplies can be found at bargain prices at used bookstores, online auction sites, and swap meets. Many homeschooling families also take advantage of free online resources, such as lesson plans, unit studies, and printable worksheets.

What are the ongoing costs of homeschooling?

The cost of homeschooling will vary depending on the family’s chosen curriculum, methods, and materials. Some homeschooling families spend very little on their homeschooling costs, while others spend more. The important thing is to find what works best for your family and your budget.

How can I homeschool my child for free?

There are a number of ways to homeschool your child for free. Many families take advantage of free online resources, such as lesson plans, unit studies, and printable worksheets. There are also a number of free or low-cost curriculum options available. And finally, many families choose to use a mix of free and paid resources to tailor their homeschooling program to their unique needs and budget.

Do you get paid for homeschooling your kids?

No, parents do not get paid for homeschooling their kids. Homeschooling is a voluntary educational choice that families make for a variety of reasons. While there are some state and federal homeschooling programs that provide financial assistance to families, most homeschoolers finance their own homeschooling costs.

Are homeschool expenses tax deductible?

Yes, homeschool expenses are tax deductible in many cases. Check with your accountant or tax preparer to see if you qualify for any homeschool-related tax deductions.