The concept of homeschooling, though originated in the US has now become equally popular in other countries such as Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, etc. Homeschooling is usually a personal decision influenced by many factors. Parents who are not happy with the conventional approach of education, that involves sending children to school, generally decide to homeschool their kids. Oftentimes, this decision is also influenced by non-availability of good schools around or frequent relocation, which makes it impossible for kids to stay at one school. In some cases, parents may feel that their child has special talent that cannot be nurtured in a traditional school environment, hence opting for the homeschooling way. Rarely, financial limitations may force parents to homeschool their children. The real question is, is homeschooling indeed that inexpensive as it appears to be? Let us find out.
How Much Does Homeschooling Cost?
Cost of homeschooling per year varies greatly according to the structure of education that you plan for your child. Some parents may decide to follow the same curriculum as a public or private school while other parents may devise their own curriculum according to their child's interest and needs. Most parents however, try to come up with a structure that incorporates traditional curriculum as well as their child's interests. This makes it highly difficult to predict the average cost of homeschooling kids. It could be as little as $200 a year, per kid, or it may go as high as $3000 a year. Yet, we have tried to give you an estimate depending upon several requirements.
If you decide to devise your own curriculum, then you can do it for free! However, if you do not have the time or interest to do so, you can get readymade prepackaged curriculum from any of the private programs such as Calvert or A Beka Books that are especially formulated for homeschooled kids. These packages may cost you anywhere between $200 - $600 for a single grade. The higher the grade, the greater is the cost. If you also enroll for other teaching services such as grading, testing or record maintenance, you may have to shell $200 more.
Conventional grade textbooks, workbooks and stationery supplies may cost you less than $100 for one grade. If you could arrange for used books or library material, then you can significantly cut down the cost of study material. Besides, you can also utilize the educational resources on the Internet. Many websites make available educational content for free. Besides, you can also take up online tests, quizzes and games for little or no cost. You may also join online homeschools, which are an inexpensive option.
Educational supplies such as microscopes, laboratory equipment and other tools can be very expensive. Again, if you could arrange for used equipment, you might be able to keep the cost low. Yard sales can be a good source for finding used educational supplies. If you belong to a homeschooling group or pool supplies, then this cost can be negligible.
As a homeschooler, you may want to take your kids for educational tours or excursions to historical places, museums etc., for out-of-classroom education. Hence, it only makes sense to add this cost to the total cost of homeschooling your kids.
Other Factors to Consider
While the above cost factors may give you a rough idea regarding the cost of homeschooling, you should also take into account several hidden expenses. These may not be always in terms of material things. The time of a parent is one such significant aspect that is associated with homeschooling cost. One of the parents may have to partially or completely give up a day job to be able to tutor the kids. This amounts to significant loss of income to the family. Apart from this, homeschooled kids are more likely to take up additional hobby classes or join a sports team, as they have more time at their disposal when compared to conventionally schooled kids. Besides, taking up these classes may not be optional but it may become more of a necessity as they allow the kids to socialize, which is otherwise not possible. In addition to this, high school kids may take up distance learning or correspondence courses as an assistance to their college education, which may drastically shoot up the cost.
You are likely to incur several other costs apart from the ones mentioned above. In short, one can say that the cost of homeschooling is more than that of public schooling but less than private schooling. However, the best part is, you can certainly control this cost as per your budget.