Our Family

Our Family

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Cost of Homeschooling

If you have ever read this blog, or even look at my blog title, you can guess that I am a big believer in homeschooling. I read a question that a lady was asking who really wanted to homeschool but was afraid that she couldn't afford it. While there is a cost to homeschooling, when you compare the costs to going to public school you may be surprised to see that it can be less expensive to homeschool.

Chelsea went to public school for K-2 grade. Every year there were things we had to buy for her to go to school. Keep in mind that these dollar amounts were from 6 years ago. I spent around $150 a year for her clothes and shoes. In addition to that we had a list from the school that were "required school supplies." The list was quite extensive and included everything from crayons and pencils to hand sanitizer, paper towels, and tissues. By the time I bought all of these and a backpack the cost was close to $100 dollars and the supplies didn't even last the whole year. Then, the teacher had a list that was sent home the first day of school with additional supplies anywhere from $10-25. School lunches were $1.50 a day which equals out to about $270 a year if she bought a lunch every day. We didn't have any transportation costs to drive to school and back because the school was in our backyard (really it was right behind our house.) Then there is extra expenses for fieldtrips and extra curricular activities. Cost for one year for one student was about $545.

This year I have 4 children who are school age. I do have to still buy clothes and shoes, but we don not spend as much money on those things as we did when Chelsea went to school. We shop sales and yard sales and hand down as much as we can and spend about $300/year on clothing for 8 people. I spend about $25 a year (total) buying those great .25 crayons, .15 notebooks, and other things we need. I do have to feed the children at home too. My grocery budget for food and household supplies is $150 per week. I figured this out to be .60 per person, per day for lunches. Cost for 4 children at home for 1 year equals out to $607.

Curriculum does cost money too. You can spend very little or thousands of dollars for one student depending on what you buy. You can homeschool for free if you choose to use the Internet and library books. I love to buy curriculum ( I have admitted before that I am a curriculum junkie) but you don't have to spend a lot of money to give your children a good education. I have spent $200 this year and curriculum for 4 children. I sold $100 worth of books on ebay in order to pay for most of it, leaving an out of pocket cost for me of $100 this year. Using my previous numbers, I could have spent $1500 this year on curriculum and come out cheaper than if all four of my school aged children were in public school.

I don't mean for this to be a boring mix of numbers. I am just trying to show the point that public school might cost more than you think. Obviously every family is different and very families needs are different. I urge you to not let worry over the cost of homeschooling deter you from educating your children at home. God is faithful. If he calls you to homeschool your children, he will provide you with the means to do it. Spend a lot of time in prayer asking God to show you what you need and to provide those things for you.

So do not worry saying, What shall we drink? or What shall we wear? For the pagans run after theses things and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6 31-33.



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