Costs of Homeschooling – Home School Curriculum, Programs & Books
One of the most critical factors worth considering before homeschooling your child is cost. Fortunately, there are tons of ways you can save money on a homeschool curriculum and resources to help enhance your kid’s learning experience. Meanwhile, your kids get to enjoy online space exploration tours and virtual field trips at no cost.
How Much Does It Cost to Homeschool On Average?
The cost of homeschooling will vary, depending on several factors, such as the type of expenses you are ready to incur, the state you live in, your child’s level of education, among other factors. Below are the averages of homeschooling per year:
- Curriculum: between $350 and $750
- Homeschool Materials: between $150 and $300
- Field Trips: between $100 and $250
- Extracurriculars: between $100 and $500
- Approximate totals/ year: between $700 and $1800, depending on the costs you choose to incur.
Texts Books & Workbooks
- Math: Starts from $25 to $250 (Average: $72/year)
- Science: Starts from $30 to $250 (Average: $62/year)
- History: Starts from $30 to $200 (Average: $64/year)
- Spelling: Starts from $5 to $25 (Average: $17/year)
- Handwriting: Starts from $10 to $25 (Average: $12/year)
- Composition: Starts from $7 to $38 (Average: $15/year)
- Grammar: Starts from $10 to $40 (Average: $33/year)
- Social Studies: Starts from $20 to $65 (Average: $30/year)
- Fine Arts: Starts from $30 to $50 (Average: $40/year)
- Health: Starts from $10 to $20 (Average: $13/year)
- P.E.: Starts from $20 to $100 (Average: $40/year)
The above costs are averages, but I’ve broken down the four biggest homeschooling costs below:
4 Biggest Cost of Homeschooling
When you decide to homeschool, one of the highest costs you’ll incur is the curriculum cost. You can either create your curriculum and cut costs or decide to spend a few bucks to buy an already structured curriculum. However, this will depend on your needs how you want to approach the homeschooling program, among other factors.
According to the Homeschool Legal Defense Association, parents spend up to $600 on the homeschooling curriculum, and this amount could be even better in some cases. The trick is to outline your preferences, how you want to approach your homeschool program, then decide whether or not you’re going to spend big on homeschooling curriculum.
2. Supplies And Equipment
Let’s face it – back-to-school is another most expensive shopping season. This is because you’ve spent nearly all your savings on Christmas festivities.
Sadly, you’ll have to incur even more expenses when your kids are enrolled in public schools. Recent research by Huntington Bank 13th Annual Backpack Index suggests that back-to-school shopping now costs an average of $1,017. For the most part, this estimate includes a laptop and internet due to the digital migration of elementary-age kids who are now required to submit their assignments online.
Fortunately, there are tons of ways to avoid unnecessary expenses on back-to-school shopping. Such include homeschooling, but you’ll still spend close to what you’d have spent if you enrolled your child in a public school.
For example, families with children in public are often required to chip into school projects such as buying school buses, building classrooms, among other activities, which is unheard of in homeschooling. Initially, schools would cater to such expenses, but all thanks to the government resources that often come in handy to help with budget cuts.
3. Field Trips
Homeschooling needs to be fun and enjoyable. Unfortunately, you cannot stay in the house all the time. It would be best if you had some new environment to learn. This is where field trips come in. However, field trips cost money, and you need to set aside some funds for this alone.
A couple of families spend thousands of dollars on field trips. However, you don’t have to, especially if you are on a shoe-string budget. There are a ton of alternatives you can opt for. Check out some free sites in your area; visit your nearest post office, police station, mountain, or any other site that could be valuable for educational learning.
Another idea is to join a co-op or a group depending on the state you live in. These groups are quite helpful and usually get together. Partnering with such families could trim down the field trip costs because you’ll go out jointly. Also, you never know, these groups could be taking part in swaps where every parent brings learning material and shares with colleagues.
Lastly, you can always find homeschooling groups by checking out Facebook homeschooling groups, Meetup, Homeschool Mom, or any other homeschooling platform or community.
4. Extracurricular Activities
Children who are homeschooled often feel isolated. This is because they spend most of their time at home learning from a parent or any close relative, depriving them of a chance to interact with other kids of the same age group. Once in a while, allow your kids to participate in co-curriculum activities to enhance their interaction skills.
You can register your homeschooled children in the following extracurricular activities:
- Community sports such as soccer, baseball, or basketball
- Music lessons such as violin, piano, flute, or even guitar
- Dancing classes
- 4-H club projects like animal rearing
- Art lessons
Similarly, there are many ways to save money on extracurricular activities. All you need to do is to understand your community calendar and opt for the affordable classes. Some libraries provide affordable classes such as bookbinding and art. Fortunately, you might be lucky to find local parks and recreation centers that offer volunteer opportunities, youth sports, among other activities. You can also do in-depth research on your community YMCA programs and find out if they offer team opportunities.
However, it’s worth noting that extracurricular activities often consume much of your family time, leading to overscheduled children, which is something many homeschooling parents tend to avoid. So it would help if you find activities that are worth your family time, energy, and money.
But before then, consider:
- How effective are the activities we consider beneficial to our children?
- What are the long-term benefits of the activities you choose for your child?
- How best do these activities correspond to your child’s talents, abilities, interests, and strengths?
- How often do children meet for these activities, and how does it impact your family time?
- What’s the average cost of the program you intend to enroll your loved one in?
- What’s the average distance from home?
Incorporating these questions in your considerations will ultimately help you choose activities that perfectly fit your child’s interests, strengths, and of course, your budget.
Is It Free to Be Homeschooled? How to Save on Cost
1. Khan Academy
Khan Academy boasts its ability to provide quality resources in the homeschooling community. Because it’s a non-profit educational site, Khan Academy aims to provide students with free, quality learning resources.
The best part? This site offers all subjects from the sciences to technology. Each topic includes lectures conveyed through YouTube videos. Also, students can access this site individually, or better still, use their parents’ account.
2. Ambleside Online
Again, Ambleside Online is a free program that offers a Christian-specific homeschool curriculum for kids in grades K-12. Like Khan Academy, Ambleside has a reputable educational foundation for providing quality resources in the homeschooling community.
Organized by topics, this site offers a list of books for homeschooling families tailored for specific levels. These books are available in sciences, literature, history, and geography. Therefore, parents are prompted to select their preferred resources for maths and foreign languages.
Additionally, this program includes pictorial and composer subjects. More often, kids will copy work or do dictation independently with no additional resources. In the event of a crisis or natural disaster, Ambleside’s emergency-plan curriculum comes in handy for homeschooling families.
Just as the name suggests, Newsela is an educational site that encourages literacy by incorporating news stories. Each news story is tailored to specific age groups so you can adjust to your maturity levels. The best of all is that there are tools available online to help you evaluate and monitor your child’s literacy and comprehension progress.
Nearly all of Newsela’s articles are available for free, but you’ll have to pay an extra cost if you opt for the Pro version. Fortunately, all its services were pronounced free in March 2020 following school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, you can read all articles for free until schools reopen.
4. Scholastic Learn At Home
Scholastic learning is one of the reputable education materials sites with many resources you can utilize for your homeschool program. Scholastic learning at home features 2-week activities on different subjects, such as social studies science, math, ELA. Even more, the Scholastic learn at home curriculum features stories, videos, articles that can help boost your homeschooling program.
I just thought I should emphasize something that has been overlooked over the years – the library. There are a ton of resources in the library you can leverage for your homeschooling program. Unfortunately, most parents don’t, and it’s time you started seeing the importance of a library. Many libraries allow you to borrow books and other resources. Make a point of finding the right resources from your local library and borrow to use for your homeschooling program.
6. Reviews In Exchange For Curriculum
Unsurprisingly, any individual can write reviews in exchange for the curriculum. Whether you’re a blogger or not, feel free to reach out to your dreams’ curriculum agency and let them know that you’re passionate about their curriculum. Who knows, they might hire you as one of their representatives. Persuade them that you can write reviews on popular online stores like Amazon and even promote them through your blog. As a blogger, you stand a chance of getting hired by homeschool agencies in exchange for reviews.
7. Your Local School
I know we are trying to get away from school, but that doesn’t mean that we will ignore it completely. Your local school can still come in handy in different ways. Whether you would want them to allow your child to use the library or get free PE sessions, it would still help. There’s a problem, though. Some schools are totally against homeschooling and will resist to help you. However, they are a couple of schools that love children when you approach them. So get on a call or draft that email and ask for help.
Is Homeschooling Really Worth It?
Homeschooling has grown in popularity for years, and many parents are now opting to homeschool their children instead of taking them to public schools. Of course, there are reasons behind this move.
Currently, there are a total of two million homeschooled children in the United States. Even more, reports state that the number is increasing by 10% every year. And while there are a couple of parents and schools against homeschooling, studies have revealed that homeschooled students perform way better than regular students.
Homeschooling is not a bad idea depending on several factors. For example, homeschooling could be a better alternative during this pandemic if your child is behind in their academics or special needs. You may also consider homeschooling if you feel insecure about negative school influences such as peer pressure, bullying, among other things.