How much does homeschooling cost?
Updated: Jul 10
Five kids. Ages 2-8. Homeschooled since day 1.
And I want to dispel a myth up front.
What parents experienced during Covid-19 is NOT homeschooling. Homeschooling allows freedom and flexibility in your child’s educational journey.
What many parents had to do was hard, very hard, because they were bound to a teacher’s curriculum, a teacher’s plans, given minimal flexibility, and it was all virtual.
Parents were virtual substitute teachers.
And having first hand experience as a substitute teacher during my offseason as a baseball player (don’t ask about the time I taught kindergarten), I know how hard it can be.
But there are some families that observed their kids during the pandemic and thought, “maybe homeschooling is better for my kids.”
And for those parents, here is what you can expect to pay as a homeschool mother or father.
Expect to pay about $2500-$3000 per year for:
This amount can be substantially more or less depending on how you schedule your year, but this is a safe estimate.
And then there are the expenses nobody prepared us for…
Nobody told us how much TIME homeschooling would take - time well invested - but still time that comes at a cost.
Think of it like this, a teacher works 35+ hour weeks during the school year to make sure their class runs smoothly. Yes, homeschooling is less rigid than a classroom, but you can still expect to commit at least 15-20 hours per week to plan and teach your kids.
And with that time commitment, we learned about the unexpected costs of homeschool that we now consider “tuition.”
Here are a few:
YOU MAY NEED TO OUTSOURCE SOME HOME RESPONSIBILITIES.
Grocery shopping (you still need to eat, you just have groceries delivered to your door)
Fixing broken home appliances
….Just to name a few. Factor these into your annual “tuition.”
A second (or third) curriculum. Teaching your child at home allows the flexibility to adapt and adjust to his or her learning style.
Which means you may buy a curriculum that doesn’t work with your child. You can either force-feed it to him/her, or you can take advantage of the unlimited flexibility at home and buy another. And then buy another if that doesn’t work.
You discover a child’s passion and revamp your plans. For example, my oldest son really loved learning about the American Revolution, so much that we totally rearranged his curriculum to allow him to immerse himself in it. And living near Concord, Lexington, and Boston, MA, he was able to experience first hand what he was learning.
But that came with a cost - we spent more on American Revolution materials and didn’t use some of the material we previously bought and planned to use, not to mention the added costs for the field trips.
Travel. Some homeschool families use vacation travel to continue their educational experience.
Kids love learning about the California gold rush? Plan a trip to California.
Kids enjoy learning about outdoor skills? Plan a camping trip.
Kids passionate about baseball? Plan a trip to see the Red Sox play.
Setting cost aside, when considering whether or not you should homeschool, remember why you’re doing it in the first place.
For us, it isn’t about keeping our children safe at home in some insulated bubble, free from all the struggles of the world. Rather, we homeschool because it better represents real life for us.
Here is what I mean. Let’s look at a day in the life of a factory worker: wake up at the same time, eat breakfast, head to work, the bell rings, work begins, the bell rings, break…and that rhythm continues until the end of the day.
When you work, you work in lines. You eat lunch at a certain time and you start and end the day at the exact same time. Your breaks are scheduled. And when you’re done for the day, you are done - no working outside business hours.
That sounds a lot like our school system, doesn’t it? Bell rings, school starts, bell rings, class is over, bell rings, lunch time, bell rings, recess…
But it looks nothing like my real life. I can work at any hour from any where in the world. So I need to prepare my children for that.
People say more is caught than taught with kids. And if I’m being honest, I don’t want them to catch me working like the modern day factory worker, meandering through life, living for the weekends, happy with my two weeks of vacation each year, content with my steady salary and small annual increase.
I want to raise entrepreneurial, hard working children that see first hand the importance of faith, family, and work, all operating simultaneously at high levels in our home.
If you choose to head down the homeschooling path, I applaud you, and I’m here for you. Send me a message any time.
And if you realize your kids are better off at school, I applaud you, too. Self awareness is a major key to success.
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