Part of this post is an excerpt from It’s Homeschooling, Not Solitary Confinement: Busting the Myths, Misconceptions, and Misinformation About Homeschooling.
If you’re thinking about homeschooling (or just now doing your research) or if you just started homeschooling, one of your concerns may be, “How much is homeschooling going to cost me anyway?”
How Expensive is Homeschooling?
Homeschooling can be costly, but not so expensive that you cannot do it. However, traditional schooling and associated extracurricular activities can also be expensive.
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Just like any facet of raising a family, your expenses will be determined by your choices. For homeschooling, those expenses will include decisions like what homeschool curricula you use, what books you buy, what method you choose, what activities your kids are involved in outside of the home, and if you join a co-op. If your homeschooled kid is involved in a lot of extra classes, your expenses will be higher (just like if a traditionally schooled kid is in a lot of extracurricular activities).
One of the biggest expenses you will probably incur as a homeschooling family will be curricula and at-home courses. There are boxed curricula or online courses available that will make your homeschooling life easier. However, these curricula and courses can run into a few hundred dollars for each kid or learning level (at the most expensive end of the spectrum). On the other hand, there are many free homeschool resources or cheap homeschool resources where you can find homeschool curricula, study units, worksheets, and online reading that help keep homeschooling expenses down. (Repeat after me: the library is your friend!)
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The next biggest (or equal) expense will be the number and type of classes you take outside of the home. We try to do a mix of paid classes (music, Spanish, swim) and free classes, like those offered through a museum or a library. Like we discussed earlier, many organizations today have recognized the growing homeschooling movement and have added free or cheap homeschool classes to their offerings.
Do You Get Paid to Homeschool Your Child?
YES! You get paid in love and satisfaction.
Oh. That’s probably not what you meant, huh?
The real answer is no, you don’t get paid (or receive money) to homeschool your child.
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Money for Homeschooling From the Government
In some states, you may get a tax credit or be able to take a deduction, but many homeschooling families are against that.
Many homeschooling families believe that the government should not regulate homeschooling in any way and it is feared that tax credits or deductions are just the beginning of allowing the government into your homeschooling world.
However, many others take those tax credits or deductions (if offered by their state) and find that they are helpful for their families. Be sure to do the research for your state and make the decision that is best for your family.
Cost of Homeschooling vs Public School
Multiple homeschool sources list that the average cost of homeschooling a child the first year is around $600 to $900. Your first year of homeschooling will probably be the most expensive because you are just figuring it all out. You may have a few trial and error purchases (curricula, books, online classes, etc.) before you find what really works for you.
By the way, just as an interesting comparison, a 2014 study reported that one year of public school can cost the system an average of $11,009 per student.
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