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 does homeschooling cost?
Let’s take a look!
How Expensive is Homeschooling?
When asking How much does homeschooling cost? you’ll have to consider several factors (just like anything in life).
Homeschooling can be costly, but not so expensive that you cannot do it.
However, traditional school (like public school) and associated extracurricular activities can also be expensive. (In one part of our state, students even have to pay a fee to ride the public school bus!)
So, schooling–in general–can be costly!
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Just like any facet of raising a family, your expenses are determined by your choices.
For homeschooling, those expenses include decisions like what homeschool curricula you use, what books you buy, what method you choose, what social activities your kids are involved in outside of the home, and if you join a co-op.
Involvement in classes outside the home always raise expenses. (And, it’s the same if a traditionally schooled kid is in a lot of extracurricular activities!)
How Much Does Homeschooling Cost? | Homeschool Curriculum
Homeschooling families have 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 gently used homeschool curricula, study units, worksheets, and online reading like free books that help keep homeschooling expenses down.
(Repeat after me: the library is your friend!)
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How Much Does Homeschooling Cost? | Other Expenses
The next biggest (or equal) expense is 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.
Many organizations today recognize the growing homeschooling movement and add free or cheap homeschool classes to their offerings.
(If you don’t see them for a museum or business that you love, just ask!)
Do You Get Paid to Homeschool Your Child?
You get paid in love and satisfaction.
That’s probably not what you meant, huh?
All joking aside, you do not receive a payment to homeschool your child (or as a “homeschool teacher”).
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Money for Homeschooling From the Government
Even though you aren’t paid to homeschool (in the traditional sense), in some states you may get a tax credit or be able to take a deduction.
However, some homeschooling families are against taking any kind of government funding, deductions, or credits.
Many homeschooling families believe that the government should not regulate homeschooling in any way. Some families fear 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 informed decision that is best for your family.
Cost of Homeschooling vs Public School
So, what is the cost of homeschooling vs public school?
Multiple homeschool sources report that the average cost of homeschooling a child the first year is around $600 to $900.
Your first year of homeschooling is generally the most expensive because you are just figuring it all out. During the first year, 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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Part of this post is an excerpt from the #1 Bestselling book in 4 educational categories, It’s Homeschooling, Not Solitary Confinement: Busting the Myths, Misconceptions, and Misinformation About Homeschooling, which can can answer many of the questions that you have about homeschooling.