Thinking about homeschooling but feeling nervous about the budget? You might find yourself researching different curriculums and thinking is homeschooling affordable? Like is it actually affordable? Or are people who homeschool just financially set? Or are they budgeted so tightly there’s just no room for fun? The answer to both those questions is no.What are the costs of Homeschooling? Let’s find out!
Costs of Homeschooling:
Homeschooling is actually so much more affordable than you’d think. You don’t need to be a millionaire to homeschooling. A quick google search of ‘Costs of Homeschooling’, will show you a rough estimate of the average homeschool costs. According to Time4Learning.com the cost of homeschooling ranges from $700 to $1,800 per child, per year. Is that just for the curriculum? Nope. That amount generally includes the cost of curriculum, school supplies, field trips and extra activities that they may want to do.
You might feel like that’s a lot of money, but remember, it’s not all expected at once. Your biggest expense will be for your child’s curriculum. The good news is that’s just a once-a-year purchase. Typically, the cost of curriculum will rage around $250 to $400 per child. See, that’s not so bad!
Can you work and homeschool?
Are you worried that you’ll need to quit your job? Traditionally when a family would decide to homeschool, one parent would likely have to give up their job in order to stay home with the child. Because you can’t work a 9-5 at the office and homeschool your kids. That’s just not doable. So, most families would decide who made the most money and that person would continue working. Then the other parent would take on the ginormous responsibility of educating their children.
However, we’ve all learned since the beginning of the pandemic that parents are able to work from home and educate their children. It’s truly NOT for everyone. And, you’d need to ensure that your job is one that is flexible with hours and work. I’ve been homeschooling my kids since 2015 and have maintained a job the entire time. Why? Well, because my husband and I both earn money to cover the bills. Me not working, just wasn’t going to happen. Conveniently, my job is extremely compatible with a work-at-home schedule.
For years people would ask “How are you working a job and homeschooling your kids? That’s not possible.” I’d assure them that it actually is very possible. And they’d continue on in their unbelief, until the pandemic came steaming in. Suddenly everyone was working from home, and helping their kids with their education. For me, it’s always been about balance. I won’t sugar coat is, because it is a big sacrifice of my time.
What’s it look like to work from home and homeschool?
My kids do best when we accomplish school in the morning. For my family it looks like this:
I wake up earlier than everyone else so that I can get some much needed – me time! I work out, listen to music that fuels my soul, read, get creative. Then, I start on my first work assignment of the day. I continue working on that assignment until I hear the footsteps of my kiddos coming down the hall. Then I put my work away, and make them breakfast. Once breakfast is finished and everyone’s awake, we jump into some learning. It doesn’t take hours upon hours, it’s not typical school. It’s homeschool!! We make our way through the daily work and activities for the day. And soon, we’ve completed all our educational tasks for the day! I make sure to spend time with each child individually to make sure they understand their lesson.
Once we are finished with school for the day, I put on an educational show for them (and sometimes it’s not educational). While that is on, I jump into more work projects. When the shows done, we go to the park, or play in the yard. At this point, it’s usually mid-afternoon, my kids will then enjoy the rest of their afternoon with free play. If they don’t need me, I spend a little more time on work. Then dinner time and bed time. Done and done. If we have out of home activities, like French lessons, or co-op, or gymnastics, or swimming (pre-covid). I plan accordingly to make sure that my work projects are completed before we have these activities so that nothing gets neglected.
I’ve read and heard so many comments from people that don’t think you can work from home and homeschool. But it’s doable! Totally, doable! It really does take practice, balance, and a whole lot of dedication. Thanks to my job we can handle the costs of homeschooling a little better. So, all that to say, if you need to continue working in order to help your family with their finances, it’s possible! If I can do it, anyone can!
What about Extracurriculars?
You might be wondering if you can afford extracurriculars once you’ve paid for their curriculum? Here’s some good news: Field trips don’t need to be super extravagant. They can be simple like going to the zoo, park, aquarium, apple orchard, llama farm, or museum with another homeschool family. There are so many amazing, fun, things to do!
Oh, and I almost forgot the most amazing part of homeschooling and extra activities! Are you ready? OK here is goes! Places like indoor playgrounds, aquariums, zoos, gymnastics clubs, trampoline parks, and museums etc. They will more than likely offer you a discounted rate! WHAT!? I’m so serious. We never pay full price for the extra fun we have. Why? Because these places are sitting empty during the time that kids are in traditional school. Having a group of homeschoolers gives them the opportunity for extra money! Your kids get to go have fun, have new experiences, make and play with friends, learn new things. You get a mini mental break, and the club/zoo/park gets a little money. Everyone wins!
How do these discounts work for Extracurricular and the costs of homeschooling?
Obviously, they won’t just let you get a discount if it’s just your family of 2 or 3. The way to do it is to get a group of homeschooling friends and put all the kids together to make a great enough number that the location will jump at the opportunity to have those kids visit!
Our local homeschool group gets discounted gymnastics classes, swimming classes, art classes and more. Because there is a greater number of students signing up, the different businesses will give a discounted rate. So, we rarely ever pay full price to get our kids into these awesome activities and extracurriculars.
How do I find a homeschool group?
Not sure where to find other homeschoolers? Don’t worry! They’re everywhere! Homeschooling has become increasingly popular in the last few years, and especially since the pandemic. There’s so many excellent homeschool groups out there. Depending on your region, you more than likely have one near you. Still unsure where to find them? Check out different homeschooling groups on Facebook, and the lovely people in there will direct you to your people.
Still worried about the costs of homeschooling?
That’s OK. It’s a big change. But you need to remember that you won’t be paying for things like: Daycare, summer camps, before and after care, extra school activities (at full price), a large amount of school supplies and materials etc. There are so many ways that you’ll actually be saving money by keeping them home with you. It might seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be.
Homeschooling isn’t as expensive as most people think it is. Sure, there’s some upfront costs, some sacrifices on your time, dedication, balance, and more. But the reward is the amazing, special time that you get to spend with your kids. When they learn how to read you get to say “I taught him that.” It’s such an incredible experience. Absolutely, without a doubt, there will be some tough days, day where your balance is all off kilter and you are ready to just give up. But, that’s how it is with all things related to life, right? On those tough days you just have to keep moving forward and remember what an amazing job you are doing.
Here’s a graphic of what you can expect when it comes to homeschooling costs per year.
*Note: This isn’t a set in stone price. Every homeschool family is different, activities vary, and curriculum varies. Some families homeschool for significantly less than the normal amount and some prefer to pay more. It really just depends on your family, your situation and what you and your children want and need.
If you haven’t already, consider giving Schoolio a chance. Our curriculum is affordable, up-to-date, hands on, and Canadian. We are all about children getting the best education, and parent love. We know money is tight, and that’s why our curriculum is so affordable.
Here’s an excellent, extra blog about Finances and Homeschooling by Lindsey: Let’s Talk About Finances
Additional resources for costs of homeschooling: