During the back-to-school season I hear a lot of parents talking about how much money they will spend on their child’s education. From public school parents discussing supply lists, private school parents talking about tuition fees and homeschool parents talking about curriculum cost… educating children can be pricey.
We’ve done private school and homeschooling and for us homeschool is a less expensive option. Even though we are a part of a Classical Conversations group which has a tuition and we purchase all of our own curriculum it’s still less expensive than most private school tuition + supplies. I’m assuming public school expenses would be less than both private and homeschool but we have no personal experience with public school. (I’ve seen some of the public school supply lists and it can get a bit pricey.)
One of the benefits of homeschool is you can choose how much money to invest and where to invest it. We choose to spend the bulk of our education funds on Classical Conversations. We pay an annual tuition and fees to be a part of a community and we feel it’s of the greatest benefit to our kids. As for the rest of our curriculum we try to make wise financial investments. This year specifically I’ve tried to invest in reusable curriculum… fewer workbooks. With the prospect of homeschooling 4 children I’m thinking long term and trying to make investments in curriculum that we can use for multiple children. However, I don’t want to compromise on the quality of their education so a lot of research has gone into my selections. I selected books that were affordable yet comprehensive. (Check out our curriculum choices for this year.)
I also have to remind myself to keep it simple. There are so many wonderful homeschool curriculum options it’s easy to get distracted by all the shiny new things. Not only does it get expensive to buy all of the latest and greatest things I truly believe that kids don’t need much to learn. My goal in homeschooling is to teach my children how to learn and to love to learn, after that they can pretty much learn anything. Plus, the less I spend on curriculum the more money I’ll have available for field trips and fun educational activities.
For the 2016-2017 school year I’ll spend probably less than $1500 to homeschool 2 children. (That includes CC tuition, CC fees, supplies, curriculum, field trips, etc.) If we weren’t a part of a Classical Conversations group it would be less than half of that. If we just did CC at home by ourselves and didn’t spend any money on field trips I could homeschool both boys for about $200/year (including all supplies). On the flip side, I know some families that could easily spend 2-3X’s as much on homeschooling 2 children. And you know what, that’s totally fine. The beauty of homeschool is you pick what is best for your family.
Ultimately you can spend as much or as little as you prefer on homeschool it just depends on what type of schooling you want to do. Some people prefer complete curriculum sets, some prefer an eclectic style while others just use whatever they can find used or free. Do what works for your family and your budget.
Whenever I’m anxious about the amount of money I spend on homeschool supplies I remember…
An investment in a child’s education is not wasted money.