Wondering how much does it cost to homeschool your child or how to afford homeschooling? When determining your homeschooling budget there are many factors that go into homeschool costs. We’ll take you step-by-step through home school expenses so you’re prepared!
How Much Does It Cost To Homeschool Your Child?
Homeschooling costs are hard to pinpoint, due to the varying ways that families homeschool.
The cost to homeschool your child depends on several factors:
- How many kids you are homeschooling
- If you are buying a homeschool curriculum
- If your kids share a homeschooling curriculum
- How many outside activities and classes your kids take
- Homeschooling supplies
- Where you live and homeschool
- & MORE
Does it cost money to homeschool your child?
Most families will have some expenses associated with homeschooling, even if you use free homeschooling resources.
Homeschooling costs and expenses vary according to geographic region, family size, curriculum choices, and whether you are part of an organized co-op or school.
Costs may also vary depending on your child’s age, whether you purchase used curricula and secondhand materials or new, textbooks verses workbooks, or you didn’t use a homeschool curriculum.
Some families have children who are learning at different rates and therefore need more costly materials.
Others use one curriculum for all of their children but spend more money on materials for the children who are learning more quickly.
Cost for Homeschooling
The costs of homeschooling can be as little as a few hundred dollars into the thousands of dollars.
Some statistics report that those new to homeschooling can spend an average of $1,000-$3,000 for curriculum, classes, and supplies during the first year.
Other statistics report that the average cost of homeschooling is $3,000-$5000 per year on the high end, or as little as $1,000-$1.500 per year on the lower end with a tighter budget.
According to an Ask The Headhunter survey of 1,500 readers from 2011:
- 51% of homeschool parents spent between $350 and $1,000 per year on education expenses
- 20% said they spent $4,000-$5,000
- 17% replied they spent $3,500-$4,000
However, a recent survey conducted by School Specialty found that the most common responses were on how much parents spent on homeschooling was between $1,000-$2,000 per year.
The average cost of homeschool per year also varies depending on whether you are including your local co-op tuition, and also by school district.
Cost of Homeschooling vs Public School
According to a survey conducted by Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), the average annual cost for all types of schooling is:
- Public school: $11,906
- Private school: $10,755
- Homeschooling from books only (not counting activities or outside classes): $1,890
There are also tuition-based co-ops and parent-teacher organizations that offer structured homeschool programs for an average of $300-$400 per month, but these tend to be more in line with the costs of a private school education rather than homeschooling.
ALSO CHECK OUT: Are Homeschool Costs Too Expensive To Start Homeschooling?
Tips To Save Money on Homeschooling
There are many things that parents can do to save money while homeschooling their children. Some of these tips include buying used curriculum, saving on school supplies, and shopping around for deals and coupons.
Homeschool Tip#1: Buy a Used Homeschool Curriculum
Many families purchase curricula from thrift stores or used book stores instead of new materials which may cost more. Some families purchase curricula from other homeschooling parents in their area, while others buy them from online resale sites such as eBay or Craigslist.
Homeschool Tip #2: Combine Homeschool Subjects or Teach Homeschooling as a Group
Another great suggestion to save money while homeschooling is to combine subjects. This usually works best for elementary age children.
For example, when learning earth science, your might also get an overview of the planets and even some space exploration history from his science class, combining history and science timelines.
Homeschool Tip #3: Buy School Supplies in Bulk
Many homeschoolers choose to purchase school supplies in bulk as they see great sales.
These materials can be purchased together and stored in boxes which are marked with the grade, subject and type of material.
Homeschool Tip #4: Wait For Homeschool Sales and Deals
Many homeschoolers look for deals on curriculum whenever there is a sale or special offer available.
Some also take advantage of coupons available through their state association or online coupon sites.
As homeschoolers, we have the benefit to also wait for the back-to-school clearance sales, which happen after traditional schools start. You can often find school supplies for pennies on the dollar during this time!
Homeschool Tip #5: Take Advantage of Group Purchases and Homeschool Buyers Co-op
Some homeschooling families join together to purchase curriculum in bulk or get special prices on homeschooling materials.
Many online support groups have them available and will link you up with other homeschoolers in your area who are interested in purchasing similar materials.
There are also homeschool buyers’ co-ops whose sole purpose is to buy bulk homeschool supplies and materials and get discounts and savings for buying large quantities. By being a member of the homeschool co-operative, those savings for homeschool materials are passed on to you.
Homeschool Tip #6: Create Unit Studies
Unit studies are taking a topic of interest for your child and then creating all the subjects from that topic. For example, if your child is obsessed with spiders you might:
- Watch a documentary on spiders
- Check out library books about spiders
- Observe spiders in nature
- Write a story about spiders
- & more!
Unit studies can be kept affordable (and sometimes even free) by using the library and free or low-cost online resources.
Other Tips To Save Money on Homeschooling
There are many other things that parents can do to save money while homeschooling a child:
- Buying used books from thrift stores or used bookstores
- Getting free resources online
- Using library resources (including free internet!)
- Borrowing materials from other homeschooling families
- Buying used curriculum (check Facebook Marketplace!)
- Utilizing free and discounted activities in your area (e.g. free museum days)
- Using free public facilities such as parks and playgrounds
- Taking virtual field trips to locations instead of costly travel
As you can see, there is no one answer for how much it costs to homeschool your child because every family home education situation differs.
Be sure you gain an understanding of homeschool curriculum costs, supplies needed, outside activity costs and more before starting homeschooling.