When homeschooling the question often comes up–“how much does it cost to homeschool your kids?” My answer is often, “well, as far as the cost of supplies it’s really quite cheap.” Yes, it costs a lot in terms of time and selflessness, but financially speaking, homeschoolers can actually come out ahead if they take some time to research and take advantage of several free or low-cost curriculum options (the library, used bookstores, select online curriculums, etc).
How much does the curriculum cost?
Last year I spent the following on Peanut’s Pre-K/Kindergarten curriculum:
$26.74 Math Essentials Kindergarten Workbooks A & B
$45.10 My Father’s World Kindergarten Curriculum (on sale from Mardel)
$2.25 Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons (from a local used bookstore)
This year I’ve already bought nearly everything for her Kindergarten/1st Grade curriculum as well. While the cost is a little more, we are also experimenting with a few curriculums (in history) since I didn’t know exactly which would be the better fit for her. Thus, the final result will most likely be less.
$8.00 The Story of the World: Ancient Times (from Homeschool Classifieds)
$4.00 The Story of the World: Activity Book (from eBay)
$37.49 Mystery of History, Vol. 1 (on CBD)
$11.41 The Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of World History (from eBay)
$9.95 106 Days of Creation (from Simply Charlotte Mason)
$51.95 Singapore Math Level 1 Set (from My Father’s World)
$9.99 Mind Benders Book 1 (on CBD)
$21.95 Phonics Pathways (from Amazon)
We will also be supplementing with lots of reading material and DVDs from our local library, a few resources donated to us by other homeschoolers, and some personalized handwriting worksheets created by me for Peanut to go along with our church scripture memory children’s program. For Bible time, we will be combining with Teacup’s Bible time since she will be going through my Encompass Preschool Curriculum, and the study of Peanut’s church scripture memory curriculum.
How much does it REALLY cost to homeschool total?
In the matter of a year, for our two daughters we spent a total of $872.80 on homeschooling which includes everything from books to supplies to field trips to music to extra curricular activities and CO-OP fees. EVERYTHING. And we probably would have bought at least half of it whether we homeschooled or not because they were things we just wanted our children to have and/or experience–tracing paper, pencils, paper, markers, an ant farm, and swim lessons for example.
How does the cost of homeschooling compare with public schooling?
As a former public school teacher, I know that going to school, no matter what kind of school costs something. Between fundraisers, field trips, uniforms, and school supplies, there is always a personal financial investment. That said, if financial concern is the ONLY drawback you have concerning homeschooling then I should ask:
Do you think you would spend $50 on extra stuff for school anyway?
Then financially speaking, if you are considering homeschooling your Kindergartner, don’t let the potential cost hinder you from something you feel called to do. The emotional, relational, spiritual, and mental return is way worth it.