An Honest Look at How Much Homeschooling Costs
When you are first starting out as a homeschooler you wonder a about the financial aspect of homeschooling. You may find yourself asking questions such as, ‘How much will it cost? Can I get a tax rebate? Is there any way to homeschool for free, or very low costs?’ All of these are valid questions and sometimes the answer can be elusive. Mostly you learn the answer through your own trial and error.
Today I’m joining with my friends from the iHomeschool Network, to take a look at How Much Homeschooling Actually Costs. We are all digging into our finances a bit, to share with you an honest look at how much we are spending on homeschool.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to external websites where you can, if you choose, purchase items.
Breaking Down the Homeschool Cost
In the spirit of full disclosure, I freely admit that some of the materials below I am able to review products for free as a part of my blogging business. Those are indicated with an * and a value price.
- Bible – Bible Study Guide for All Ages (I use 3 sets of lessons $6 each, $18 total).
- American History – Notgrass America the Beautiful, a one year American history, geography and literature course ($99).
- – The companion books that go along with the Notgrass America the Beautiful history course ($60).
- State History – Ohio State History ($28) from State History From a Christian Perspective by Joy Dean, Master Plan book ($8) and the State Notebook Journal from Abeka ($5) ($41 total)
- Science– This fall we will be finishing up Apologia’s Swimming Creatures of the 5th Day (30) which I purchased last year along with the companion notebooking journal ($20). Mid-year we will be doing Land Animals of the 6th Day ($30) along with the companion notebooking journal ($20). ($50 for a Year’s curriculum).
- Math – We use Khan Academy’s Math, this a complete math curriculum that covers math from elementary to advanced highschool mathematics (FREE, but an awesome value) Click here: Khan Academy to learn more.
- Language Arts – Each year, I use Designing Your Own Language Arts Curriculum (*$3.79 value) as my overall guide, then I pull resources from a variety of workbooks, online freebies, and old English books from when I was in school. I also use workbooks from Evan Moor such as Daily Paragraph Editingn($30) and Writing Fabulous Sentences ($12). I’ll be using Write Shop Level C which I won in a free download at a Twitter party. (
- Foreign Language – German Course from Middlebury Interactive (*$120 Value)..
- Art – We use the Simple Start in Chalk Pastels, series from Hodgepodge. This year we will be using the Fall (*$5 value) and the Spring (*$8 value) eBooks. Prisma Chalk Pastels ($18-32 depending on quantity).
- Music – SQUILT a music appreciation, downloadable ebook (* $9.99 value). Piano Lesson ($20 a month). Voice Lesson ($20 a month). Little Man does both Piano and voice lessons for 9 months out of the year, each month he does 2 piano and 2 voice lessons, for a total cost of $360.
- Gym – We are blessed to live in an area where we can choose which gym class we want Little Man to be a part of. We choose The Homeschool Gym, and the cost is $45 per quarter, with 4 quarters per year. ($180 per year).
- Chess Club – $50 for 6 months worth of an instructional chess club. ($100 per year.)
- Field Trips & Enhancement Classes– This is an ever changing cost, because it is determined by what is available with various groups each year and what we choose to participate in. I would estimate that we spend about $120 – $150 per year on field trips, meet ups, or enhancement classes.
- Miscellaneous Expenses – With homeschooling comes miscellaneous expenses, school supplies, art supplies, gas to various activities, printing costs, and even internet service are all costs which factor in to home education expenses. These expenses can be difficult to narrow down, because what you find is you simply factor them into your household living expenses. You would have to be extremely diligent with your accounting to separate out what the educational expenses are. My estimated miscellaneous costs per year are about $300.
So the costs are dependent on your choices. As you can see the cost of home education isn’t small. But it is less than a private school education. You can make different choices for your family and work to keep your costs even lower.
Ideas for Keeping Costs Low
- You can keep your costs low by purchasing gently used materials, re-using text books from older siblings, finding sales, and exchanging with friends.
- Utilize your local library, government websites, your church resources, and other free resources.
- Collaborate with friends to provide opportunities at lower costs.
- Using unit studies can also keep your costs low because they allow you to teach all of your children one lesson and then they work at their own level. Try Homeschool Share for free unit studies and lapbooks.
- There are also free resources available through companies like Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool.
- Consider to work in trade for classes if you have a friend who teaches piano, art or other offer to trade lessons for something you can provide.
It’s your turn. About how much do you spend on average in a homeschool year? Share your costs in comments.
Be sure to hop over to the iHomeschool Network to see what other iHomeschool Network Bloggers are spending on homeschool.
7 Replies to “Counting the Homeschool Cost”
We’ll be starting our 11th year of homeschooling this fall and every year is different when it comes to the cost. It looks like I’ll be spending about $230 in curriculum for 2 kids, 7th and 4th. I often look for free or low cost field trips, classes and educational opportunities, but of course there are supplies. I can’t wait for the school sales to start! LOL
You are so right Jessy, every year is different. Last year I budgeted for curriculum for less than $100 and I did it! But of course supplies, classes etc, cost more than that. Thanks for sharing your costs! Yep, I love back to school shopping. I like to stock up on notebooks. 🙂
I stayed under my budget this year for our 3 children but only through the grace of God and my mother. We don’t do as many classes and other things that you do but I can certainly see where they’d be fun and it’s oh so tempting to add more things to the list. I hadn’t even added up the cost of supplies and field trips into the budget 🙂 Very well done
Yeah! for staying under budget. It is easier to offer extra classes to an only child. However last year we were on a tight budget, so I got creative with curriculum so that I could continue the classes that he does so well with. I utilized old materials, free materials and used materials to meet the curriculum needs.
We usually budget $500 for the year now (8 kids, this year 5 officially school age). We aim for reuseable resources where we can instead of consumable. We do a lot of multilevel teaching. And I sell past curriculum to help add to the budget if we won’t be using something again. When we started with just 1 child we spent $50 a year.
Tristan, that is awesome! I agree purchasing reusable resources is a great way to extend the life, especially for moms of many. Thanks for sharing that tip!
We’ve used some of these same resources. 🙂 And I’m really thankful that we get some for review. Each year is different. Some years I need to spend more, and other years I find myself reusing things or getting them free for reviews.
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