When considering whether to homeschool or send your child to public school, many parents wonder if homeschooling will cost more than sending their child to public school.
Unfortunately, there are no hard and direct answers to this question and the answer will vary depending on your family’s needs and situation.
To determine whether homeschooling is more expensive than public school, it’s necessary to take a close look at the costs of both options informed decisions based on the specific details of your situation.
Homeschooling can be more expensive than public school, but it also has additional benefits. There are three types of homeschoolers: unsubsidized, subsidized, and self-schooled.
If a family is an unsubsidized homeschooler they will have to pay the entire cost of their child’s education which may include textbooks, supplies, field trips, extracurricular activities, or tutoring.
If a family is a subsidized homeschooler they qualify for financial assistance that pays for at least part of the educational expenses.
Lastly, if a family is self-schooled they won’t need to pay any money out of pocket because they’ll teach themselves using materials such as books or the internet.
Many families find that homeschooling is a cheaper alternative to public school because they don’t have to pay for supplies, extracurricular activities, or tutoring. On average, it costs approximately $600 per year per child to educate a child at home.
This cost varies depending on factors such as location and family income level. However, many unsubsidized homeschoolers end up spending more than $1,000 per year.
The government provides financial assistance to many unsubsidized homeschoolers. To receive federal aid, students must follow state laws that ensure they are learning what they need to know.
Families will also have to file certain documents and meet certain requirements to be eligible for financial aid.
For example, a family of four must make less than $44,000 per year to be eligible for help from the federal government, and states such as Arkansas, Arizona, or Florida offer no aid at all.
Costs that are the same When It comes to Homeschooling
One area in which the cost of homeschooling and public school may not be the same is transportation.
However, if you live close to your children’s school or another public school, you may not need to pay for transportation for your child. Similarly, clothing might be about the same.
Finally, special courses that your children take at home or through a tutor might not be too much more expensive than if they were being done at a private school.
On top of transportation and clothing, you might need to pay for an expensive private tutor.
The same is true if your child takes classes in advanced math or another subject that is required at a private school but not at a public one.
You will also have to buy school supplies, pay for food while your children are on field trips or out-of-town events, and more.
Another area in which you’ll need to spend more money is if your child takes a class through their local community college or another school that isn’t offered at their public school.
If your child needs a class from outside of your community, you may have to pay for transportation and food.
There are other costs associated with homeschooling that you won’t have if your child goes to public school.
For example, homeschooled children aren’t likely to take advantage of many of the extracurricular activities that are included in a public school’s tuition, so you’ll need to pay for these separately.
In addition, if your child takes classes from an outside source like a community college or through a private tutor, those fees can add up quickly.
Costs unique to Homeschooling
It’s hard to say what the actual costs of homeschooling are, as every family is different.
The main difference for homeschool families is that you don’t need to worry about paying for bus rides or field trips.
Plus, in many states, there is no requirement for homeschoolers to take standardized tests.
If your children are not in sports and extracurricular activities and if they do not participate in any school plays or musicals, then it may be cheaper than a public school. However, most children will participate in these activities at some point during their schooling years and this can result in increased costs to parents who have opted out of the public school system.
While it is true that if you are going to homeschool your children, you will not have to pay for transportation and lunches at school, many parents do still pay for these things on a private basis. In some cases, parents end up spending more money on their child’s education in a homeschool setting than they would have spent had they gone to public school.
Ways Homeschooling can Save You Money in the Long Run
Homeschooling can save you money in the long run because you don’t have to pay tuition.
Homeschoolers also have more control over their schedule, which means they might get a job earlier than other kids and start earning more money sooner.
Additionally, if you live in a city with private schooling options, your homeschooled children will be able to attend those schools for free or reduced cost thanks to taxes.
However, homeschooling will cost you more money at first. You’ll need to purchase a curriculum, learn how to work with your child’s learning style, and address any academic gaps they may have.
In many cases, you’ll also need to buy supplies and materials for science experiments or field trips. Depending on how far behind your child is academically when you start homeschooling, it could take some time before savings become apparent.
In short, yes, homeschooling can save you money in the long run. However, it does have costs that may be hard to recoup for some time.
Before choosing whether or not to start homeschooling your child, carefully consider how much money is spent on tuition and other schooling fees each year.
Factor in how much time you’ll spend teaching your child and what types of costs are associated with starting homeschooling.