Sunday, April 20, 2014

Homeschool budget....

So this comes up a lot. How much does it cost to homeschool...

We tend to do it on a shoestring budget, making up our own lesson plans, lots of free sites to use, etc.
So today I sat down to look at what we would consider a decent budget a year. Since I'm all for showing actual costs etc. I'm going to put down some of the things were we would most likely spend money...

Websites/books/school supplies etc.
Enchanted learning (yearly fee)                                              $20.00
Amazon/Barnes & Noble (books, science kits etc.)              $200.00
Misc. Dollar store (unit studies/crafts etc.)                           $150.00
Science Unit studies (prepared and online interactive)         $100.00 (this is a aprox. cost as The website we would use has not opened for the new year yet.)
Scholastic  (we buy specific books during the $1.00 sales)   $100.00
School supplies (copy paper, pencils, notebooks etc.)           $120.00
Field trips                                                                               $400.00
Club fee's (4H)                                                                         $60.00
Kids Discover  (specific magazines)                                        $60.00
total so far                                                $1210.00

That's not including gas for the field trips (just figured about $40.00 per month for 10 months for entry fee's and that's for the 1 adult and 2 kids with Dominic getting in free at least for the next year) It also doesn't cover ink costs for printing, specific purchases for science experiments etc. So when all that is considered we could easily spend $1000 per kid per year. As the kids get older, the costs will go up (more specific curriculum, science projects, etc.) Some years the costs will be a little bigger for some larger purchases that you don't have to do every year. Microscopes and slides, laptop or tablet, etc. Now Some people like specific boxed curriculum which can run up to a $1000.00 per kid alone, and while the curriculum is all included you may spend just as much for misc. stuff (supplements, printing, school supplies, etc.) as some one who is not doing the boxed curriculum. Also don't forget things like music lessons (also not included in the above total) swim lessons, dance lessons, etc. that you want your kids to do. If your kids are still pretty small and your starting to look into homeschooling, now is a great time to start saving up a little each month to go to their "school" fund.

Now One of the  conversations going in a couple of different forums is homeschooling costs vs. public school costs vs. private school costs. Yes, public school is free, lunches can be anywhere from $400 a year and up per kid, you still have to buy all the school supplies (and a lot more than what I normally purchase) looking at last years "school supply list" even hitting the sales it could be $250 per kid, also you still have music lessons, etc. that are "extra" especially if your school no longer teaches these due to budget cuts, etc. If  your child plays sports there's more fee's there as well.  Another thing is the "back to school" clothes shopping. I've met  people who will buy 1,000 worth of new clothing for school and not blink and eye (per child). Many homeschoolers don't worry about that and just buy something as the current stuff is outgrown or worn out. For a private school somewhere between 5,000 to 10,000 per child is pretty normal and more expensive in some area's than that. I have some talking about $50,000 per child per year. Also still having some of the same expenses as the other two options as well.

Of course, it all depends on what you do for your schooling. Barnes and Noble offers the educator discount and some decent educational books for the k-6th grade in curriculum form..However, After seeing what interests my kids and looking at the different curriculum you might have to by several different levels in each subject per child. Also you might end up supplementing pretty heavily.  However, I also don't think you need to spend $300 per subject per kid to give them a good quality education. But That's just me.