The actual cost of homeschooling is not agreed upon. In fact, the answers I received ranged from it costs "nothing" to "thousands of dollars" to homeschool - a bit confusing at the outset.
Several factors, though, can help determine how much it might cost your family to homeschool. Factoring in these costs to the pros and cons of homeschooling can help determine if homeschooling is the best choice for your family.
The following factors need to be considered to determine how much homeschooling might cost you:
Curriculum - Will you purchase a curriculum for the year? Many parents who homeschool find using a curriculum somewhat easier resulting in greater peace of mind and less stress. That said, curriculums can be pricey.
Textbooks - Will you buy new or have availability to used textbooks. These are very pricey.
A friend of mine was able to find used textbooks - the same as the ones used in the public school system. These used textbooks were on average $30 (Canadian dollars) a piece!
Extra-curricular activities - Will you enroll your child/children in extra-curricular activities? Many homeschooling parents enroll their kids in activities like swimming, sports, art, music lessons. How many would you involve your kids in and how much will they cost?
Second Income - Some folks absolutely need a second income to live and some like a second income to live better. If a second income is necessary to live a simple life then you might consider the loss of income to stay home and teach your kids to be very difficult to do without.
High School vs. Elementary School - The consensus is that the cost of homeschooling for the highschool grades is a lot higher than homeschooling the elementary grades.
As your child grows older the work will become more difficult and may necessitate help beyond what you can give your child. Might you need to hire a tutor to help your child keep up with the work?
Also, the resources cost more than elementary homeschooling materials as well as testing costs.
Physical and Emotional Cost to Parent - When thinking about the cost of homeschooling the first thing that popped into my head was monetary. However, adding "homeschooling teacher" to your already big job of mom or dad and household manager is a big deal.
One mom who homeschooled for many years told me she spent several hours each day working with her elementary school age daughter after which she had to start thinking about preparing dinner and tending to other duties. Although this mom found homeschooling satisfying, she found it demanding both physically and emotionally.
What about you? Are you a good multi-tasker? I'm told homeschooling really requires a juggling act to get everything done - and to do it right.
Following are some other suggestions on how to lower the cost of homeschooling:
If you want an average monetary figure, studies have shown that for many the cost of homeschooling is around $500 U.S. dollars for each child and well worth it. Of course there are different ways of doing things with different costs attached - including how to homeschool.
So, what is the cost of homeschooling? That depends entirely on what you deem to be the best way to homeschool for your family. This should be based on what is best for your child's education and mental and physical health.
Giving the costs serious consideration - monetary, physical and emotional - when looking at the pros and cons of homeschooling will help you make a decision that leaves you feeling prepared and satisfied.