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Sending your child to school is free. You don’t have to pay an entrance fee or tuition fees, but there are extra expenses to think about.
If you decide to teach your children at home, a lot of these costs will be cut out, or at least under your control. You could save a lot of money while giving them a better learning experience.
The cost of getting the kids to and from school, school trips, textbooks, and after-school care can quickly add up.
No More Uniform
Children grow fast, so you could find that their school uniform needs replacing a lot. The cost of a uniform alone can leave your wallet a lot lighter every summer.
No More School Bus
If you don’t live within walking distance of your nearest school, the cost of paying for transport to get the kids there, like buses or trains, can soon add up and cost a lot of money throughout the academic year.
Driving your child to and from school every day can take up a lot of your time and cost you in petrol too. Teaching your child at home cuts out this cost and saves you time.
School trips can be valuable learning experiences, but they can also be very expensive. If you decide to home-school, this doesn’t mean your children have to miss out on days out but it gives you control over how you spend on them.
There are many places you can take them for free or cheaply, where they can still learn and have fun.
What is the Cost of Learning At Home?
While there are several financial advantages to choosing to homeschool, there are plenty of costs involved as well.
Giving Up Work
Home school could have a big financial impact on your life, as it is likely one of you will have to give up your job and your salary. If you have a partner, you will have to rely on their income alone to support the family.
Giving up your career to home-school is a decision that needs to be thought through carefully.
You could also find that giving up work could impact the support and benefits you qualify for, so you need to check this too before you make a final decision. One silver lining is that, if you stop working altogether, you will not have to pay any income tax.
Giving up work could impact other areas of your finances, especially if you get some extra work benefits such as health insurance or a company car.
Stocking Your Homeschool
There are lots of learning resources available for free online, so the amount you have to spend on stationery for homeschooling might be lower than it used to be, but you will need to make sure you have the best broadband package at home, so you can reliably access learning resources.
Home education resources and textbooks can be pricey, especially if you cover a lot of different subjects.
Sports lessons are free in schools, such as swimming lessons at your local pool, but if you decide to home educate your child you will have to cover the costs yourself.
One option could be to sign your children up to join local sports teams and clubs, so they can join in team activities outside of your home classroom. You won’t have to pay for equipment, and they can meet other children and make friends.
Paying to Sit Exams
One part of home education you will need to consider is that, because your child is not enrolled at school, they will be considered a private candidate when it comes to exam time.
This means you will not only have to find an independent exam center (or willing school) where they can sit their exams but you will also have to pay for their exams too.
The costs of exams differ depending on the subject and the exam board. You can find lists of their prices on the individual exam boards websites. If you are home educating your child, make sure you think about exams and their cost well in advance.
Home education is becoming more common, so there are better and better resources available for educating your children at home, that will help you to manage it in a more affordable way.
Keeping Homeschool Costs Down
There are a lot of ways to cut costs, and as long as you’re creative and resourceful, you can homeschool your child on a budget. Here are some tips for keeping costs down:
- Use free resources like the library or the internet
- Buy used textbooks and curriculum materials
- Get creative with your teaching methods – there’s no need to purchase expensive curricula if you can find ways to teach your child using everyday materials around the house
- Join a homeschool co-op or support group, where you can share resources and ideas with other families
- Enroll your child in a community education class like 4H, scouts, or sports (this way, you’ll save on school and extracurricular activities)
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Created by Vickie aka The Crazy Family Mom
Vickie is the creator of A Crazy Family. She is a stay-at-home mom of a little boy with a big personality. She loves to share real food recipes, parenting tips & encouragement, fun kids activities, and so much more! Plus she is thrilled to provide you with a space to celebrate all that is awesome (and a little crazy) in the world.