Isn’t homeschooling much cheaper, in fact?
As with most things you do and pay for yourself, you can do it on a shoestring or on a bumper budget if you have the money. That much is up to you. The question is, if you want to guarantee a level of quality and that your child gets everything they need, then you may need to spend more. This is especially true for homeschool kids preparing for GCSEs and A-Levels.
There are certain places you can save money by homeschooling. For example, you won’t have to buy any school uniforms or pay for additional school lunches. Those savings can really add up over time. In addition, thanks to the abundance of free online learning tools, like those you can find at Primrose Kitten instance, you can also save big on educational resources.
What things should you budget for?
You’ll save money on the things we mentioned above, but you’ll also have to spend money that you otherwise wouldn’t have to if your kids go to a regular school. Here are some key areas you’ll have to include in any homeschooling budget:
· Refitting or repurposing space in the house as a learning space – installing desks, chairs, whiteboard, extra table space for projects etc.
· Online tutors and courses – using platforms like CloudLearn is a great way to bring qualified and experienced tutors into your homeschooling environment, but it costs. The platform offers 4 IGCSE courses at ₤242 per course, and 4 A-Level subjects will set you back ₤1,356, according to their website.
· Stationery needs – notebooks, paper, pens, pencils and the rest. Even in the digital age, it still seems we can’t do without these basics.
· Computer equipment – you may have a family computer, but it would be far better to have a dedicated machine for their homeschooling. It will save you a lot of trouble down the road.
· You then may have to multiply all these costs if you have more than one child.
The Home School Legal Defense Association in the US estimates that, on average, homeschooling will cost you between $300 and $600 (₤255-510) per child per year. That’s a pretty conservative estimate, but as we said, it does depend on what approach you decide to take.
There will always be some high initial costs, like signing up for online tutors, buying computers or refitting a room. Those costs are for things that you can continue using for periods of 2-4 years, so they are somewhat offset over that time.
We have the following important tips for parents:
1. Get a pen and paper, sit down with your family and work out together how much it will cost. Your kids should help because they will likely know a lot more about specific things they need and how much they’ll cost.
2. Make savings, but do not cut corners. Frugality is a virtue, especially in difficult economic times. When it comes to GCSEs and A-Levels, however, exams that have a real bearing on your child’s future, you cannot afford to cut corners. Save in the right areas, so you have more money to put into the important things.
3. Always maintain an emergency school fund. It’s a good idea to put away dribs and drabs of money where you can into a fund that you can use for education needs. It could be used for a new piece of equipment like a printer, or even an educational trip somewhere.
4. Have faith in your choice. Ignore your detractors and remember that you have chosen to homeschool for reasons that matter to you and your family. It doesn’t matter, therefore, what others say. If you prepare your budget carefully and commit yourself to the endeavour, you’ll succeed.