The homeschool curriculum is likely to be the biggest expense for homeschooling families. To get an idea of how much it costs to send a child to a public or private school, let's compare it to the cost of homeschooling. In some states, families may even be eligible for a tax credit, deduction, or stipend if they homeschool in high school. When you're looking for online homeschooling programs or free curriculum for homeschooling, it's important to consider the costs that may come up unexpectedly throughout the year.
Lisa Quattlebaum, a freelance leadership consultant and homeschooling mother of one, says: “I have a son and he does a lot of interactive activities, face-to-face and virtually.” The curriculum is the most essential part of homeschooling and should be the first investment for parents. Many libraries have textbooks and DVDs that can supplement or even replace a home curriculum. If your budget is tight in the first year, it may improve in the second year of homeschooling. Homeschooling families often take trips to places like the zoo, symphony, planetarium, botanical garden, or local historic sites to make learning more practical.
Joining a co-op or homeschool group is another option that provides children with peers to learn with and learn things outside of their parents' experience. However, this can be the most expensive part of homeschooling. If you're considering enrolling your child in extracurricular activities like gymnastics or music lessons, you should only count those that are above normal as if they were serious gymnasts or musicians. This will help you calculate your annual expenses for homeschooling. Today, many organizations recognize the growing homeschool movement and offer free or cheap classes for homeschoolers.
Compared to public or private schools, homeschooling may be a more cost-effective option for families. You can also find great deals on homeschool curricula at thrift stores and goodwill.