Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Cost of homeschooling?

Today our local paper ran an article about homeschooling. You can read it here.

Just a little blurb:

“Home schooling is far more costly,” Janik says, adding, “As long as the government stays off my back, I’m happy with it.”

Home-schooler parents pay for complete curriculums for each student. At Heritage, the parents also pay the workshop teachers. And just because a kid is schooling at home doesn’t mean he doesn’t need pencils, paper, a calculator, books, a computer and the usual list of supplies.

It adds up.

Just for Janik’s six kids, including the 3-year-old twins who take only two preschool classes each, the cost of teaching her kids at home and through the one-day-a-week instruction at the workshops is about seven grand a year, she says.

“Home schooling families that do not choose to use a co-op have less expense, but probably spend money in private lessons or park district-sponsored classes such as gym and swim at the Rec Center in Elgin,” Janik says in an e-mail. “There are many programs available to home schoolers, but it all costs money that is over and above what we pay in taxes.”.

Now, I don't keep track (yet but will start now) of costs of schooling my children at home, but I am pretty sure we don't spend 1,150.00 a year to do it either.
Now, I do spend money at the park district - but my kids would take classes there homeschooled or not. So I don't see that as a homeschooling cost so much as I see it as a parenting cost (if that makes sense). My oldest was in a co-op the last three years (however, we will not be in one this year). The first year we paid 200 as she took one class for the year. The last two years we paid 600 for three classes she participated in. As far as curriculum, well, most of it I buy used. The math program we are using I bought off of e-bay 3 years ago for 110.00. It is for preschool through 6th grade math. A lot of our reading books I bought used from other homeschooling moms.
So far this year, I spent 20.00 in purchasing items and we will be doing no co-ops. We have, however, already checked out more books from the library than I can keep track of. I plan on spending about 100-200 dollars more. [Which means, even if we used the co-op, the cost to homeschool my oldest would be about 800-900 dollars.] My 4 year old will be doing some activities. Most books are things her sister used or workbook type things people have given us. Just for fun, I'll say I'm going to spend 100 dollars to do "preschool" with her.
I did buy some new folders/notebooks/etc this year. I spent about 30.00 on them with all the sales going on, that 30.00 went a long way as well.
I am going to guess that we will still need to buy some miscellaneous arts, crafts, handiwork supplies and that might be 100.00 (again, I'm going high here on my estimates).
For fun, I'm going to pretend that I might have forgotten something and might have to spend another 100.00.
That puts the high end of the estimates at 550.00 to do 2nd grade and preschool with my girls.
If I pretend that my 7 year old was taking co-op classes and for fun, I'll pretend to let my 4 year old to take one class as if we stayed she would have been eligible. That would add an addition 1000.00 and so I'd pay 1550.00 for two students this year MOST.

I do, however, realize that as my oldest gets higher up, we will be spending more money on her. But I also know that books I have already bought for her to use, will not cost anything when her sister and brother begin to use them.

It might be more than fees the public school parents pay (although a relative of mine just paid 200 in fees, another 205 in athletic fees, 300 for the rental fee for her high schooler's books, and then lunch fees, gym uniforms, etc - I think we aren't paying a whole lot more than some people in the Chicago suburbs are truthfully) but I don't think it's too expensive. Private schools around us would cost a lot more per year per child!

If you homeschool and don't mind sharing, how much do you think you will spend this year homeschooling with your children?


Hind's Feet said...

Hey, Well, I can write a bit while the bread dough is raising and the cookies are finishing in the oven.

Two girls: 3rd and 6th:
$400 for their packaged curriculum
$100 Math (which can be reused for the younger... )
$30 or so on Vocab.
$20 or so on spelling
$50 or so on art supplies

Sr. high school son:
$1200 for Potters School online classes for three classes
$300 for books, used and not as we could find
$225 homeschool basketball team, plus gas money, because the team is not local... not sure how this works in a public high school, but...
So, a bit over $2000, and I am guessing we need to throw in more, because I forgot art supplies for his art class...
So, lets say between $2100 and $2500 is what we budget. That would cover field trips, paper, etc.

Yes, the older they get it is WAY more expensive. We have been blessed with having been able to borrow a lot of books, share cost on others or buy used. But his maath alone would have cost $200 if we had not gotten creative.

Take care, Kim

kim said...

I've heard it said you can homeschool with nothing more than a library card and some pencils and paper. That said, I don't know how to add up my costs, because I'm not sure where homeschooling starts and life begins. Are gymnastics lessons homeschool? Are my impromptu baking classes? When they convince me to buy them juggling gear or a camera is that a cost? Okay, in truth, we probably do spend a one to two thousand a year on all classes and supplies and such. And we live as thriftily as possible and don't go all out for fancy curriculum! But it is still much cheaper than a privaye school.