How Much is Homeschool? Here’s What You Need to Know

how much is homeschool?

If you’re thinking about homeschooling, one question you’ve probably asked is “How much is homeschooling, anyway?” 

According to Time for Learning, homeschooling can cost anywhere from $700-$1800 per child per school year.

In this article, we’ll break down that cost and discuss where you can look to save money.

We’ll also cover some of the intangible costs of homeschooling your kids, too.

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Common costs of homeschool

There are several common costs associated with homeschooling:

  1. Curriculum
  2. Supplies
  3. Homeschool room/space
  4. Co-ops
  5. Classes and lessons
  6. Sports
  7. Field trips

Additionally, there are a few more less-visible costs that come as a result of homeschooling too:

  1. Home organization/cleanliness
  2. Time

Let’s take a closer look at all of these, so you can see what to expect as you prepare to start homeschooling.

Curriculum

Obviously, the curriculum you select is typically the first concern for new homeschool moms.

You want to know what you’ll be teaching your kids all day long, right?

Plus, the curriculum you choose for your homeschool will often be your biggest expense.

For one year of homeschool, it’s likely you’ll spend anywhere from $350-$750 on the curriculum for one student.

homeschool curriculum costs

But curriculum costs can vary widely based on many different factors.

For example, if you’re purchasing an all-in-one curriculum, you may spend less money than if you buy a brand-new, separate curriculum for each subject.

Or you may choose to enroll your homeschool student in an online program with monthly recurring fees, which would make your up-front costs much less than buying an entire curriculum in one go.

Additionally, you may be able to find some curriculum secondhand or deeply discounted.

You may decide not to purchase a curriculum, but create your own unit studies for one subject, such as science or history, instead.

A few tips about the cost of homeschool curriculum

You’ll also want to remember that while your costs for curriculum may be high for the first year of homeschooling, this cost may decrease significantly in subsequent years, especially if you choose curriculums that are designed to last for longer than one year.

Here is one of our biggest takeaways about purchasing curriculum: the BEST curriculum for your child is NOT always the most expensive curriculum!

Instead, we’ve found that the best curriculum is the one that matches your child’s learning style most completely.

Related article: How to Determine Your Child’s Learning Style

When you are confident about your kids’ learning styles, you can make more informed decisions about what type of curriculum is best for them.

For example, if you have a kindergartener who is a kinesthetic learner, Saxon Math could be a great fit, and it retails for over $100 per student per year. However, if your child prefers to learn by watching videos or reading, Khan Academy may be a better solution – and it’s free!

Free Resource Library

If you haven’t joined our FREE Printable Resource Library here at the Reluctant Homeschool Mama, simply click right here or on the image below!

newly updated resource library

Inside you’ll find over 50 resources and printables like book report forms, reading lists, field t to help you organize your homeschool and enrich your kids’ homeschool learning!

Supplies

In addition to buying curriculum, you’ll likely also need to purchase some supplies.

While you don’t need to buy every school supply gadget on the market, these supplies are typically considered to be essential:

  • lined paper
  • pencils
  • erasers
  • pencil sharpener
  • binder/folders
  • scissors
  • glue
  • construction or colored paper
  • ruler
  • crayons
  • markers
  • calculator
cost of homeschool supplies

Keep in mind that even if your child was attending public school, you would likely be footing the bill for their supplies anyway!

Homeschool room/area

Despite all of the picture-perfect homeschool rooms you might see on Pinterest, you can create a simple homeschool room or area without incurring a huge cost.

To get started, you only need a few basic items, most of which you may already have in your home:

  • desk or table
  • chairs
  • computer
  • printer
  • whiteboard
  • globe
  • map
  • dictionary

Related article: What You Do (and Don’t!) Need for Your Homeschool Room

While the bulk of your homeschool budget will probably go toward curriculum in the first year, you can slowly add extra items to your homeschool room or area over time.

Co-ops

Co-ops are basically an organization of homeschool parents who work together to provide additional schooling and social opportunities for their homeschool students.

Similar to almost every other aspect of homeschooling, co-ops can range from very involved to more relaxed.

With that being said, the cost for homeschool co-ops can vary widely.

For some co-ops such as Classical Conversations, you may pay a flat fee of over $300 a year (often this can be broken into monthly payments), in addition to an enrollment fee and a supply fee.

For less-structured, local co-ops you may pay per class that your children attend or pay an inexpensive fee each semester.

(Our local co-op has different fees based on the classes my kids attended. For example, art and art history is priced higher than theatre because there are more supplies required.)

Additionally, you may find co-ops that are more playgroup-like and don’t have any cost at all!

Classes and lessons

Whether your kids participate in classes or lessons outside of your homeschool can add to the cost of homeschool, too.

If your kids are interested in music lessons, there will likely be a monthly fee, as well as an initial instrument fee. (Remember to count these lessons as part of your homeschool curriculum!)

piano lessons as homeschool music

For older kids in upper elementary and middle school, you may find affordable classes such as foreign languages, cooking, art, and more at your local library or YMCA.

High school students may want to enroll in a local college to gain dual-enrollment credits, sign up for math, science, and lab classes as part of a local co-op, or take AP classes online.

Sports

There are always costs associated with most extra-curricular sports.

However, as a homeschool mom, you may feel more inclined to sign your kids up for sports and count this as a physical education credit!

To save some of the cost, check your local YMCA, gymnastics gyms, and more to see if they offer any homeschool classes.

Since the demand for an early-afternoon or morning class is much lower, homeschool classes are often offered at a discounted rate.

homeschool sports

Hidden costs of homeschool

While there are definite monetary costs of homeschooling, there are also a couple of hidden homeschooling costs too.

Organization/cleanliness at home

Because your kids will be home much more during the day, it is only logical to assume that things will get messier and less organized.

If you know that this will cause you some extra stress, you may look into paying for some help with cleaning or organizing. Of course, finding an individual rather than a local or national service will be less expensive.

Hiring a weekly complete home cleaning service may not be feasible, but paying for a bi-annual deep clean of all the bathrooms or a one-time window and blind cleaning service may do just the trick to help you feel better about your home.

organized home

TIME

Of course, the greatest intangible cost of homeschooling is time.

While we’re firm believers that you do not have to spend seven hours a day to give your kids a complete education, making the transition to homeschool will be a significant change to your schedule.

To help yourself gain back some time, it’s a great idea to purchase an annual subscription for grocery delivery or pay for a meal delivery service from time to time.

Related article: How to Create an Amazing Personalized Daily Schedule as a Homeschool Mom

You may also consider paying for a babysitter to come over once a week or every other week so you can get some time to yourself to run errands or do something for yourself!

Final thoughts about how much is homeschooling? 

Homeschooling can certainly be expensive – both in actual and intangible costs.

But after the first year, you may see that the initial cost of homeschooling will decrease dramatically.

Because all homeschooling families are so different, there will be different costs for each family, and there are plenty of ways you can look to save to money along the way too.

Related articles about getting started with homeschooling:

How to Successfully Work from Home and Homeschool (without Losing Your Mind!)

9 Important Secrets to Help with Homeschooling This Year

The Best Advice for How to Start Homeschool

Pin the image below to come back to this article easily in the future!

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Are you surprised by any of these points about the cost of homeschooling? 

How Much is Homeschool? Here\'s What You Need to KnowHow Much is Homeschool? Here\'s What You Need to KnowHow Much is Homeschool? Here\'s What You Need to KnowHow Much is Homeschool? Here\'s What You Need to Know

Hi there! I’m so glad you’re here! I’m Jen, a former reluctant homeschool mom who is ready to help you actually enjoy homeschooling too. Read more here…

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