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Got a money question

Posted by on Nov. 26, 2012 at 2:05 PM
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my husband and I are considering homeschooling for our two young kids and my husband has a few concerns i told him i would try to work out before we decide. the main one is money how do we afford supplies, the extra meals they will eat at home, and curriculum etc... he works and also gets money from being injured in his time serving in the  military so we do have a small chunk of money coming in. I'm looking to get estimated numbers for how much would commonly be spent to home school 2 kids for a month, a year what ever i can get. my hubby responds to numbers that's why I'm trying to get an actual estimated price and really anything will help. i really want to home school i just need to give my husband the piece of mind that we wont go broke because we want to teach our children

Thank you     A-Mattson

by on Nov. 26, 2012 at 2:05 PM
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by Helping Hands on Nov. 26, 2012 at 2:49 PM



by Welcome Squad on Nov. 26, 2012 at 3:09 PM
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Homeschooling can be as cheap or as expensive as you make it. There are families that are doing it for almost nothing and there are some that spend quite a bit. For our family we have decided to put a $500 budget for the whole year. Once I figure out my books and curriculum, I hit ebay. I already started getting my dd's book for next year and have saved $60 out of $100 so far. I start buying early, so we won't have to spend a lump sum all at once.

My suggestion would be to sit down and figure out teaching and learning styles. That will give you an idea of what curriculum your looking at and whether you can put it together yourself or if you feel more comfortable buying a curriculum. Then that will give you an idea on cost.

Hope this helps some.

by Helping Hands on Nov. 26, 2012 at 3:12 PM
On actual Curriculum: $200 per child for one year.

Supplies (crayons, paper, ink, posterboard, dry erase markers, craft supplies, books for reading) $600 per year. I imagine I would still spend 1/3-1/2 of this whether they were homeschooled are not

Field Trips: $300 per year

Extracurriculars: $1200 per year. Now, they would do these whether they were homeschooled or not.

In terms of food, we eat simple lunches and snacks, so I would guestimate that its about $30 extra a week at the most.
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by Welcome Squad on Nov. 26, 2012 at 5:07 PM

A quick breakdown: (Note most of these would not be purchased at the same time, for instance with scouts we spend probably $8 a month on average):

Singapore Math $120, misc. supplies $80, scouts $100, decorations $75, educational board games and such- $50 a year, Teach Your Child To Read and What Your Child Needs to Know books- $22 total, I make a yearbook on shutterfly each year- $30 (but you'd buy a yearbook in p.s. too), learning kits for the year- $40, various notebooks and a teacher planning one for me- $18, and we do postcrossing to learn about the world (to mail each it's $1 x2 a month= $24.

So the total for a year would be about $450-$500, depending on how much extras I bought and how much we do with scouts. I'm not sure about food sorry, I never considered him eating at school. He eats like a bird though lol, so it's like really small amount for us.

Those numbers in more detail:

$200 on curriculum for my son (7). That covers his Singapore math books which is basically the only "boxed" curriculum we use. The other 80 would go towards things like crayons, printer paper, etc. but I'd have to buy all that anyways if he wasn't homeschooled.

I use the internet for ideas & library for 95% of all our reading (which covers everything from science, history, fun, etc with the use of "living", real books). So that is free. I buy the occasional history or science learning kit, $20 each usually, and twice a year, so $40.

In K I bought "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons". That is the ONLY thing I used to teach reading and he reads great. It was a whopping $12 off amazon. I also bought "What Your Kindergartener Needs to Know" and want the following books in the series. Each costs under $10.

I bought some one time decoration purchases for our homeschool room. Bought a little here, little there. I'm talking posters and such. I'd say around $75 was spent on decorations (which are not necessary by any means) over the course of the past two years.

His extracurricular is scouts, I'm not sure how much we spend, there's little things here and there like a camping trip for $30 or a patch for $5. Maybe $100 max for the year. He'd be in scouts if he wasn't homeschooled anyways though. He used to be in karate and it was much more expensive ($100 a month for tuition, fees, tournaments, etc.)

We save a ton because he doesn't go through clothes and shoes like he would in public school. I know my parents spent more on me for back to school clothing, backpacks & supplies each year when I was growing up than I spend on his homeschooling yearly.

Also I didn't factor in field trips to places like the zoo or museum. We would do that regardless. Them being educational is just a benefit.

by Welcome Squad on Nov. 26, 2012 at 5:10 PM

Wow what a post lol. I didn't realizie I went into such detail. But it was good for me to write it out anyways. Since we buy things at different times of the year I never really added it up to see just how much we really spend. I think we are on the low to mid range of spending. As you can see by others it can be much more expensive. It is all in how you approach it and what works best for your family. You can do it cheaper than we do, or you can buy a $700+ full set pre-made 100% for you from a curriculum supplier. Whatever works best for you.

by Welcome Squad on Nov. 26, 2012 at 5:32 PM

I've been homeschooling for about 6 years.  I've spent as much as $1200 for one child for a very customized, very in depth curriculum I put together myself.  This year we're looking at about $175 for an android tablet, about $100 for a brand new printer, and about $50 (for the beginning of our school year) for craft/school supplies.  Aside from those, I hope to get away with spending less then $200 for my 10 year old, 5 year old and 3 year old for their actual curriculum.  Most of that cost will be workbooks for my daughter.  I have a ton of resources that I can give you if you'd like :)

by Helping Hands on Nov. 26, 2012 at 6:54 PM

It can be as cheap or as costly as you want. I'm not one to ask about free curricula and options because that isn't our route. Expense also tends to depend on the ages of the children; it is cheaper to homeschool young children and gets more expensive as they progress. There are many women on this forum who do it for little to no money.

My Pre Ker (3 years old) ran us about $100 for curricula this past year; next year for Kindergarten, that will jump to about $200.

My 11 year old (5th/6th grade) ran us about $600 this past year; next year for seventh, it will probably be around $700 for curricula and supplies.

Craft and school supplies, if you buy when they are on sale in July or August, will run us about $200 over the course of a year (that's an estimate; I'm not sure because we buy as we go in that area).

We spend about $100 a month on extracurriculars (ballet for my eldest) this year; next year her ballet will jump as she progresses in skill to about $135 a month and we will probably add in an activity for our preschool age son (so we'll say that may add on $50 a month?).

The cost of food will not increase unless your child was receiving free breakfast and lunch at school. Assuming you were packing their lunches or paying out of pocket for school lunches, your costs there will not increase.

I am a Home Schooling, Vaccinating, Non spanking, Nightmare Cuddling, Dessert Giving, Bedtime Kissing, Book Reading, Academic pushing Mom. I believe in the benefit of organized after school activities and nosey, involved parents. I believe in spoiling my children. I believe that I have seen the village and I do not want it raising my child. I believe that my "place" is in the home caring for my husband and children. My husband is head of our home and I *love* my life! (just getting the controversial stuff out of the way!)             Aimee

by Helping Hands on Nov. 26, 2012 at 6:57 PM
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uhh...that is such a loaded question. lol. 

homeschool can cost as much or as little as you want/need it to. 

Yes, you buy all the pretty curriculums, you can sign up for classes at the Y, you can attend co-ops, etc, etc. It does all cost money (and a very pretty penny at that).

However, there are tons of moms on here who homeschool for free or almost for free. Start following some blogs like (homeschool freebies by Jammeril on FB) ( They post tons of freebies that you can pick and choose from. There are also lots of resources listed throughout this website. 

We do spend a LITTLE money on craft-y type supplies, computer paper and ink and then organizing stuff like folders and lined paper that i just buy for pennies at back-to-school time.

My oldest is only 7 so I dont feel it is necessary to "go all out" trying to replicate school at home. I prepare a reading list at the beginning of the year of books that I would like to get through and then I check them out at the library or request interlibrary loan books so i dont have to buy them.  

We do a lot at our library b/c it's free (craft club, storytime, book club). we also just do local park and rec instead of league sports b/c it's about $25 for the season as opposed to $100. we also have open gym at our park and rec building, which is free. 

So honestly, you can spend as much or as little as you would like. I can't justify the expense of a co-op here, but we have playgroups that meet monthly that are free so we pop into those when we can. 

by Welcome Squad on Nov. 26, 2012 at 8:05 PM

We have managed so far to spend very little.  As people have already mentioned it depends on which route you chose.  I do not use pre packaged cirriculum.  Tryed that one year and found it a too limiting.  I just bought two of the Life of Fred math books for my son, they are really working great so that was $50 well spent!!!

Like many people we use the library a lot.  Also, as many free activities as possible.  I feel there is a lot of "hidden expense" with ps too.  They always want money for something, fund raisers, class party, teacher gifts, and other stuff.  Plus all the clothes, shoes, new back packs, lunch bags.  It seemed like it never ended.  Certainly don't miss that.

In regards to lunches, you will probably save money by eating at home.  I find my kids eat much better by eating at home, not so much snack food.

If you are concerned about money you can always work from home on a part time basis.  I have been doing this to help our family finances, if you want more info feel free to message me.

Hope this helps!

by on Nov. 26, 2012 at 8:27 PM

I think the most money i spend on homeschooling is on food.  I have 5 children so we tend to go through lots  of bread for sandwiches, lots  of fresh produce, lots of water, dried fruits and nuts, etc. I don't think i would spend less money if my children were in a school outside of the home since i'd still have to pack lunches.  So for us, it equals out.

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