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Cost of homeschool? (wondering about budget)

Posted by on Aug. 10, 2013 at 11:42 PM
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What do people generally spend on homeschool per year? Some things would likely be purchased anyway, and I know there are more frugal ways to do it, but I'm just wondering what is normal?

* Curriculum, whole set or prepackaged parts

* workbooks (or paper/ink for printing stuff)

* basic "office" supplies (schools often require to be sent with students anyway, but still a cost I want to plan for)

* craft or project supplies (again, something we'd foot the bill for typically)

* maybe enrichment (music, language, or sports) classes (which we might do anyway, but if her school had a regular PE program, maybe I wouldn't feel that she needed a sport, dance or gymnastics classes)


what does it all cost?


My daughter is kindergarten, but I'm curious about other ages, too. :)

by on Aug. 10, 2013 at 11:42 PM
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Replies (1-10):
debramommyof4
by Helping Hands on Aug. 10, 2013 at 11:49 PM

 We pretty much school for free.  We do buy a few things this year costs less than 100 this year for 4 kids.

poppys_mommy
by Welcome Squad on Aug. 11, 2013 at 12:09 AM

My best guess so far:

* Curriculum = $50.  I don't have anything in mind but I think I'll probably splurge on some prepackaged set of something sometime: reading, spanish, etc.  Or maybe some good videos or more books.  (I just spent ~$25 on books because I realized we had very few non-fiction books.  Eep.  But this got us another 16 books so now it's only somewhat embarrasing.)

* Workbooks/paper/ink = $25.  She likes workbooks, so I should probably get her a few new ones.

* Basic office supplies = $50 (white board and markers, paper, crayons, glue, markers... and we needed a small table and chairs (ikea table, chairs and white board was $40 of that $50)  I'm probably underestimating this.

* Craft or project supplies= no idea since I don't know what projects we might end up doing outside of crayon/paper/glue/scissors type.. say $25.

* Enrichment classes (here's where I send all my money): current options: Spanish $75/mo for 1 hr/wk, Rec class free for 1 hr/wk, Dance $55/mo for 1 hr week of tap/ballet  (but that could be more like $80 if we switch locations), and orchestra (piano/violin) for $150/mo (3 hrs/wk) so that makes it about $300/mo 


So that means my start up cost is currently looking like $150, plus about $300/mo  (if she actually does all of the classes, which she probably won't).  The $150 seems low to me, but $300 for classes seems high.  Just curious.  What is "normal"?  And feel free to say, "I spend ____ but I think _____ is more normal."  :)

poppys_mommy
by Welcome Squad on Aug. 11, 2013 at 12:10 AM
Wow! that's awesome. You must work really hard at it. Nice work!
Quoting debramommyof4:

 We pretty much school for free.  We do buy a few things this year costs less than 100 this year for 4 kids.


debramommyof4
by Helping Hands on Aug. 11, 2013 at 12:22 AM

Thank you. 

 

I use a lot of websites to find free lesson plans, buy from other moms and I do buy a few things.  I do not like a full box curriculum it always has parts that do not fit my children. 

Quoting poppys_mommy:

Wow! that's awesome. You must work really hard at it. Nice work!
Quoting debramommyof4:

 We pretty much school for free.  We do buy a few things this year costs less than 100 this year for 4 kids.


 

smalltownmom03
by Welcome Squad on Aug. 11, 2013 at 12:26 AM
Curriculum: free
Paper and ink: $200 (I plan on getting the kids kindles for Christmas. Next year my paper & ink cost should only be about $50.)
Office supplies: $25
craft supplies: $50 per year. I try to keep a good stock so that I always have what I need. Keep an eye out for sales. Sometimes you can find things as cheap as $.10.
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NYCitymomx3
by Helping Hands on Aug. 11, 2013 at 6:10 AM

My ds is 12  and going into 7th grade.  Although I could certainly find tons of free websites in every subject, ds does not like using the computer for academics at all.  He likes only real books.  His full curriculum (that I pieced together) cost about $400. This is for English/Lit, Math, History, Geography, and Science programs.  Supplies cost about $70 (pencils, notebooks, globe, whiteboard/markers).  Regular exra-curriculars (basketball, CCD, parkour, scouts) are maybe $800 for the year.  Classes and field trips are maybe $600 for the year. Plus more for ds's interests and hobbies.  It really is only as expensive as you make it.

wendythewriter
by Helping Hands on Aug. 11, 2013 at 8:02 AM

I homeschool two boys, 12 and 9. I don't know my exact budget, but I'd say it's less than $100/yr.

First, I don't buy a curriculum. What I did was buy Rebecca Rupp's Home Learning Year by Year, which spells out what kids should know by the end of each grade. I don't use the grade levels exactly, but I use the book to determine what my kids should know (my oldest, for example, struggles with math, so he's a bit behind "grade level" there). I make a spreadsheet at the beginning of the year (did this last night, in fact, though we don't start until after Labor Day), for each child, listing all the skills I'll be teaching them this year, and an additional sheet for all the combined subjects (such as art, music, history, science).

Then I find resources for each skill. For example, let's say that I'm teaching adding and subtracting six digit numbers. I would look for printable worksheets for this skill, ways to make manipulatives for it, videos teaching how to do it, real life examples of it, etc. I look for free methods as much as possible, and barring free, I go for cheap. But I always double check my resource and make sure that it's relatively accurate. Sometimes I'll find one with inaccuracies, but I'll use it anyway because it's a good opportunity to (1) see if they notice, which would really indicate they get it and (2) point it out to them and help them understand what's wrong with it.

I got a Kodak printer for Christmas....last year? The year before? Within the last couple of years, at least. The ink is cheaper than others, it's wireless so I can print using my laptop from anywhere in the house, and it's an all in one with a scanner and copier as well. I buy regular paper for basic printing and cardstock for things like manipulatives that I want to be a bit sturdier. I got a really good crayon set last year, that will work this year as well, along with colored pencils and markers. I will need to buy some new pencils, but that will cut down on a lot of my expenses this year.

Craft supplies - hard to estimate, because not all of our crafts/projects are planned out at the beginning of the year. But since many of the supplies I'd buy would cover more than one project (construction paper might do an entire year's worth, for example), I'd say per craft/project, it's probably not too expensive at all.

Enrichment - we don't do anything there really. My kids aren't into organized sports, and haven't expressed any interest in art, music, dance, karate, etc. lessons. If they did, I would certainly look into it, but so far, they're happy with what I can teach them about art and music, and doing their own thing when it comes to physical activity.

We all have Kindles, so after the initial expense of purchasing them (which I actually didnt have, because my parents got them for the kids as Chriistmas presents and I got mine with gift cards), that saves a ton of money. I can get all the classic books (Dickens, Jules Verne, etc.) for free, and I can often find tons of children's books for free. Our library system has a program that allows us to check out books for our Kindles, too, so I'm looking into that for this year. If we're doing some reading that I can't find for free on the Kindle but I don't want to buy the book (say, reading a biography on George Washington or something), we'll just check it out from the library, do what we need to do and return it.

I think field trips might be our biggest expense, and even that I try to keep relatively low. Last year, we went to Legoland on a homeschooling day ($25 for me, $8 for each kid admission, then gas for the two hour drive, lunch, and so on was about $150-200 total for whole 1-day trip), our local art museum (cost of admission was about $9 total), a teaching zoo about an hour away, and a visit to the natural history museum near the zoo (gas and admission to both places was about $50-60 total). This year, I'm hoping to make another trip to the natural history museum, one that will last all day, I hope. I'd also like to try to make a trip to the ocean, to go along with our oceanography studies that we'll be doing, but that's going to be a wait and see, because we've had lots of nasty weather lately and I don't want to drive all that way (we live an hour inland from any beach) only to be rained out.

I think homeschooling can really be done as cheaply or expensively as you want it to be done. If you want to spend tons on curriculum and supplies, you can do that, and if you want to find ways to use free and really inexpensive resources, you can do that. It all depends on you.

AutymsMommy
by Helping Hands on Aug. 11, 2013 at 10:10 AM

There is really no absolute here. Everyone has a different budget, different needs/wants, etc.

For my kindergartner, I've spent maybe $200 on curriculum/books.

For my 7th grader (before we decided to enroll her in private brick and mortar), I spent around $700 on curricula and books.

I'll spend about $200 throughout the year on supplies.

My 7th grader would have also been in gymnastics, had we kept her at home, which runs about $100 a month, so about $1200 a year for that.

Co-op fee is $20.

Accountability association registration is $30.

I am a Home Schooling, Vaccinating, Non spanking, Nightmare Cuddling, Dessert Giving, Bedtime Kissing, Book Reading, Stay at Home Mom. I believe in the benefit of organized after school activities and nosy, involved parents. I believe in spoiling my children. I believe that I have seen the village and I do not want it anywhere near my children. Now for the controversial stuff:  we're Catholic, we're conservative, and we own guns (now there's no need to ask, lol).             Aimee















AutymsMommy
by Helping Hands on Aug. 11, 2013 at 10:17 AM


Don't worry about "normal". Sincerely, there is no "normal" when it comes to costs associated with homeschooling. It depends on your budget, your wants, and your needs.

Quoting poppys_mommy:

So that means my start up cost is currently looking like $150, plus about $300/mo  (if she actually does all of the classes, which she probably won't).  The $150 seems low to me, but $300 for classes seems high.  Just curious.  What is "normal"?  And feel free to say, "I spend ____ but I think _____ is more normal."  :)



I am a Home Schooling, Vaccinating, Non spanking, Nightmare Cuddling, Dessert Giving, Bedtime Kissing, Book Reading, Stay at Home Mom. I believe in the benefit of organized after school activities and nosy, involved parents. I believe in spoiling my children. I believe that I have seen the village and I do not want it anywhere near my children. Now for the controversial stuff:  we're Catholic, we're conservative, and we own guns (now there's no need to ask, lol).             Aimee















Chasing3
by Welcome Squad on Aug. 11, 2013 at 11:58 AM

my curriculum materials total a little less than $400 for one kid. I am buying some of it new, some used. I figure everything else (office supplies, crafts, sprts activities, etc) is pretty much the same that I'd spend if he went to public school anyway.


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