What Does Homeschool Cost: 13 Things I Wish I Knew

No one wants to declare the definitive costs of homeschooling. Um, why? Is there a secret?

Well, no. It’s because every family values different things and determines what they want to spend based on their present circumstances and their homeschool approach.

So what does homeschool cost?

Kiddo at homeschool: so what does homeschool cost

You knew it would cost money to clothe and feed your baby, so what does homeschool cost?

Ever feel peer-pressured to show your wee baby bundle that you truly loved her by dressing her in Baby Gap? You can, but you don’t have to.

When you start out, there’s also…
  • the cradle,
  • the mommy wrap,
  • the reusable floral diapers,
  • the Fisher-Price Little People,
  • later comes the Lego, the Barbies, the Kinex,
  • and the dress-up clothes, the miniature kitchen,
  • then the basketballs, the hockey equipment, the dance costumes,
  • and you fill in the blank.
If you decide they’re important, you’ll buy them.

What does homeschool cost

But did anyone tell you about the extra expenses a homeschooling family incurs (what homeschool really costs)?

Surprise, it isn’t just books. Well, it doesn’t have to be books. (It probably is a LOT of books, but you could find those at the library if you chose too).

No, it’s not the extracurricular paraphernalia for the extra activities (that right now you might not realize you’ll have so much more time for, but you will).

Rather, the unexpected costs incurred are these…

  1. Since you have increased time in the kitchen, you also have more glasses broken…
  2. And the kitchen floor tiles that get broken along with the glasses…
  3. Oh, and the plates don’t want to be forgotten…
  4. There are library books that fall behind beds, get lost, get ripped, get written on by toddlers, get chewed by the imaginary dog, so a whole lot more library late fines.
  5. Carpet wear and tear increases as you do breakout dance parties and use the family room as your school gym,
  6. Your family screens get even more regular use and your school “tech”,
  7. There are repeat trips to the pencil store when in reality, you could have checked under the sofa cushions…
  8. And since you’re checking under the sofa cushions, you’ll also discover a nest of erasers, legos, and random cracker bits,
  9. More clothing wear and tear because they get thrown into the laundry three times a day–why hang it up when mom can wash it?
  10. But really, not “clothing”, rather, sweatpants, joggers, or pajamas, of course…
  11. A freezer that gets unplugged, and its hundreds of dollars of meat defrosted because someone was playing house behind and it was too loud for their play so they unplugged it…
  12. The minivan was smashed because we parked at a public park during school hours when a teenager was skipping school and quickly made his exit…
  13. Oh, and also autobody damage caused by the four-year-old who found the minivan keys, turned on the ignition, and flipped it into reverse to make his exit, instead of breaking the neighbour’s white picket fence…

If I calculate the above expenses…well, homeschooling can be very, VERY expensive.

Or I can think of all the costs I saved…

  1. Indoor shoes are not required.
  2. Extra expenses required at school are now entirely optional, like field trips.
  3. No awareness of cultural clothing trends, so no extra expense there.
  4. Don’t need to drive every morning and afternoon to pick up the kids from school (though you might make that up by driving them to extracurriculars).
  5. Hot meal purchases from the school are not required. (A whole lot less expensive & more healthy at home).
  6. Purchasing books and curricula we want to study instead of ones we are required to purchase (unless we decide that was a waste of money, as one does).

So as you can see, the expense of homeschool? Rather variable.

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Teresa Wiedrick

I help overwhelmed homeschool mamas shed what’s not working in their homeschool & life, so they can show up authentically, purposefully, and confidently in their homeschool & life.