homeschooling families can I ask how much you usually spend on a typical year. - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-23-2010, 06:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We start homeschooling this year. I'm trying to figure out what to expect cost wise. I know there are tons of free things, looking out for deals etc. What I'm wondering is after doing all the usualy save a dime stuff how much are you spending a year and if possible how does it breakdown. We are hoping to breakeven on what we pay a month for DD2's pre-school tuition. That way the cost of homeschooling is already "in" the budget.
Thanks

Pax, loving wife since 2001, Mother of DD1 (12) and DD2 (8 1/2). Entering our 5th year of Homeschooling: Eclectic mix of curriculum and child interest lead. Backyard urban chicken chasers.
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Old 03-23-2010, 07:04 PM
 
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It really depends on the year. I mean, this last year, we went on a vacation, and every stinking bit of it could have been considered homeschool, lol. Every activity we did included educational aspects. So 2009 was definitely more pricey.

I'd say our normal year is around $1,000-$1500

ETA: I didn't see at first that you asked how it breaks down.

Each year I hit sales at various online school supply stores and spend about $200 on arts and crafts supplies. Then I hit the Wmart sales in August and spend another $75 or so. Then I spend $ each month on their online curriculum (we switched and now spend half as much). They have piano lessons starting up soon, so that's a monthly fee. We buy books almost every month. I spend about $40/month on books (I have a problem, lol). I don't include internet fees because I would have that anyway. Occasionally I buy a more $$ kit or something about a specific topic of interest. Oh, and also the trips to the zoo, bowling, science museum, etc.

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Old 03-23-2010, 07:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thats a good point. I guess I'm thinking books, supplies, activities... but I hadn't thought of including my girls gymnastics in the homeschooling budget but it could be considered P.E. hmm

Pax, loving wife since 2001, Mother of DD1 (12) and DD2 (8 1/2). Entering our 5th year of Homeschooling: Eclectic mix of curriculum and child interest lead. Backyard urban chicken chasers.
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Old 03-23-2010, 07:21 PM
 
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I would absolutely include that cost!

When it comes down to it, I *could* include our chicks we just got, too, lol.

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Old 03-23-2010, 07:35 PM
 
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I would guesstimate that we spend about $1,000 a year. Maybe.

That would be materials, classes, museum memberships and field trips.

$250-300 on books
$160 on memberships
$150 on field trips (not including gas or lunch)
$300 on classes

I usually spend maybe another $300 a year on books and art supplies that I hope I would still be purchasing even if my older kids were schooled outside the home.

My kids are 8,7,2 and a babe. I'm sure it will get more expensive as they get older but for the younger grades hs can be done pretty inexpensively.

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Old 03-23-2010, 08:36 PM
 
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i hope to spend around 1000 per year (for 3 kids). we are using a rather expensive curric. (Sonlight), but most of it can be re-used over and over again (I have 3 kids right now). i also add on a bunch of extras. i dont include memberships or anything in my cost, because i would have purchased those regardless of homeschooling or not. i get supplies for very cheap (dollar store, 50% off craft store coupons), so I really dont count that either.
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Old 03-23-2010, 08:40 PM
 
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It varies. When we first started and we were dead broke, I spent maybe $50 in gas and library fines. Now that we have a little more wiggle room in our budget, I spend between $1000 and $2000 per year. Really roughly, it breaks down to:

$200-300 various memberships
$300-600 books and supplies
$600-900 class fees
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Old 03-23-2010, 08:40 PM
 
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Not including music and sports classes or summer camp that we would do whether homeschooling or not, I would say about 2500. That does include more museum memberships and math, art, and foreign language classes that we wouldn't be doing otherwise. But we're in a big expensive city too.

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Old 03-23-2010, 08:42 PM
 
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I think it really depends on how curriculum-dependent your style is.

We are unschoolers. We currently spend about $140/month on "extracurriculars" for the older three kids (lessons and classes and instrument rentals), $20/month dues for our homeschool co-op (meets once a week during the school year), and maybe an average of $20/month on books or supplies that we may or may not otherwise have bought. We also spend maybe $50/mo on family admission to events/exhibits/concerts.

I keep a full wishlist at paperbackswap.com and probably go through at least 10 credits a month on books or cds (add another $25/mo). We spend something like $50/year for a library card at the local "city" library (our local rural library is verrrrry small and my 11yo is doing more research now). We just started that but may need a slush fund for library fines.

This year the kids and I are going to a weekend camp that will cost $550 for the five of us. So you could break that down to another $50/month.

These are all things we would almost certainly be doing even if the kids were in school. I network with other homeschoolers for a lot of things that we have found helpful - books, toys, materials, tools. I think what we are spending might be on par with - or less than - what many non-homeschoolers spend.

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Old 03-23-2010, 10:58 PM
 
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Next fall I will have a 2nd grader and one in preschool. We are paying for preschool as his extracurricular. I spent around $500 for curriculum for both and I will spend another $150-200 expanding our library as well as another $100 or so on new good art supplies. We will send dd to science camp this summer as well. She takes ballet and piano right now at $168 a month. Dd will take knitting lesson in the fall and ds will do rec center "cheap" soccer in the spring.
Zoo-$40
Science Center $45
I guess a couple hundred a month.

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Old 03-24-2010, 12:27 PM
 
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my homeschooling budget is only about $500 per year for my 6 year old but we use a lot of free and cheap resources.

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Old 03-24-2010, 12:39 PM
 
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I spend maybe $500 a year, and that's including buying tons of books used at the thrift shops and mooching books on bookmooch & shipping for outgoing books.

I could do it on as little as $100 a year, but we'd have less books to read as we don't use the public library due to fines & parking fees for using it.

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Old 03-24-2010, 05:38 PM
 
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I think we spent $500 this year on books. A lot of them aren't relevant to this year though (I'm homeschooling a 4 year old). I just like books...lol.
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Old 03-24-2010, 05:47 PM
 
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I have a special needs son so he needs therapy items.

We often buy books because we have a sucky library. Borders gives us 25% off when we have to buy new.

I buy math curriculum for the upper grades. Once they get into algebra and trig I can't make up beanbag tossing games to teach the concepts like I did for addition and subtraction!

(I have 4 children.)

We rotate memberships (zoo, science center, YMCA, etc.).
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Old 03-24-2010, 06:55 PM
 
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Not counting swimming, tae kwon do, dance, soccer, t-ball and all of the other things we would do anyway...

So far this year I have spent $200 on math, reading, handwritting and science. I'll probably spend another $300 on various other arts and crafts, books, specific topics, trips, etc.

The problem with figuring out the answer is deciding what we would have done anyway. Would we have still gone to the science mueseum, underwater world, purchased the same books? Or would so of those things been replaced with learning at school.
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Old 03-24-2010, 07:37 PM
 
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I guess it depends if you are going to count all the classes and activites that kids sometimes do. Odds are they would do them if there were in 'school' anyway so would you count that as HS expenses or not? Would you do crafts if the kids were in school? probably... Its kinda hard to break down what exactly is HS only...

Like a PP when I started we were dead broke and spent very little, now where is a bit of wiggle room and Im better and seeking out scholarships for activites () so DS is doing more but IDK if its costing more. We also ask for camps and classes for b'days and holiday instead of presents.

I would say, *I* spend less than 1k on one very intense 9 yr old and this includes camps, classes, books, etc so $20/week?

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Old 03-24-2010, 11:00 PM
 
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I'd say we've spent about $1K this year including books (quite a few that will last for years to come and can be passed down) and supplies. We haven't done any extra activities this year because one of my children has been immunocompromised due to health issues and we've had a new baby added to the family.

My kids are young and most of the cost has been quality art supplies (stockmar, etc) and a ton of great books (both story books and curriculum books). I could have spent a fraction of that if I had bought cheap art supplies and just used the library only. I plan on having my older 2 (6yo and 4yo) at the Y this fall depending on some health issues with my 4yo and my 6yo will likely take piano lessons as well. So that will add to the cost for next year.

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Old 03-25-2010, 12:18 AM
 
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Almost scared to add it up

350 for 'tuition' to our Distance Ed school (we get way more than 350bucks
worth of activities, excursions etc out of that though!)
300 books/ curriculum give or take a little
700 classes (estimating here.. it was 200 for term1, 300coming up term2.. 3
kids though
200 art/craft supplies (through out the year)

So about 1500ish (for all 3 kids). That's NOT counting things like incidental visits to the planetarium and such places, but it should.. I just don't plan those It also doesn't count any associated expenses on our excursions (like meals etc... tomorrow we are off to Dream world!) or internet which I would die without anyway hehehehe.

Sounds expensive... but I've worked out what I'd be spending on school specific expenses if they were enrolled at public school.. and it is over 500 per year after uniforms and such, per kid! So I'm coming out pretty good

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Old 03-25-2010, 01:37 AM
 
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I spend oodles and oodles and oodles and oodles but that's because I choose to and because we can kind of afford it.
-$300/month for violin & piano lessons (+occasional amounts for instruments upgrades and new music books)
-$150/month for science and history classes at local museums
-$150/month for sports classes
-lots of money for gas because we drive everywhere and often go on two hour trips to go to museums around the state and for field trips
-$20-40/month for field trips
- $40-100 on books, because we all love books
-$200/year for zoo and museum memberships

We're unschoolers so we don't have fixed costs for curriculum, per se.

I think that we'd have little problem cutting right down (on everything except the music lessons, my little ones love their instruments) if need be, but so far, we haven't felt the extra need.
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Old 03-25-2010, 01:47 AM
 
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We get some financing from the state, but next year we won't. Here's the breakdown.

Piano/guitar lessons for 2 kids 230/mo
gymnastics for 3 kids 90 a month
various classes 150/mo (science, sewing, wilderness, etc.)
books/supplies 300/year (3 kids)

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Old 03-25-2010, 12:58 PM
 
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For actual schooling materials I'd say around $300 and we use the web extensively. I dont consider extracurriculars as part of the education budget as there stuff you would do even if your child was in public school.

Seriously?
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