When we started homeschooling, I had no idea how much money it would cost and the uncertainty was kind of terrifying. Jason and I both operate our own businesses, which is awesome when it comes to structuring our days but less awesome when it comes to knowing exactly how much money we will have coming in every month. And, of course, you can spend an infinite amount of money on homeschool materials if you don’t check yourself — there is so much fun stuff out there! I think I’ve landed on a budget that works for our family, and I thought I’d share our homeschool spending here over the next year, both as a concrete example of the kind of expenses you may run into as a new homeschooler and as an accountability tool for myself. Plus, I’m nosy about what other people buy for their homeschool, and you may be, too! My homeschool budget runs from June to June. Here’s how it breaks down:
- $500 for curriculum per kid = $1,000 per year (This includes class materials, like lab kits or workbooks. I say $500 per kid, but this year it’s probably going to be more of a $350/$650 split since I already have some of the materials for my 2nd grader and 8th grade stuff can be more expensive.)
- $500 per semester for outside classes = $1,000 per year (This works out to about one class per kid at our homeschool group.)
- $500 per year for museum memberships and activities = $500/year
- $100 per month for books, school/art supplies, etc. = $1,200 per year
- $100 per year for starter school supplies (new notebooks, pencils, art supplies, etc.) = $100/year
Total Homeschool Budget for the 15-16 year= $3,800
I spend the bulk of our budget in the summer, as I’m gearing up for the year ahead and signing up for fall classes. Then there’s another expensive little burst in January, when our homeschool group’s spring semester starts. I roll over any unspent money into the following month’s budget, so if I have an itch for something pricier I can “save up” budget dollars for it.
Some people spend more than this and buy all the nifty things that make me jealous. Some people spend less and still seem to have plenty of good resources. This is just how much our family has budgeted for homeschool expenses. As I like to remind my husband, it’s WAY less than a good private school.
AMY SHARONY is the founder and editor-in-chief of home | school | life magazine. She's a pretty nice person until someone starts pluralizing things with apostrophes, but then all bets are off.