Homeschooling is a popular educational system and it is preferred by parents for the benefits it offers to them. Since parents have direct control of expenses in this educational mode, they have an opportunity to maximize or minimize their expenses as per their needs and manage their funds with ease. Homeschooling is one of the most opted educational systems since it renders many advantages to both parents and kids. Parents find homeschooling useful for getting their kids involved in activities that suit their interests via its flexible curriculum. Every student is unique and thus every parenting experience in homeschooling is unique. As such, parents can maximize or minimize the expenses while homeschooling kids according to their financial strength. One may spend more on curriculum and the other may spend more on extracurricular activities. Parents decide their expenses in homeschooling system unlike public or private school system.
Parents have to plan their budget and allot money for various expenses they come across in the homeschooling process. First of all, they have to decide a curriculum and plan how much they can spend on it. Next, they have to buy supplies and equipment. Spending on field trips and extracurricular activities is an essential expense for parents and they need to spend a little more on these things than the parents of traditional school students do. Homeschooling parents have to pay a lot of money for extracurricular activities of their kids since their kids have plenty of time to spend on art, music, dance etc.
There are some major expenses that have to be taken care of by parents while homeschooling their kids. Let us see how they can manage these expenses within their budget.
1. The curriculum
Homeschooling curriculum is not the same for every family. It differs from family to family. Some parents may want to buy a complete curriculum and follow that. Some may wish to make their own curriculum based on the interests of their kids and thus can do it with the help of the material that is available at home. Parents can customize the learning material and ask kids to learn as per their interests. Suppose kids are interested in learning about ships, they can draw pictures of ships, write stories about them and read about the structure and making of ships. Some parents seek the help of online tutoring sites for supplementing their kids’ education.
2. Supplies and equipment
School supplies form essential part of education whether one’s child is homeschooled or put in traditional school. Homeschooling parents can select the school supplies and buy accordingly so as to minimize the expenditure. If a parent buys the essential supplies for his homeschooled kid, it will be enough for the family. On the other hand, a parent of a traditional school student has to buy things that are listed as school supplies by the school authorities. Computer, internet, scanner and printer are essential equipment for any learning system. Globe, microscope and science kits are also necessary expenses for a homeschooling family. In a public school, all these things are available for students.
3. Field trips
A lot of field trips should be undertaken by parents for their homeschooled kids. Field trips help kids get exposure to the real world and as such homeschooled kids need them more in number. Parents have to plan the expenses for field trips so as to avoid shortage in finance.
4. Extracurricular activities
Extracurricular activities play a major role in shaping the character of homeschooled kids as they lend access for kids to meet people and interact with them. Kids are able to give vent to their talents through extracurricular activities and they have sufficient time to do so in homeschooling environment. The expenses may be a bit high and parents have to allot a major share for them in their homeschooling budget.
5. Homeschool group dues
Many homeschooling parents join a support team for helping kids in their education. They have to pay membership fee and the fee varies as per the nature of the support team. Suppose the team is run by volunteers, the fee is less and if it is run by professionals the fee is more. Membership fee for a support team is unavoidable as support teams are inevitable for the social interaction of kids .There is also a possibility of availing educational help from teachers of expertise through support teams.
Field trips definitely cost much for homeschooling parents. Parents have to take care of the cost of transportation spent on field trips and manage funds accordingly.
7. Lost income
Parents have to stay at home for a long time and thus may lose their jobs while homeschooling their kids. They may lose their income as well. They have to plan their expenses within their income under such circumstances.
Thus, it can be understood that homeschooling expenses differ from family to family as per the requirements of the family. Parents can plan their expenses according to their financial capabilities and help their kids get good education via homeschooling system.