Home » Homeschool » About homeschooling » The Cost to Homeschool a Large Family

The Cost to Homeschool a Large Family

If I were to consider not by average, but by year for my kids preschool through 12th grade, how much more or less we spend on homeschooling than what we would have spent and saved were our kids public or charter schooled, here is the breakdown. I used an online charter school, but I have counted as if I did not get reimbursed, so you can see what the cost would have been, had I paid for all of it myself.

2012-13, 3 students: I saved $1,100

2013-14, 4 students: $100

2014-15, 5 students: $1,400

After adding up costs, it added up to $1,000 per year per child. I was surprised at the cost. Then I subtracted things I would have paid for even were they in public school. After that, I started subtracting what I had saved by homeschooling. All the savings surprised me even more, as I had not previously considered those.

All this includes extra costs of housecleaning and extra costs of lunches beyond what they would be if we had them in public school. It includes homeschool retreats, homeschool group events costs, classes and lessons (including sports and lessons that most people put their kids in). I enrolled my kids in, conferences, field trips, annual family memberships to learning places, printer paper, printer, printer ink, school supplies, games and dvd’s, apps, computer, iPad, office supplies, art and craft supples, music supplies, gardening supplies and books.

This not account for loss of income I could have had coming in from my graphic design business had I not been busy with this. It does not include lessons and sports we would have still had our kids in had we not homeschooled. This does not account for family events, memberships and family field trips for learning we would have gone on even if they were in public school. I have subtracted the costs of school supplies, books and fees we would have paid were we a public schooling family, and books, supplies and DVD’s we’d have purchased even if in public school.

I encourage you to figure out how much you spend per month on all of your kids on:

  • Trendy fashion clothing and accessories you would not need if they were in homeschool
  • Toys your kids heard about at school that you had to buy them because they heard about them
  • Backpacks, binders, locker accessories, school fees and supplies you would not have to buy were they in homeschool
  • Therapy sessions and doctor visit costs that you would not have were your family homeschooling
  • Day care, extra meal expense and extra clothing you must buy for the wife to have paid work
  • What you spend on class treats, PTA donations, donations to the school, fundraisers for/ related to the school
  • School supplies you have to buy not just at the beginning of the year, but monthly (posterboard for a presentation, printer ink, note cards, supplies for making a model, science project supplies, photocopies at libraries, DVD’s or books required to rent or buy for school, sewing supplies required for school, gardening supplies, etc.
  • Gas/ Petroleum/ fuel/ electricity, to run your vehicles, to take your kids to and from school and school events

One thought on “The Cost to Homeschool a Large Family

  1. most the things you posted as public school expenses are totally optional and bogus…Don’t get me wrong, I want to homeschool and think it’s awesome for the family. But don’t downplay the financial strain it is. The curriculum alone is way more then I’ve ever spent on my kids for going to school. Lunches are the same as if they are home. Clothes are the same either way. Toys are the same. Really, I didn’t see any expense that would be different except backpacks. Which you may get anyway if you like to take schooling on the road. As far as more cleaning, the kids are home to help with that too when homeschooling. Public school, mom gets time to do things more efficiently though. And don’t most kids take the bus to school? School events are much less then homeschool groups and co-ops/field trips. So gas is less for public school.
    I love homeschool, and think it’s the best thing for families. But don’t try to make it sound as if we’re saving money by doing it!


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