Monday 2 June 2014

The true cost of home education

For people thinking about home education, the expense can be a major factor. So how much does home education cost?

The cost of home education is like the cost of bringing up a child. Every time someone sees figures, they always claim that they don't spend that much.

Of course, I don't spend over £200 000 bringing up a child. 

I wouldn't spend £x on curriculum/exams/tutors.

What has struck me recently is that I do spend a large amount on home education. Part of this is on curriculum but a fair proportion is on other things.

  • books
  • educational games
  • extra curricular lessons: swimming and art
  • different foods to fit with country studies
  • art supplies
  • educational trips
In fact, it is quite difficult to know where home education spending begins and ends. Do extra books go in the home education category on the budget sheet? How about swimming lessons? We paid for these things when our children were in school so should this be part of home education or something else?

How about the extra wear and tear on the house or the higher heating bills? Or the loss of income? 

Of course, there are some expenses that are lower. Holidays can happen in term time and there isn't school uniform to buy.

There are savings to be made on home education resources. Trips can be local, cheap and are optional. I have written a series about reducing the cost of trips. Extra curricular lessons aren't essential or sometimes swaps can be arranged between home educating families with particular skills. Libraries are full of books and there are plenty of free books to download on the internet.

I imagine that the vast majority of home educators lose income. I know that some people are able to continue working but mainly, they can't work the same hours as before. When we started home education, I was working part time but found that I didn't have time to work, home educate and be a carer. 

So what is the cost of home education? It varies according to
  • the age of the child. Older children are more likely to take exams/need tutors and materials for working towards exams.
  • whether the plan is for the child to take exams from home or go to college for these
  • the number of children
  • family circumstances
  • which expenses the family decides to categorise as home education
  • whether a parent has to stop working
For us, the outlay is less than the cost of sending the children to private schools but more than state school would be. However, adding in loss of income does add to the bill! 

We don't home educate for financial reasons! The reasons are far removed from finance. The home educators that I know have many reasons for their decision but they don't include saving! 

I don't want to put anyone off home educating. It isn't necessary to be wealthy to home educate: most of us aren't, but it is important to be realistic when making the decision.

 photo bc6b61f4-5556-4b25-8fc2-416c509a8a19_zpsa41cc596.jpg
If you enjoyed this post you may like to follow Delivering Grace by Google Friend Connect, G+,FacebookPinterest or e-mail.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for this post and I am sure that it will be really helpful to people considering home-education.
    We are careful with our budget as we are on a single income. We make use of free museums, galleries, libraries and the charity shop is a must for books:)
    Thanks for linking up to this weeks # homeedlinkup