The costs associated with home schooling can be astronomical. Or it can be the most affordable thing ever. Like life, home schooling has many different choices that can either make it very expensive or very affordable. Clearly, most families like the “Goldilocks” approach when it comes to child-rearing: where associated costs are just right within the confines of the family finances. That allows for so many different variations!
As a newly minted homeschooling mom, we have found we like our costs to be virtually free, whenever possible. It can get a little crazy all the awesome, amazing, cool and very pricey classes available to a homeschooled student. What’s more is that once you belong to a group, you’ll hear so many different families doing things differently. Classes. Workshops. Camps. All great and all valid, but also, out of our reach at the moment.
I felt like a fish out of water when meeting some new moms at an event with our Big Guy yesterday. They were recommending a particular math class. I shared our approach about not purchasing curriculum or attending classes, because we feel that if the purpose of pulling them was to allow them to learn differently than they could in a traditional classroom, then why, exactly, would I put them in a class setting? Furthermore, if there is a concept that I can teach them, and they can learn from me, why on earth would I subject myself to pouring more dollars into our children?
I felt, all at once, like the poor person in the room (we’re not) and like a crazy person (the jury is still out there….) but the idea that we need to have, use, purchase XYZ in order for our children to learn still drives me crazy. There are some tools that are helpful and necessary: a globe or map, for instance.
I just want my kids to enjoy living life. To focus on learning the things they want to learn in their own time. Not because I’ve sought out some class for them to take. Perhaps one day, they will be in a class or camp, but it will be because they’ve sought out wanting more information than I can provide. An experience greater than can be accomplished within our home or the world. When it happens, I’ll let you know.
Back to our question: how much does homeschooling cost? I’m not exactly sure what other people spend. I know that curriculum can be very expensive. We’ve purchased an Annual Pass to our National Parks system, a guided tour of the Everglades, a rock/mineral kit, nature class, and craft supplies. A grand total of $430 in the 4 months since we’ve “officially” begun to unschool. It’s a good fit for us right now. If we spend that amount every 4 months, our total for a year will be $1290.
Due to the fact that I’m curious about the long-term financial effect this will have on our family, I’ve created a page to track our expenses of what we’ve actually spent this year on our learning adventure.
For now, we’re going to focus on playing, discovering, and being curious.