The Cost of Homeschooling

Are you hoping this post is going to be about some lyrical sense in which homeschooling is costly?

Well, it’s not.  Instead, I’m gonna run the numbers.  (Note: all prices rounded to the nearest ten)

  1. Lakeshore Learning (furniture, materials, pocket charts): almost $2000
  2. Home Depot (pvc pipe and glue to make pocket chart stand): $10
  3. Desks (Zach said that ALL second graders had desks, so I ordered them.): $160
  4. SitSolution Ball Chairs (one for each boy and mommy): $100
  5. Handwriting With(out) Tears (curriculum and goodies): almost $80
  6. Amazon (books on homeschooling and china): almost $400
  7. MFA (series of art classes): $240
  8. Audobon Society (membership & nature study class for both boys): $430
  9. Aquarium Membership (not including zoo, children’s museum, and science museum, where we were already members): $175
  10. Go game: $20
  11. National Zoo to see pandas (parking, game in gift shop, national geographic video): $50
  12. Badminton rackets and birdies: $30
  13. Awful Christian curriculum that I bought because I thought I should: $180
  14. New clothes to impress the homeschool moms: $0

For a grand total of… But wait.  There’s more.

Two weeks ago, when I was miserable and telling Jeff that I couldn’t keep homeschooling without getting really bitchy or really, really fat, he panicked and tried to convince me to throw in the towel.

“You can just quit.  It’ll be funny, actually.  We can spend the next thirty years saying, ‘Remember that week we homeschooled?'”

“We can’t quit,” I lamented. “I spent over a thousand dollars this summer buying school supplies to get ready.”

“What do you mean, a thousand dollars?” he corrected me.  “Have you forgotten about the $15000 Au Pair?”

Ah yes.  The Au Pair.  Number 15. He was wrong about the $15000, though.  By the time we finish with phones, and food, and a computer, and vacations, it will cost us nearly $20000 to have an au pair, without whom I could not keep working in the afternoons.  She’s awesome, and we love her.  But it ain’t cheap.

So the grand total is: Priceless?  Nope.  It’s $23875.  And that’s after a mere 3 1/2 weeks. To be sure, the big expenses are done – au pair and furniture.  But there are so many great classes and materials.  If I’m not careful, we could spend $30000 dollars this year.

Lots of people do it for a lot less.  A whole lot less.  But I thought I would just go ahead and put it out there.  OUR homeschool is more expensive than private school.

Should that matter?

Disclaimer: I’m sure that I have forgotten things. So if you look back in a month – why you would do that I have no idea – the number may have gone up.

Updated Costs: 5 kits from the Children’s Museum at $40 a kit, 3-day Family Art Class plus supplies = $270

"We homeschooled our five children for over fourteen years in two different states. I have ..."

Do Homeschoolers Need More Regulation?
"I don't homeschool my kids, so I don't have a direct dog in this hunt. ..."

Do Homeschoolers Need More Regulation?
"Wow. I never heard of regulations like that. People are complicated and the systems we ..."

Do Homeschoolers Need More Regulation?
"The libertarian in me says we don't need any rules, the auditor in me says ..."

Do Homeschoolers Need More Regulation?

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Theresa

    Maybe you can sell your list to MasterCard for their next commercial?

  • Jeff Barneson

    Now I really do feel queasy…

    I'm glad at least I could save us some change by building that pocket chart stand out of PVC. However, I'm not sure that hanging around all that glue is going to help our boy's test scores. Hey, come to think of it, do our boys still take tests?

  • Andrea Cohn

    You also forgot that you are now getting your house cleaned every week because you can't stand the constant mess. And you redid the boys' bedroom so it could be a bedroom/classroom. And you repainted the au pair's bedroom and bought her a mattress. At least your piano teacher is free. Sheesh!

    • tedelschick

      You are so right. I'll amend the numbers shortly.

  • RebecaF

    Multiple-Choice Quiz

    A progressive educator would most likely keep his or her money in these locations EXCEPT:

    a) A banking cooperative

    b) A large corporate bank

    c) Under a mattress

    d) Nowhere; progressive educators are always broke!

    If you answered b, you are correct.

    So what's up with LakeSORE-I mean, Lakeshore? The cognitive dissonance is ringing in my ears!

    But seriously, this blog has been so much fun to read so far. I'm vicariously experiencing what it would be like to devote myself to teaching young children without the institutional politics, classroom management issues, and boxed-in thinking.

    AND, I get to have a glimpse into your life at a distance. Miss you!