How much does home ed cost?

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When I asked friends for their home ed questions, a couple of people asked for a breakdown of home ed costs. I was a bit baffled because we don’t really have any specific home ed costs. I started keeping a note of what we spend going to home ed events and I asked a couple of friends with children at school to keep a note of their school spend, so I could do a comparison…

One friend said she didn’t think uniforms should count as a school expense because if the children weren’t in uniforms they’d be wearing their own clothes and so any uniform cost was offset by the ‘own clothes’ saving. And then there was packed lunch v school dinners v my boys saying “What can we EAT?!” all day.

I asked some other home ed parents about expenses and, after discussing it for a bit, we realised it’s pretty much an impossible question to answer because – as comes up over and over – home ed families are all different. One friend’s children do a lot of activities like gymnastics and dance, which obviously they pay for. We don’t do anything like that. When I kept a record, it included things like cups of tea, ice lollies, cake, etc., in the park with other families. Some home ed families pay for tutoring. We don’t, put we do pay for BrainPOP and Reading Eggs, but we used BrainPOP while Harry was at school and may have used Reading Eggs too. Should I only reckon up specifically “educational” activities or include anything we pay to do when the boys would otherwise be at school?

The problem is that we don’t separate education in that way. I can’t write down and add up the “educational” bits because everything is educational. I can’t put a price on it. That’s what we love about home ed.

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6 responses to “How much does home ed cost?

  1. It’s so true Keris – actually – LIFE is educational and there’s no way of costing that! It’s treating education as separate from life that actually creates the cost!

  2. Hit the nail on the head – our aim is not to “separate education” either. Once you start saying, we are learning this now and learning that then, you lose the beauty of home ed and all the learning that life itself has to offer.

  3. I think the answer is simply that it will cost what you want it to cost ie what your particular family and circumstances are willing to spend. As you say, every family is different, it’s a bit like the “structure vs autonomy” question too, there is no right answer, just whatever is best for your family. Just as every “school” family will have differing incomes and expenditures, it’s the same for us home-edders, and that’s absolutely fine!

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