How Much Does Homeschooling Really Cost?

Homeschooling is an educational option where parents take on the responsibility of educating their children at home rather than sending them to traditional public or private schools.

The costs associated with homeschooling can vary widely depending on several factors, including the type of:

  • Curriculum chosen
  • Extracurricular activities
  • The need for special resources

Now, let us talk about the details behind the homeschooling costs.

Cost Comparison with Traditional Schooling

Homeschooling vs Public and Private School

When comparing the cost of homeschooling with traditional schooling options, there are several factors to consider.

  • Public school education is typically free, with annual expenses ranging from $0 to $300 per child for things like special events, uniforms, and supplies.
  • Private school education can be significantly more expensive, with costs ranging from $12,000 to $50,000 per year per child.

Homeschooling generally falls somewhere in between these two extremes.

While it can be more affordable than private schooling, it may be comparable in cost to public schooling, depending on the choices parents make regarding curriculum, extracurricular activities, and additional resources.

It’s important for families to carefully consider their budget and educational priorities when deciding on the best schooling option for their children.

Curriculum Costs

Curriculum Costs for Homeschooling

The cost of homeschooling curriculums can vary significantly based on the type chosen.

Structured curriculums, which provide a comprehensive, ready-to-use educational plan, can range from $50 to over $600 per year.

These curriculums are designed to cover all necessary subjects and often include lesson plans, assessments, and additional resources.

DIY curriculums, where parents create educational plans using various resources, can be more variable in cost.

A comprehensive DIY package might cost around $725 per year.

The approach allows for greater customization and flexibility, as parents can select materials that best suit their child’s learning style and interests.

Unschooling or natural learning approaches, which focus on child-led learning through everyday experiences, tend to have lower formal curriculum costs but may incur higher expenses for extracurricular activities.

On average, families might spend about $500 per child annually on activities that support natural learning, such as museum memberships, nature programs, and educational outings.

Extracurricular Activities and Additional Lessons

Kids Learning to Play the Violin

Extracurricular activities are an important aspect of a well-rounded homeschooling education.

These activities can range from sports and arts to music and drama, providing opportunities for socialization and skill development.

The cost of these activities can vary widely.

For example, participation in sports teams or clubs can range from minimal expenses to over $300 per month, depending on the type of sport and frequency of participation.

Music lessons, dance classes, and specialized subjects like horseback riding or karate can also add to the overall cost.

These activities not only enrich the homeschooling experience but also help children develop talents and interests outside of academics.

Parents need to budget for these activities, considering both the financial cost and the time commitment required for participation.

Learning Pods and Co-ops

Learning pods and co-ops

Learning pods and co-ops offer a collaborative approach to homeschooling, where small groups of homeschooled children come together to learn in a shared environment.

These setups can provide social interaction, shared resources, and the opportunity for parents to pool their teaching expertise.

The costs associated with learning pods and co-ops can vary significantly.

Some programs may charge as little as $75 per week, while others can exceed $700 per month, depending on the structure, location, and resources provided.

These costs often cover expenses such as hiring a tutor or teacher, renting space for classes, and purchasing shared educational materials.

Despite the additional cost, many families find that the benefits of collaborative learning and social interaction make it a worthwhile investment.

Field Trips, Gear, and Activity Supplies

Natural History Museum - Dinosaur - Washington DC

Field trips and educational outings are a valuable part of the homeschooling experience, providing real-world learning opportunities and hands-on experiences.

These trips can include museum visits, nature excursions, historical site tours, and other educational activities.

The cost of these outings can vary but typically starts around $30 per visit, depending on the location and activity.

In addition to field trips, families may need to invest in gear and supplies to support their child’s learning and activities.

On average, parents might spend about $250 per year per child on these additional supplies.

Planning and budgeting for these expenses can help ensure that children have access to a broad range of enriching experiences.

Hidden Costs

Hidden cost of Homeschooling

There are several hidden costs associated with homeschooling that families should be aware of.

One significant expense is the potential loss of income.

One parent may need to reduce their working hours or quit their job altogether to take on the role of educator, which can have a substantial impact on the family’s overall income.

Homeschooling can lead to increased household expenses.

For example, families might see higher electricity bills due to more time spent at home, as well as increased grocery costs since meals are provided at home rather than at school.

There may also be miscellaneous costs for additional school supplies and educational resources that arise throughout the year.


As you can see, countless factors will influence the homeschooling costs.

Naming all of them is practically impossible because every program comes with its own set of factors and elements.

We are certain you will find this insight to be of help.