Hidden Costs of Homeschooling

Dear Reader,

You see a lot (from homeschoolers) about the hidden savings in homeschooling. Most of these come from money that can be saved my having one parent stay home–no work clothes, no lunches out. And there is lots out there to help you homeschool on the cheap–free online curricula, library books, etc.

But I also think about the costs that increase because we are homeschooling. I am not talking about curriculum here, or basic school supplies. But what about  . . .

. . . electricity and other utilities? We are home a lot of the day. Our neighbors whose kids are in school aren’t. So they can turn down the heat, turn off the lights, not use the AC during the day (I know we could tough it out, especially on that last one, but I am a  wimp when the heat gets extreme).

. . . printer paper and toner cartridges? Our “free” homeschooling worksheets or reproducible books sure go through a lot of these. And why is it that Brother toner cartridges are set to say “all out of toner” and refuse to work when they are still printing just fine?

. . . food? Maybe I would pay more for lunches for my kids to take to school. Maybe not. I don’t know. But I know my kids sure snack a lot during the day. (See my earlier post on that here.) Or how about other things that we go through faster with 5 of us home all day, like cleaners, and dare I say it, toilet paper??

. . . outside classes and field trips? Okay, maybe this should be grouped with curriculum. And I know kids in school still end up with extra expenses for these things. And I know other families simply don’t do a lot of outside stuff. But to me one of the advantages of homeschooling is that my kids have more time to explore their individual interests, and sometimes that means extra classes. My 9yo has been well beyond my art ability for a few years now. But she has learned a ton from her art teacher. And I love a good field trip. Some things we can do free on our own, but for others an educated leader or docent who knows their stuff is an amazing wealth of info.

What do you think? Are there other costs you incur that you wouldn’t if your kids were in school?




One response to this post.

  1. Besides utilities and extras, curricula, and field trips,I’m not sure I can think of anything you haven’t covered. On the credit side of the ledger, I think I could earn more than my piddly few thousand a year if someone else were teaching my kids so I could get some work done around here. And if we could afford a cleaning lady, she would definitely charge more to clean up after all these kids messing things up all day. 😉


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