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I Want To Homeschool, But…We Can’t Afford It.

We’re kicking off a new series here at Vintage Kids | Modern World for those of you just wondering about homeschooling! Maybe you’re wondering if it’s right for you? There are a lot of factors that go into the decision to homeschool, and we want to give you some information to make that decision a little easier!  We have an amazing team of guest bloggers that will be popping in now and then to give you their unique perspectives and to answer some of your most curious and pressing questions about that weird sub-culture that homeschools their children…


I want to homeschool, but…we can’t afford it.

Many of you moms (and I’m addressing moms because the ladies are typically the ones doing the homeschooling, although there are stay at home dads out there who are homeschooling as well) work outside the home and your family is dependent on your income to help subsidize household costs.   I get it.  We’ve been there, done that, and when you want to be home, it can be incredibly frustrating.  This is one subject that I could write a novel on, but for the sake of keeping it brief, let’s hit the highlights…

First off, let’s establish one thing –

we are NOT talking about pinching pennies to buy that new car – we’re talking about our children’s education, their upbringing and their futures.

Sorry for being blunt, but let’s get a little perspective here.  This is one of the most important decisions that you will ever make for your family.  It has far reaching effects, and whether you choose to homeschool, or to enroll your children in either public or private schools, it shouldn’t be an after-thought.  [end of soap box] [for now]

So let’s get started – a few things to think about…

If you want something bad enough, you’ll make it happen.

Plain and simple to say, but incredibly hard to make a reality.  But it’s the truth.  Mom, if you want to be home, it’s possible, but it’s going to take some creative financial acrobatics to make it happen.  Think long term, not short term.  You may not be able to stay home this year.  Maybe not even next year – but if you sit down with a pen and paper and set a strategy, then you can start to make small steps towards a larger goal.  It is possible to live ff of one income, and we don’t make anywhere near six-figures.  However, we’ve chosen to cut corners and make it work in order for me to stay home, which leads me to the next, inevitable point…

If you want something bad enough, you’ll sacrifice to get it.

I know you saw that one coming, but math doesn’t lie.  If we had an exorbitant mortgage, if I shopped at the mall and department stores for all of my clothing, if I splurged on a latte each morning (and the Good Lord knows I want to…) then we would slowly creep over the financial barrier of working vs. staying home.  As a family, we have chosen homeschooling over luxury vacations and new cars.  We’ve taken purposeful steps to narrowing down what is most important to us, and we decided early on, that even if it was a stretch, we wanted to homeschool and we were going to make it happen…even if it cramped our style a bit…

I’m a single parent, so I have to work.

This is a tricky one, no way around it.  If you are a single parent that wants to homeschool it can be done – but it will take a strong support system and some creativity.  Seek out a grandparent or elderly friend that would consider doing some (if not all) of your child’s schooling while you work.   Consider a nanny that could work with your child during the day, and if your child is older and able to stay home, you can give them independent work to do until you get home.  I’ve also known families that homeschool part time during the weeks, taking off certain days mid-week and schooling around mom’s work schedule, sometimes schooling on the weekends.  Homeschooling is beautiful in that it is designed to fit the pace of your life. It’s tough – there’s no sugar coating it – but it can be done with a little ingenuity.  Here is a great web resource for those single parents that are interested in homeschooling.

But public school is free.

Kind of .  However, there are hidden costs there as well – school clothes, events, field trips, class parties, school lunches, teacher’s gifts, etc, etc.  You all know what I’m talking about…it seems like every week your kids needs $10 for something.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  We take field trips, we participate in outside classes, and yes, we do buy our children clothes and school supplies!  However, don’t think of public school as free because that’s simply not the case.

 But homeschooling can be expensive (curriculum, supplies, etc).

There’s no simple answer to the cost of homeschooling because there are thousands of curriculum options that you can explore.  Yes, there is an upfront cost, but there are SO many ways to cut corners here as well.  In fact, I purchase my curriculum (there will be upcoming posts on curriculum choices, so stay tuned) but one of my favorite sites for resources is Ambleside, which  provides an entire HIGH QUALITY curriculum from K-12 based on FREE on-line books and books from your library.  In theory, you wouldn’t have to spend a penny, and their resources (and articles) are fantastic!  Don’t let a fear of the cost of curriculum keep you from making the decision to homeschool.  Take a look at this article at HSLDA (Homeschool Legal Defense Association); it gives a great breakdown and estimation of the overall costs of homeschooling, with the very rough estimate being between $0-500 per student.

Truly, all of the financial hesitations that we have about homeschooling our children simply boils down to reconciling our budgets with our priorities.

If homeschooling is your priority, then you can make it happen.  It might be a long process, and mom might need to work for a year or two, (or more)  in order to save up the funds to ultimately stay home, but be encouraged that it’s possible.


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