I hear people saying All.The.Time. I can't afford to homeschool. It's so expensive! Now, we have 4 young children that we raise on one very modest income. We also successfully homeschool on that income. In my humble opinion kids aren't expensive, it's the things we think kids have to have that are so expensive and... drumroll please.. 🥁🥁🥁 government school! Oh gasp, did I just say that free school is expensive? Yep, I sure did! Here's some ways we save money BY homeschooling!
Clothes. Oh, this one is HUGE! My kids have clothes still of course, but not anywhere in the neighborhood of how many are needed for actually going to a government school every day. If my kids wear the same shirt 2 days in a row, nobody cares! They don't get accused of being dirty or made fun of simply because they rewore a shirt that was still clean! Go figure! They also don't wear their clothes out as fast because they aren't required to wear certain things constantly, like shoes. Another thing they "lack" is the peer pressure to have certain brands and styles of clothes. We just stick with durable, practical clothes like jeans, hiking pants, shorts and t-shirts along with a few dress shirts. We do have more specialty clothing like insulated overalls, ECT for hunting, but those get passed down to the next child so they are well worth their money!
School supplies. What? I mean we have to buy all our own school supplies, right? Yep, we sure do! We buy all our own pencils, paper, art supplies ect.. However, I've heard from many public school mamas that they are sent a list every year of supplies they have to buy (for each child). Guess what? My kids share! Yes, we just need one box of crayons, one package of colored pencils...Also, they don't need to bring their own tissues, hand santizers and the like.
Food. Really? I mean, don't schools have free lunch? Well, not really of course :( Someone is paying for them. They don't give a lunch out of the goodness of the food manufacture's heart. It comes directly from someone's pocket. (Oh, guess what? That's me!). Anyway, if you choose not to do "free lunch" you do have to pack your kids a lunch or buy lunch.
And I well remember from my school days that lunches were mostly wasted :( At home, we don't have that problem! Peanut butter wraps, sandwiches or leftovers are our usual lunch. The cost? Pretty minimal, maybe $0.50 a kid.
Dues & Extra fees. Ok, so if you put your kid in alot of activities this one may still get you, but honestly many families have their kids in school activities (like ball) and extras (like gymnastics or martial arts). Right now, we don't have this. We are thinking of putting our oldest in martial arts. That will increase our expenses each month about $40 plus gas to drive there. However, as the kids get older, each additional family member only costs about $10 extra a month, so its not outrageous.
Fancy Gadgets. Alright, you could still fall for this one, but for us its not a huge issue. Yes, our sons see their friends' gadgets at places like church and get togethers but its not a constant, everyday thing so its not a big deal. I do notice after Sundays my sons will come home asking for a video game or something similar. I can't imagine how rough it would be if they were exposed to that 5 days a week, all day long! The pressure to have a cell phone at 8, a video game console and the latest and greatest tablets would be horrible (in my opinion).
So, the next time someone points out HOW expensive homeschooling is, maybe try pointing out how expensive it can be to send your kids away! I didn't even touch on driving them back and forth to school if they don't ride a bus, childcare after school if you aren't home and many more! Don't let anyone fool you, homeschooling is a great choice for a thrifty & frugal life!