Home Schooling: Cost Analysis

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When parents decide to educate their children at home, it usually costs much less than either a private or a public institution.  By home schooling your child, you will save time and gas because there is no commuting involved.  There is also less or no expense for day care due to one parent staying home full time.  In addition, clothing is inexpensive because there is no pressure to keep up with fashion trends.  Home school expenses include books and supplies, which can be very reasonable, especially when you use your local library.  Eating meals at home is also cheaper and much healthier than either buying meals at school or making lunches for school.  Other expenses include music lessons, sport supplies, and other fees for hobbies.  Computer equipment and programs are also an extra expense.  Some parents who home school also pay for private tutoring to supplement their teaching.

Public schools have no tuition and do not charge for books, but parents must pay for supplies.  Extracurricular activities also have fees associated with them, same fees as home schooling.  Children who attend public school can either ride the bus, which is free, or commute to school, which can be costly with rising gas prices.  Sometimes, there is a fee for computer classes in public school, depending on the school.  Lunches cost more, especially when parents do not know if their children are throwing the food away or sharing it with other children.  Clothing expenses are high because of peer pressure and popularity.  Often, parents need day care for their children until they are done with work.

Private schools do charge tuition, which is usually $1000 to $5000 per year, depending on the school.  Private school also charges for books, but not usually supplies.  Music and art lessons are usually included in tuition.  Computer software is an extra fee, along with any sport supplies or after school programs.  Private schools do not offer transportation, so that is an extra expense. 

Overall, parents who home school spend the least amount of money, while parents who private school spend the most.  On the other hand, when a parent decides to home school, a full time job is usually out of the question (or very difficult to include in a daily schedule).  This means there is less income in the family.  Nevertheless, the choice to home school should be based on your child’s ability to thrive and learn in a home setting or school setting.

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