Wait, what? Public school is free, so if you homeschool and have to buy all the things, then clearly homeschool costs more, right? Not really. While public school might be tuition-free, expenses are still a factor and are often costs that homeschoolers avoid. I’ve identified at least five ways we save money by homeschooling our daughter, Rowan.
Clothes. No uniforms to purchase. No trendy clothes to buy. And most important, no clothes that must be purchased right before the school year begins. We don’t deprive Rowan of nice clothes. But avoiding kids’ fashion trends has been a significant blessing to me. It’s a double blessing in fact since I despise clothes shopping, AND I save money. We can buy clothes during the off season during less-busy times. My definition of making the best of a situation.
School supplies. No required list of supplies. No branded notebooks at quadruple the price to impress classmates. And no need to rush around in August for mandatory first-day-of-school supplies. As someone who is actually quite passionate about quality school and office supplies, this is a tough one for me in some ways. However, our family has learned not to get lured by the “school sales” that happen each July and August. Instead, we wait until September or after when things are on clearance to get what we need. In the early years we went nuts on dirt-cheap supplies and had a big stash in our closet. As a result, we had a two-year hiatus from buying any supplies in stores and shopped in the closet instead.
Birthday parties. Depending on the activities Rowan is involved in during a given year, she might have zero to one birthday party to attend. Since dealing with gift buying is one of my least favorite things and attending parties with people I don’t know is a close second, as a parent, this is a total win in my book.
Food. We eat lunch at home nearly every day, and we are home quite a bit throughout the week, so we save oodles on school lunches, snack food on the run, and fast food. Don’t get me wrong, we eat fast food from time to time, but it is not a necessity several times a week due to scheduling.
Prime-time entertainment. Since we are not slaves to the school-day schedule, we can see movies at weekday matinees and hit other sights and activities during non-peak hours. Not only do we save money this way, we also avoid crowds. Win-win!
I am certain if I think long enough, I can come up with other ways we save money by homeschooling. But I promised five with this post. Next week I will play devil’s advocate and identify some ways that homeschooling COSTS us money, just to prove there are two sides to every story.
Do you homeschool your children? How does homeschooling save you money?