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Managing Homeschooling Costs

Aug 17, 2007
Educating a child is a very big responsibility and is expensive too. Often people think that homeschooling is inexpensive, but it need not be so. No doubt, homeschooling is cheaper than elite private schooling, but it can be as or even more expensive than a public school. There are other reasons as well for parents homeschooling their child like inculcating cultural/religious beliefs.

If you dont have prior homeschooling experience or a teaching background, then it becomes imperative that you first subscribe to an independent study program or buy an in-built readymade curriculum suited to you and your childs aptitude levels. These may prove expensive, but in the long run they will make your attempt at homeschooling a success by removing the trial-and-error process.

However, that is not the end of it. Parents have to supplement the curriculum with textbooks and workbooks. Additionally reference materials are also needed like an encyclopedia CD-ROM and Internet access to supplement the main resources.

A homeschool should have a proper study environment to help children concentrate more on their studies. Study room infrastructure includes a proper study table, a comfortable chair and adequate along with a computer to have positive results in the childs attitude for learning. Plus, to provide a well-rounded education for your child, parents need to include extra-curricular activities as well like sports; music etc and also plan educational trips to museums, theaters and nature parks and all this will cost a substantial amount of money.

It is not likely that parents are experts in every subject. In such a case, a home tutor would have to be engaged, in order to teach a particular subject. A home tutor can charge approximately $300 per subject.

However, before parents get discouraged with the idea of homeschooling by checking out the long lists of costs involved, they should know the fact that there are ways to reduce the homeschooling costs. One of the ways is to become a member of support groups for homeschooling families. Joining a group will allow you to swap books, curriculum, or any other reference materials. Thus saving you from the need to buy an entire set of homeschooling resources. The best part in joining a group is that it gives your child an opportunity to interact with other children who are homeschooled by their parents. Try and find out the public or local private schools, which give access to some of its educational resources to the home schoolers at a discounted rate or for free. They even offer a stipend for activities like music or sports lessons.

For parents who have more than one child to be homeschooled, can use the same curricula and books for all the children. This will help to reduce the cost greatly. The materials can be renewed as well for a very nominal cost rather than buying. Visit the local library as often as you can, that will not only give you an access to the text and work books but also new edition textbooks, which are otherwise very expensive, if bought. Also keep on visiting yard sales, book sales and fairs or swap meets, where you can get homeschooling resources and study room infrastructure at a fraction of cost of buying them.

Always remember that spending money on education is an investment and not an expense. If managed properly, homeschooling can give your children a unique educational experience that will last for a lifetime.
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