Is Public School Cheaper Than Homeschooling?

It is closing in on the end of the regular school year. It is the time when many start thinking about what they are going to do for their children’s education for the upcoming year. Typically there are just a few choices:

1) Public school
2) Private school (Christian or Secular)
3) Homeschool

Make sure that you actually give good consideration to your choices. Many people continue to send their children to public school year after year just because that is the default decision. Sending them to public school takes less effort, thought and planning.

Many also think that sending their children to public school is cheaper but often they are very wrong. We spend less to homeschool our children than the average parent does the first month of public school. How?

~ Buy curriculum that can be reused for multiple children. (Of course this only works if you have multiple children, 🙂 unless you resale your curriculum.)

~ Shop for school supplies ahead and at sale prices. Also make use of tax free days, if your area has them. We bought 80 page spiral notebooks years ago at the price of 10 cents each. We still have several boxes of them left.

~ Homeschooling requires much less clothing than other school options.

~ Feeding children lunch at home is cheaper than school lunch prices.

~ We avoid all the extra fees that are tacked on to school. Media fee, library fee, arts & crafts fee, locker fee, sports fees, etc. I am amazed at the fees schools add to a “free education.”

The US spends an average of 8,700 dollars per student a year! I wish that they would pay me just a quarter of that since I have educated my children but still pay taxes! If you use a very conservative estimate of $5,000 a year, I have saved the government $60,000 in educating my oldest. Over $150,000 over the years of homeschooling all mine thus far. It will be a total savings of over $300,000 by the time all my children graduate! ($5000 times 60 total years of school) We have saved every taxpayer and yet we continued to pay our (un)-fair share.

~ We avoid all the extra supplies that public school students are asked to bring at the beginning of school. Our kids love to read over the list Wal-mart provides at the beginning of the school year. Local schools give each grade a specific list of supplies to bring to school. This is not just pencil, paper and notebooks! There is hand sanitizer, paper towels, toilet paper, Ziploc bags, garbage bags, Tupperware containers, boxes of pencils, baby wipes, sharpies, dry erase markers and eraser, etc. It would take a semi truck to haul everything to school that they ask each student to bring.

But there are other costs that can’t have a dollar amount attached.

The following exerpt is Ingrid Scheulter’s impression of public school after sitting through a class to evaluate whether her middle school age child would attend.

Home Education: A Viable Option

We sat in the 6th grade classroom that day with the 23 or so other students who would be in Will’s class for the next two years. The male teacher, who seemed like a very sincere young man, asked each student to stand up and give a name, an interest they had, and a reason they liked the school. This was for Will and my benefit as visitors.

The first boy stood up. At first I thought he was mentally disabled. Rather than obey the teacher, he began making bizarre noises with his mouth. As the class tittered around him, I realized that the boy was fooling around. The laughs of the class got louder and louder. Eventually he spit out his name and some incomprehensible gibberish and then sat down to the howls of approval from the class. The teacher remained silent at the podium with something of a vague smile on his face. That slight encouragement led to the rest of the class behaving in a disrespectful and foolish manner. Only a handful of the students obeyed the teacher. It was an embarrassing spectacle that was never stopped by the man in charge of the class. I was unimpressed.

I came away that day thinking, how can we send William into an environment like that? He loves to learn. He’s becoming a World War II expert from all of his reading. He loves history and math and science. Furthermore, he enjoys talking with older people, respects authority and knows how to obey. What becomes of a serious student when you place him in a setting where behaving like a fool and disobeying a teacher is the cool thing to do? Those children, as silly as it was, were showing disrespect not only for their teachers, but for us as visitors, and for themselves. The peer pack madness was in full evidence that day.

What about the medicating of children so that they can sit for hours at a desk?

No Time For Childhood by Voddie Baucham

There is another issue here, though. Many of our children (especially boys) are being drugged by their parents and teachers in an effort to make them sit still for all of this teaching and testing when all they want to do (and what God put in their hearts to desire) is to run and play. Don’t buy the lie. Our children are behind in math and science because our system is broken, not because we aren’t starting early enough. Slow down. They grow up fast enough. Enjoy the kindergarten years. You’ll never get them back.

But no matter what, the finances should not be the deciding factor.

“There are some things money just can’t buy …”


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