I’ve read some articles where people had said that they couldn’t afford to home educate their children as it would be so much more expensive than sending them to school. After I took the youngest child out of school to join her sister I did wonder the same thing and so found myself sat working out how much we spent on the children when they went to school.
I took both of mine out when they were in junior school so the cost of uniforms wasn’t much of an issue. Due to the state they regularly came home in I started buying the supermarkets own brands, I could buy a full uniform, 2 of everything, for around £20. Shoes were the most expensive single thing and could cost up to £30. In total I probably spent around £150 per year for both children. I know this would have gone up though as the eldest would now be at secondary and I’ve read that would work out at over £300 just for her.
School trips were starting to become a big expense. I remember only having one educational trip a year at school, these 2 were having up to 3 a year. They cost an average of £10-12 per trip, around £70 a year.
School meals or packed lunches were the other big expense. When the youngest left I think it was £2.15 a day, even when they had a packed lunch it cost so much more to buy things for a packed lunch rather than cooking a meal. Almost forgot the weekly (or twice weekly) tuck shop, plus the regular raffles and other sales. And, (thank you Emma), the fancy dress days where you had to either buy or make a costume, the ‘pay 50p to come in your own clothes’ days as well.
When I add all those up, I’m sure I’ve forgotten something important, It comes to over £850! I know it seems a lot but if you work out an average of £1.50 per child for lunch so for 2 of them it’s £585 for the time they are in school! That really came as a shock to me.
When you add up that the children spend an average of 39 weeks in school that works out at almost £22 a week. We probably spend around £80 a month on activities or we will when we start back horse riding again. So almost the same that we would spend if the children were at school.
I use a lot of free online resources for the children. BBC Bitesize is one of the main ones we use but there’s a lot more when you start looking. We also use the internet a lot, there’s so much you can learn off youtube. It probably works out no more than £2-3 a week when you add up the paid for apps and the workbooks we buy, plus stationary.
But balanced against that are the additional monetary savings we make. If we go on holiday in term time it’s almost half the price that it is in the school holiday. Going to an attraction during term time rather than a weekend or the school holidays reduces stress levels so much and that is priceless. And now at least the money we spend on trips is something the whole family can enjoy!
In conclusion I think that you can spend as much or as little as you want on home education, it’s all personal choice. It is possible to provide an excellent education for very little if not free.