When many families think of homeschool and money, all that comes to mind are the costs. It's true that curriculum, books, association fees, and more carry a cost and are important to budget carefully. There are financial benefits to choosing independent education for your family. Keep reading for a few examples that might surprise you.
Transportation Cost Savings
Driving to drop off and pickup at school every weekday adds up. Even if you live just a few miles from school, you’re accumulating several hundred if not thousands of additional miles on your car every year. In addition to gas, the cost of wear/tear, increased maintenance and more are all added costs. If school takes place at the same address where you woke up that day, it’s all savings in your family’s bottom line.
Food at Home
School lunches get lots of debate on how healthy or wise the choices are. There’s a cost to that questionable quality lunch. You’ll likely do better on cost when eating at home. As for packed lunches, many families spend more on prepackaged lunch options than they realize. Lunchables aren't free!
Extracurricular Savings During the Day
Music lessons, dance, art, or other extracurricular activities are great, but all have a cost. Providers that focus on young people all have the same problem with respect to scheduling. School age kids are all on the same schedule. For a piano teacher, there’s only so many lessons that can taught after school and when bedtime comes around. For homeschoolers, this opens tremendous opportunity. Many providers will gladly offer your family a discount for a “daytime” appointment or lesson.
Offseason Vacation and Traveling
Most Americans follow patterns for vacation and travel. Hotels, cruise ships, airlines, and other parts of the travel industry know this too. Homeschool gives your family the ability to travel when most families are tied to the traditional school calendar. A trip to visit family on the other side of the country can go from outside your budget to a real possibility by choosing a different date on the calendar.
Fundraisers have become a staple of government schools. It’s not just a fun fall fundraiser anymore either. Schools now have fundraisers throughout the year. Peer pressure for children and parents alike is used to turn families into a sales force. Inevitably, many families end up chipping in as well. Avoiding the fundraising events is a financial benefit on top of the mental health upside.
Avoiding Fees of All Kinds
Public school is free, right? You pay property taxes, but there’s still other expenses in many schools. Many school districts have come up with creative fee schedules to charge you for things like technology, certain kinds of classes, and riding the bus in some communities. Graduation, prom, field day, and other special events carry a fee sometimes too. Homeschool families get to avoid all that.
One Additional Benefit
Another benefit that's difficult to put a number on, but still very important is the impact on scholarships. Contrary to conventional wisdom, homeschool students are actively sought out by top colleges. Any additional help to make your student more competitive for financial aid can be life changing in terms of financial impact. Homeschooling has proven to be a differentiator in many cases that has resulted in some incredible scholarship opportunities.
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