COAH Community

How much money do you spend?

I’m just curious, how much does it cost, on average, for your curriculum? We have been homeschooling for just over a year through a public charter homeschool. Our curriculum is free since we are considered part of the public school system., however, I believe we will be doing it on our own in the future and need an idea of how it will affect our family financially. We have 3 boys, 1 5th grader, and 2 3rd graders.

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We’ve spent about $300 so far for the next school year. This is rather low bc my middle is reusing materials from the oldest, and I put together a lot of our materials myself rather than purchase curriculum. That total does not reflect our ink and paper use however. We still need another $70 worth of books from Amazon that I’m trying to obtain at local thrift stores first.

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It’s about $100 for us for just books. I try to buy used from Amazon and eBay, and have found some great deals!!! The only thing I buy new are the student workbooks. This number does not reflect laminating sheets, ink, paper, or art supplies. But I do try to reuse things I laminate for different grade levels and some can even be swapped through different subjects. I have a preschooler, kinder, and 2nd grader. I don’t buy the teacher guide books yet bc It’s elementary school But I’m sure I will need to down the road and the cost will increase as they get older.

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I think you can get by for very little if you’re diligent and determined. On the other hand the sky really is the limit. To get an idea, you might want to look at what people (with kids of similar ages) have used this year or their picks for next year and price those items new and used. Many times you can use curriculum again with younger kids, which will save in the future.
Something to be mindful of is that some people include things like ink, paper, special furniture, etc others only include the cost of the curriculum itself.

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It depends on so many factors. My first year I bought a semi-expensive curriculum and spent over $500 for 2 children who were age 3 and 4. Then I went with a much cheaper option for the next couple years and spent less than $500 for both of them. Then we had a VERY expensive year when we did both Sonlight and Heart of Dakota for 3 children. This year I am using a lot of things I already had from previous years as well as some free programs which made this year cheaper. There are ways to homeschool for free or very cheaply it’s up to you to decide on a budget and then decide what does and does not fit into the budget. I start with the most important subjects as far as what is a MUST in the budget and then I add in extras. I look for free/inexpensive first and then onto higher priced items. I budget for $500 per child so that I have a lot of wiggle room. It doesn’t mean I spend the $500 but rather that it is there if I need it or if we find something didn’t work and we need to switch, or we finish something early and need to move onto the next one…

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Like @Proverbs31 my husband and I also budget $500 per child. (I usually go over that a wee bit each year though.) I like to hop onto eBay year round and keep an eye out for things that I know I’m going to need so I can grab it if I find a really good deal. I also sell a lot of our curriculum on eBay at the end of the year and apply that to our budget as well. I subscribe to curriculum website newsletters/emails that I’m interested in so that I get their emails when they are having a good sale.

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When I first started I had to be really frugal because right after deciding to homeschool my husband lost his job. I think we spent less than $100 on curriculum that first year (and it helped that I won some resources through giveaways, and our parents gave us some workbooks).

My husband is in a better job this year and I think I’ve been going on a spending spree…I should have been keeping track but I really went a little crazy. I think I’ve spent around $500 and most of that on supplementary books and resources like microscope slides and such - the microscope itself was given to us (on actual curriculum spines, ie the main texts we work through, I’ve only spent $60…but for next year I’m thinking of two other spines that will cost about $200 together). That doesn’t count printing costs…or library fines. I only have one homeschooled kiddo.

I think maybe it’s a reaction to having to be frugal for so long.

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you did a great job, last year, I spend $700 for each child, little higher than we expect

About $250/ child for prepackaged curriculum. Considering the financial impact of homeschooling is essential, especially if you are part of a single-income household. I’ve worked with many families who have spent $50-$600 on the curriculum.

I find that the amount you spend reflects 3 areas: time, convenience, and budget.

  1. How much time do you have to create and build content (not including teaching)?
  2. How much effort and attention to you wish to allocate to planning each school year/week/day?
  3. What’s your budget?

By answering these 3 questions, you can start to adjust your spending accordingly. I know some parents who cannot allocate additional time and attention outside of homeschooling; they choose to go with a prepackaged curriculum for $300. Conversely, I know parents who can allocate additional time to build their child’s curriculum; they have spent as little as $15.

Do keep in mind that with whichever choice you make, if you continue to homeschool, you will be able to repurpose previously used curriculum and lessons for your younger learners!