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Home Schooling Cost Analysis

By Charles Hopkins Published 10/23/2007 | Education
When parents decide to educate their children at home, it usually costs much less than either a private school or a public school.

By home schooling your child, you will save time and gas because there is little or no commuting. There is also less expense for day care due to the one parent staying home full time. In addition, clothing is inexpensive because there is no pressure to keep up with fashion trends. Home school expenses include books and supplies, which can be very reasonable especially when you use your local library. Eating meals at home is also cheaper and much healthier than either buying meals at school or making lunches for school depending on how you make them. Other expenses include music lessons, sport supplies and other fees for hobbies or group activities. Computer equipment and computer software are also an extra expense. Some parents who home school also pay for private tutoring to supplement their own teaching.

Public schools have no tuition and do not charge for books, but parents must pay for school supplies. Extracurricular activities your child may be involved in have fees associated with them, same fees as for home schooling. Children who attend public school can either ride the bus, which is free, or commute to school, which can be costly with rising gas prices. Sometimes there is a fee for computer classes in public school, depending on the school. Public school lunches cost more, especially when parents do not know if their children are throwing the food away or sharing it with other children. Clothing expenses are high because of peer pressure and popularity. Often, parents need day care for their children until they are done with work.

Private schools do charge tuition, which is usually 1000 to 5000 per year, depending on the school. A private school also charges for books, but not usually supplies. Music and art lessons are usually included in the tuition cost. Computer software is an extra fee, along with any sport supplies or other after school program. Private schools do not offer any transportation, so that is an extra expense.

Overall, parents who choose to home school spend the least amount of money, while parents who choose private school spend the most. On the other hand, when a parent decides to home school, a full time job for the parent teacher is usually out of the question (or very difficult to include in a daily schedule). Nevertheless, the choice to home school should be based on your child's ability to thrive and learn in a home setting or school setting.