This is one of those, how long is a piece type questions and it is going to differ from family to family. In general though, it does work out cheaper than sending your kids to school.
The cost is largely dependent on what curriculum you are following and how you are schooling. Unschoolers have very different costs to those following some sort of curriculum or structure.
With Jack and Emma I am not following a boxed curriculum but there are obviously still costs involved. I print A LOT of stuff for them, fortunately the more you print at one time the cheaper it is, so I try to do my printing once a month. I also buy them work books every now and then for something different. And our other big spend is on art and craft supplies. I have kept track of these expenses and on our first month when I was stocking up on a lot of stuff, I spent under R1000.
I try to attend at least 2 homeschooling events each month with them and most of them have a cost involved that can vary from R20 per child to R130 per child.
We have bought the kids two different subscription boxes, the Our Little Globe and Brave Wilderness ones. If I am honest I could go a little crazy on subscription boxes but the really good ones are international so can get expensive.
There is, I discovered a hidden cost – the cost of feeding everyone during the day. I think I was possibly underfeeding all my kids while they were at school. They eat triple the amount of food at home than they did while they were at school. I have had to get really creative in finding ways to keep them all fed without breaking the bank.
What about high school?
High school is a little more “expensive” than primary school because you need to be a little more structured and unless you are unschooling you will need to start preparing your child for whatever matric they are writing.
We are following the Impaq curriculum with Kiara and the annual cost for that is around R10 000 depending on what subjects your child takes. This cost includes the books, exams etc. The only additional cost you will have is stationery, which is a lot less than what they need in school.
I am not 100% sure of the costs of the other curriculums, I do know Cambridge is the most expensive one while the GED can be studied for for free but you then there are costs associated with the exams.
The best part, for me, about homeschooling is that there are no set monthly costs for us. I don’t have to spend a certain amount each month. If we are having a tough month we get creative with worksheets and what we have at home. If we have a good month we get a few extra books, art stuff etc.
For us the costs of homeschooling are considerably less than the cost of school would be. I do control our spending a lot though because it is easy to want to buy all the books and all the art supplies and sign up to everything but it really isn’t necessary (well for us anyway).
If you are considering homeschooling, my advice would be to spend less in the beginning while you are finding out what will work for you. If you have children in pre-primary or primary, you really don’t need to spend a massive amount of money to be able to start.
Pinterest has a lot of resources, both paid for and free. If you want to spend money on a resource Twinkl is great and really reasonable. You could basically set up a classroom using the resources on Twinkl. Teachers Pay Teachers is also a great resource, with free and paid for resources.
PNA has the best selection of work books and they have books suitable for Cambridge, CAPS and I think even GED. They also have actual text books for the older kids but go and spend some time looking through them, we have found some of the books a little boring and you can’t just buy them based on grade. I have bought some Grade R books that required kids to write sentences. So check the actual contents to see if they suit where your kids are currently at.
We go to the library for our reading books but I keep an eye on Readers Warehouse, they often have some stunning sales on their box sets of books. CNA also have some great sales on reading books . You just need to keep an eye you for specials. There are also loads of groups that sell second hand books.