Today, I want to show everyone who wants to homeschool their children, how they can afford it. There are several costs that need to be considered when deciding to homeschool. The one huge one is loss of income if both parents are currently working. To effectively homeschool, one parent must stay at home. Yes, you could schedule the homeschooling around your job. But if you work full time, will you have the energy and be able to focus on your child's schooling? If you can't afford to be a stay at home parent now, I recommend that you take a look at your finances so that you can see where you can cut back on your expenses. Of course, be sure to talk to your spouse before making any changes. You may not be able to quite your job and homeschool now, but you can work on cutting your expenses so that you can stay home and homeschool a year or two from now.
For those of you who can afford to stay home, the rest is easy. I scheduled the timing of this blog for the beginning of the year because I recommend using your Child Tax Credit for buying the books and material your child needs. The Child Tax Credit is about $1,000 per qualifying child under 17 years old. The amount depends on the household income. The cost of homeschooling varies greatly depending on how much your willing to do, your knowledge, and what your child needs. It is reported that the average homeschooling family spends $900 per child per year. I can tell you that you can get a real good curriculum that has everything (teacher guide, work books, text books, ect) for subject for that price. You will be outfitted with everything your child needs except pencils, paper, and crayons (which you can stock up on throughout the year). You can get a complete curriculum for as little as $300 or you can get a list of what your child needs to learn for the year and go to a book store (like Mardels) and get the books yourself. You can also get used curriculum or utilize your library. Buying the individual books (new or used) or going to a library is much cheaper, but it requires more research on your part. Make sure you find out what your child needs to learn for the grade that they are in. Another advantage to using a curriculum to consider is that if you stick with the same curriculum every year, the price isn't always the same. You may pay $300 - $900 one year, but may only have to pay $191 the next. This is because some of them have multi-level material that can be used for more than one grade level. But as you can see, even if you buy a curriculum for $900, you still haven't spent all of your Child Tax Credit. Finding curriculum for less than $900 is very easy too.
I can hear it now. "But I need that money for other things?" What do you need it for? How important is your child's education? First, that Child Tax Credit is being given to you for your child. It isn't even really yours. You didn't earn it and it isn't a right. So, whatever you need it for, I hope it is for your child's need, not yours. I personally can't see any greater need than my child's education. My wife and I agree that our children's education is the top of our priority list. It is very important that our children grow up with all the tools to be independent and successful. Raising a child is 100% the parent's responsibility. It isn't our neighbor's responsibility, it isn't the community's responsibility, it isn't the government's responsibility, it isn't even the school's responsibility. It is our responsibility. Part of raising a child is educating the child. Life is going to be hard for our child as it is. Our children are going to have to make lots of decisions that can lead to success or failure . There will also be lots of obstacles in their way. We want to make sure that one of those obstacles will not be our failure to raise them correctly. That is why we are willing to use that $1000 on our child. It is also why we make sure we live in a way that allows one of us to stay home while the other goes out and works.
By using the Child Tax Credit to buy either the curriculum or the books needed to homeschool, you will ensure that you always have the finances needed to homeschool your children up to the age of 17. While your children are young, save money for you child's Junior and Senior years (or more if you will be funding collage). Be sure to keep your eyes open for sales or deals throughout the year for the small things like paper, pencils, pens, crayons, art supplies, ect.
Well, I will go ahead and end this blog and get it posted. I pray that this blog was helpful. Take care and God bless.
The Oklahoma Tomcat