Cheaper Than Public School.
My kids went to public school for one year. They had to bring everything on their supply lists - including wet wipes and Kleenex (things I never buy), and of course they each had to have a box of crayons, map pencils, folders, rulers and so on. Now, our public school doesn't let you actually keep these supplies. They go into the community bin to be doled out - as needed. This means at the end of the year you get nothing back and have to provide new supplies again at the beginning of the following year. Plus, all through the year we were told this or that ran out and we needed to contribute more.
We didn't just have to pay for field trips themselves,(including one to Build-a-Bear!), we also had to contribute an extra "fee" for transportation costs because the district couldn't afford to just send the buses. These fees were always $10, much more than it costs us in gas to go to the exact same locations ourselves.
Our room moms were constantly sending letters home telling us we needed to contribute $2 - $5 for teacher gifts. As near as I could tell, we apparently needed to shower our teachers with appreciation at least once a month.
Then there were PE uniforms, fundraisers, and extra fees for various clubs, snack contributions, party contributions - because we had to have a huge party for every single holiday, of course - and more.
If you take a look at my "Totally Free Curriculum" links, you'll see how I build my lesson plans from free sources. The only subject not there is math. I happened to luck out and find used Saxon math books and teacher manuals for less than $4 each. I purchased them and have math covered for several years.
We have the same box of crayons I bought three years ago, and my children share. I haven't bought wet-wipes since that one wasted year. I don't have to buy a rainbow assortment of folders, or expensive foam board. No one keeps our scissors or tells us we need to keep buying new markers to replace ones that dried out. I buy notebook paper and spirals in July when Wal-Mart has them for 10 cents a piece, and that's all I've had to buy for a couple of years now. It's not like pencils have a shelf life!
Our food costs are down - it's easier to serve a nutritious, hot meal straight from my kitchen at lunch than to try to provide a boxed/bag one.
We don't have PE uniforms.
We don't have fundraisers that either force us to contribute lots of baked goods or demand we buy terrible-smelling candles or World's Most Gosh Awful Chocolate.
Thanks to the internet - which we'd have regardless of whether we homeschooled or not, so I'm not counting that cost - yes, for us, homeschooling really is cheaper than public school and it can be for any family willing to put in the time and work of building their curriculum themselves.
Labels: general chatter