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The Hidden Costs of Sending a Child to School as Opposed to Home-schooling

By: Serena Crawford

Often times when parents state that they are going to home-school their children they are met with concern. However will they be able to work? How will they generate income for their families if one of the parents is not working? What many people don’t take into account is just how much it costs to send a child to school. It may not cost anything initially to send your child to school unless they go to a private school, but the overall costs are much more than many people think about.

1. Cost of time with your child – Think about how many hours your child is at school per day. Then think about how much time you spend after school doing chores, making dinner, and running them around to different sports and clubs. All of these things cut into time that you could have with your child. If they are home-schooled you are around them all day. You get to be that positive role model in their lives. You get to teach them all of the interesting things that they want to learn about. This is quality time with your child that no one can take away from you.

2. Cost of babysitting/afterschool programs – If you have to work you know about the cost of finding a babysitter or putting your child in an afterschool program. While employers are becoming more flexible with their work/life balance policies it is still rough when summer and school vacations come around. Summer camps are not cheap and neither are good babysitters. A good portion of the money that you are making goes right back into these programs. If you home-school you can teach them any time during the day. If you have a partner around the house there are ways to make your job work for you and get opposing schedules so that someone is always home with the kids. Unfortunately this scenario doesn’t work for everyone, especially single parents.

3. Cost of earnings – Every time your child has to be picked up at school because they are sick or when there is a snow day you have to call out of work to ensure that you are there for them. This results in a loss of earnings. Every time that you can’t find a sitter during school vacations, you lost money because you have to stay home. Many parents who home-school work part-time to supplement their spouse’s income and then stay home to home-school the kids during the day. This cuts out the need to lose income when a child needs to be picked up from school suddenly. It also reduces the need for a parent to have to find a job that works with the school’s schedule. Home-schooling is wonderful because there is no schedule to follow. You choose when the hours are which means you can get a job that doesn’t follow school hours.

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