How finances impact the decision to homeschool

Wendy Foulke says the cost for the extras -- music and gym, for example -- starts to add up.
Wendy Foulke says the cost for the extras -- music and gym, for example -- starts to add up.
Reported by Lauren Lowrey email | bio
Posted by Kate Oatis email

PERRYSBURG (WTOL) - Finances are playing an increasingly important part in the decisions of parents to educate their children at home, according to the latest Dept. of Education statistics.

Statistics from the National Homeschool Education Research Institute say the average homeschooler family spends $450 per student per year for books, curriculum and field trips.

So, why would a growing number of parents list finances as a reason they decided to homeschool?

Wendy Foulke is playing mom -- and teacher. She has four children and, so far, two of them are old enough for school. After nearly eight years of homeschooling, Wendy says the cost of the extras starts to add up.

"We have to pay extra for music because, obviously, we're not in public school getting a music class. We have to pay extra for gym -- we have "Y" memberships. We have to pay extra for art lessons, various things like that that we're not getting through the school system," Foulke explained.

First year homeschooler Elizabeth Schroeder says the cost of private school might have turned her away from that option.

"If you compare private education vs. homeschool, you're gonna save money," said Schroeder. "Private education can be nearly $100 day. I'd have a hard time spending $100 a day as a homeschool."

Schroeder says there are other ways she saves -- like, on school lunches. And the peer pressure on her daughter to have more clothes just doesn't exist.

"They've said that if your kid has two or three favorite outfits, they can wear those the whole week at home and no one cares, whereas you need a different outfit every day if you go to school," Schroeder said.

While homeschooling is more expensive than public school, these moms say they've made the right decision for their kids.

"I wouldn't say that you should do it for finances, personally. It needs to be something that you really honestly feel led to do," Foulke said.