Homeschooling costs money and most families will have to pay out of the family pocket. Federal government funds are going to government-run institutions. However, there are reasons why homeschooling can become necessary for a family. Many parents are caught between what’s best for their children and the cost of homeschooling. In this article, we will explain how and where to find homeschool grants for your family. Let’s begin with estimating the actual homeschooling cost.
How Much Does it Cost to Homeschool?
The cost to homeschool students can vary extensively. The average cost per student per school year can range from $350 to $1800 for each child. For many families, that can be a hefty chunk of change, especially if the home has two or more children. Things like the cost of curriculum and homeschool supplies such as books, paper, pencils, art supplies, field trips, and more are all costs you may need to consider when deciding to search for outside funding.
Education isn’t cheap, even in the public realm. In my first year of teaching in a public school, I paid for a subscription service out of my pocket. I needed a detailed literary curriculum for my students, but the district I was in was so underfunded that they could not even supply dry erase markers to their teachers. A good curriculum costs good money. For families that have decided to start homeschooling but don’t have the funding, the curriculum issue becomes a financial burden. Also, you want to make sure that the curriculum you use aligns with state requirements.
As a teacher, when I see those first signs of “Back to School” (and I mean LITERAL signs…at the store…), my insides cringe. One, because I realize summer is quickly coming to an end, and two, I am going to pay for the cost of supplies. Materials for one child alone can be upwards of $300… and that is for classroom supplies alone. Not shoes, or pants, or shirts…nothing else but supplies. Purchasing for more than one child, again, might make parents looking at homeschooling cringe as well.
Homeschool Field Trips
Kids love going on field trips, and they are great resources to use to solidify information used in the classroom. Local field trips are seldom free and can take up a small chunk of available homeschooling funds. There are only so many virtual field trips that homeschoolers can endure before they want to go somewhere outside of the house.
Public School vs. Home Schooling for Special Needs
Public schools and their programs for those with special needs have come a very long way over the last few decades. All public, private, and charter schools must provide special education services to any student that may need them. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act), any federally funded programs must not discriminate against those with a disability. This includes providing accommodations often seen in the form of IEPs, 504 plans, and inclusive classrooms.
In some cases, parents of students with severe special needs may consider a home school for their student for many different reasons, including the use of medical equipment or being in the comfort of one’s own home. Either way, whether families choose public school or homeschooling, students and families are protected under the same laws. However, in the homeschooling sector, you may find instead of an IEP (Individualized Education Plan), the name is a SEP or Students Education Plan.
Home School Grants
HSLDA, also known as the Home School Legal Defense Association, is an amazing educational website that will provide you not only with free resources for your homeschooler but also a myriad of organizations offering grant opportunities. This website offers links to many different homeschool grants that anyone can apply for. Plus, HSLDA saves families money by providing for many other people who are homeschooling their own children.
Getting grant money will take work on your part; however, anything worth the money is something to put your effort towards. Especially if it will positively benefit your homeschoolers’ education, HSLDA is currently offering two different homeschooling grants: a Curriculum Grant and a Disaster Relief Grant.
The Curriculum Grant offers to fund families suffering financial hardship. This homeschooling grant considers those in great need, offering a few hundred dollars to help get curriculum and supplies for the classroom.
The Disaster Relief Grant is specifically for those who have suffered a natural disaster of some kind. This program helps kids continue with their schooling by supplying up to $500 to help pay for supplies lost.
To apply for these different grants, you must be a member of the HSLDA program, which costs about $12 a month. You should consider this cost necessary as HSLDA has many amazing things available to its member that would answer any of your homeschooling questions!
Further, aside from HSLDA, there are many other homeschool grants available through other sources that are out there and waiting to help!
Funding College After Homeschooling
Many new homeschooling parents are just starting to worry about their children not having the same college scholarship opportunities as those attending a state-funded school, but this isn’t the case. There is plenty of college scholarships available to homeschool students to help fund the start of their higher-level experience.
Make sure that you research and get well acquainted with the various scholarships and requirements available to your soon-to-be-college student. Start looking early for these opportunities, and be sure you know regarding deadlines for applications.
Now that you know how you can receive help for your K 12 homeschool fund, why not go ahead and get started? With the various homeschool grants, help sites, and ways to fund a great and effective year.