Is Homeschooling a Good Idea for the Frugal Family?

Homeschooling is definitely not a new concept, but it is one that has received quite a bit of attention in recent years as more and more parents opt to teach their children themselves. Many considerations must go into this monumental decision – after all, your child's future could be at stake. Perhaps the biggest reason parents pause, however, is over whether or not it's a good idea for their family's financial situation. Can a frugal family home school their children on their budget? Is it a good idea? Let's take a look at some of the pros and cons of homeschooling your frugal family's little ones.


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There are two sides to every coin, and two sides to every situation: the good, and the bad. Here, I've highlighted some of the potential advantages of homeschooling your children.

  1. Learn When You Can

    A large advantage for some families is the flexibility in scheduling that comes along with homeschooling. This can also lead to certain issues, but we'll highlight those later.

    When you homeschool your children, you can teach them on your time, when you're able to. Better yet, you can go on vacations, field trips, and other meanderings when you like without interrupting your child's education.

  2. Playing to Their Strengths

    Public schools are not normally able to provide an individualized education for their many students. This often means that an advanced child ends up bored, and a child who is struggling may not get the help they need to succeed.

    In a homeschool setting, however, you can play to your child's strengths while also correcting their weaknesses to give them their best shot at success. You can use your child's interest to plan lessons in almost all the basic areas, and your child will likely gain a confidence they may not otherwise have had.

  3. (Some) Cost Effectiveness

    With the rising cost of school supplies and the amount of public schools introducing uniforms to their campus, public schooling can be much more expensive than a family on a shoestring budget can handle. Homeschooling your child means they don't need “school clothes,” and you can buy supplies as you need them without worrying about spending a huge chunk of money at one time. Often, classrooms also require certain brands of requested items; homeschooling will allow you to buy whatever brand you like.

  4. Build a Strong Relationship

    Although your relationship to your child is likely already good, there is evidence to suggest homeschooled students are able to build a stronger bond to their parents than their publically educated counterparts. You will also have the opportunity to make sure your child is taught the values that are most important to you and your family, which may not be as easily done otherwise.


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Like all good things, there are downsides to homeschooling as well. Before you make your final call on your children's academic future, you should be sure you have as much pertinent information as you can. So we've done the digging for you!

  1. Income Issues

    Are you a single parent? Is your household one that subsists on two incomes and may not survive the loss of one? Homeschooling may not be for you, as it usually requires one parent to be home to educate the children, and that parent, therefore, may have to leave their job to do so.

  2. All-Consuming Project

    A lot of time goes into homeschooling: the lesson planning, the hunt for materials, the execution of all your hardwork, and the grading can take up all your otherwise free time. You may have to kiss your social life goodbye for the foreseeable future if homeschooling is your family's choice.

  3. Criticism, and Lots of It

    Although homeschooling has become more accepted in recent years, there are still those who are strongly anti-homeschooling. You may run into these people, and some may be in the last place you'd expect!

  4. Potentially Expensive Endeavor

    We mentioned earlier that homeschooling can save you a ton of money. Well, that comes with a catch: you'll only save that money if you don't need to download curriculum materials, and that's not counting the extracurricular activities that you must now pay for out of pocket. Even local homeschooling groups often charge dues.

Homeschooling is, in the end, a very personal choice that each family makes. I hope our list of pros and cons helps you to make the best decision for your family, whatever it may be. Do you homeschool your kids? Are there any advantages or disadvantages we didn't include in our list that you'd like to share? Let us know in the comments below, and don't forget to share this list with your friends!

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