Save Money by Homeschooling

With the back to school sales in full swing, I had a glance at some handily posted lists from the schools in some of the stores. Here’s a list of what we won’t be buying:

– a backpack ($10- $20 and up)
– a lunch box ($10)
– extra sneakers for gym with non-marking soles (at least $20)
– a binder ($1-$20)
– student and locker fees (average $15)
– looseleaf, notebooks, folders, crayons, math sets, glue, etc.. (lets’ start that at $10 and go up)
– odd items like 100 sheets of cardstock, a box of kleenex, and various sizes of Ziploc bags ( $$ ?)

Estimated total: $70 and up.

Please note, that these items are per child. So in my case, the total would be times three. I didn’t even count expenses you wouldn’t think about, like a peer-acceptable wardrobe for at least five days. Some of the lists also required selected items to be a particular brand, and the vast majority of the lists insisted that the parent DO NOT WRITE THE CHILD’S NAME ON THE ITEMS. Yes, in all caps.

Why no name on the items? Because the teacher collects everything up and hands them out when needed. Need a pencil? Teacher will hand them all out. Too bad Jenny’s mom ignored the list and wrote her name on the shiny pink pencil that Billy has and Jenny is now sobbing over, class has to move on. Coloring a picture for Halloween? Teacher hands out the picture and one orange crayon for each child.So you’ve bought the itmes and the whole class gets to use them.

And to balance that, here’s what we spent instead:
2 notebooks ($3)
mechanical pencils ($5)
Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons($20)
Cusinaire Rods book ($10 second-hand)
Quick Business Math ($27)

Total: $65.
In this case, my homeschooling costs covers all three school-age children and what we specifically bought them for school this year. Heck, if you like I’ll even toss in the two wooden cabinets we bought to store supplies in. Add thirty bucks.

Still cheaper.

If you like, I can go back to the stores and ask for specific copies of the lists. I’m even willing to go item-by-item and price check for what I would realistically pay. I’m cheap too, but I’m sure the results would be the same.


In our case – as public transit riding city homeschoolers, we still have the backpack expense (times three since there are three of us) – backpacks are beyond useful when you have no trunk to put things in. When we’re responsible we also pack lunch in a lunchbox though to be honest we’re not usually that responsible. We bought the insulated lunchbox when Paul had to take antibiotics for a few days and they needed to be kept cool and we weren’t going to be stuck at home all that time. We also usually end up buying sneakers to change into at winter community centre homeschool gatherings since Paul gets really hot and crabby when he has to stay in his boots. That said, even without the economy of scale (we only have one kid and that will likely stay that way – at least until we get our permanent residency here sorted out) I think we’re ahead of the game financially as well.

I suppose it’s only fair to mention my friend whose kindergarten teacher told her to hand over twenty bucks and she’d pick up supplies. 🙂
But then in a month or so, she’ll have to hand over more money for something.:roll:

In our case my daughter goes to a catholic school and has to wear a uniform. The upside is that she doesn’t have to worry about peer-pressure clothing. On the downscale is how expensive uniforms can be. That is why I always hit the used uniform sales at her school. 🙄

Great site. I’d like to add you to my list of favorite, if that is okay with you. 😆

ya ya. make me feel guilty again andrea for sending her to kindergarten in the first place. 😀 I actually tormented over this till 3 weeks ago and finally registered her. But I will be teaching her stuff as well at home so I am not totally abondoning the homeschooling scene. I’ll give you an update in a month if she asks for more money. 😛 I guess i will be keeping the pencil crayons that I bought for her here at home.

Wow…..I am shocked by that list. I don’t have to supply anything like that at all. Backpacks are optional as are lunch boxes. Yes, I had to buy clothes but she had a growth spurt so that was coming anyhow and I am far from being a fashion caring parent. Just, wow.

Add to that a high school yearbook to the tune of $75! and that’s the bargain price for “early” orders! 😮

man have yr books ever gone up in price. mine was $30..lol. for 1990. was it really that long ago?

A public transit BUS-PASS in the big city near us runs around $350… per student, per year. I know a few families whose children take that bus to school. I don’t think I EVER spent $350 in a single year for ALL our homeschool books and supplies!





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