Want to Homeschool Your Child? Here’s How Much You Need to Prepare
Homeschooling’s cost-efficiency is perhaps one of the most attractive things about it. It is generally less expensive than conventional private schools because you don’t pay for school facilities, multiple teachers’ fees, and miscellaneous fees; plus no more school uniforms to purchase and school bus fares to settle. But, you know what would put things into a better perspective if you are considering homeschooling? Actual figures.
Independent homeschooling has become so popular because it does away with the need to pay for the services of a homeschool provider—and that can make you think that you’re saving a lot. That is not always the case, though, when you factor in the value of the support and trainings you get when you sign up with a provider. And then there’s the time you can completely channel to facilitating your child’s learning, instead of worrying about record-keeping and scheduling the accreditation and evaluation tests.
A survey of Philippine homeschool providers will tell you that homeschool basic tuition fees locally can go from P5,000 to over P100,000 a year, depending on the program. Some providers require first-time enrollees to pay a one-time registration fee, while others offer varying tuition fee packages for families who are enrolling multiple children. An important note: If your child wants to study abroad in the future, make sure the provider has a foreign accreditation. That would make it more expensive, but you’ll be grateful for it!
Expect your first year to be more costly because that’s when you would set up your homeschool space, and get foundational supplies and materials that your child/children will be able to use for the long-term. In a conventional school, you get a classroom, chairs, chalk, and blackboards, and a teacher who records everything. In homeschooling, you have to buy or make these essentials. Depending on how resourceful and creative you are, as well as what kind of homeschool space you want for your child, you can spend anywhere from P5,000 to hundreds of thousands.
With any course or school, the cost of a program varies depending on the program inclusions. At HG, our Tech program, an online program designed for families who are more into digital learning, online consultations, and more leeway to pace their lessons, costs P20,000 per learner. If you prefer to have your own dedicated homeschool advisor and quarterly portfolio reviews (evaluation of your child’s work by an advisor), our Touch Program, which is at P35,000, would be perfect for you. More specialized homeschool programs, which would give you access to virtual classroom experiences, international school facilities, and specialized academic goal setting, among others, would cost you anywhere between P50,000 to P105,000. All HG programs give you access to a learn group membership, parent seminars, and various community events.
At majority of the homeschool providers in the country, curriculum materials are sold separately. HG curriculum material bundles range from P7,000 to P29,000, depending on program and grade level. For some programs, you may opt to mix and match materials. You may also opt to outsource some of your child’s other books. Ordering supplemental learning materials from abroad is something a lot of parents enjoy doing, to make their child’s learning experience even richer.
Add-on costs would be annual testing fees, accreditation fee if you want also want US accreditation for your child, and high school fees for older children. And of course, if you want to take the experiential learning route, then you’d have to be ready with sufficient funds for field trips and experiments. The good news is, your resourcefulness will also go a long way. There are brands that now offer virtual field trips, Khan Academy has a huge bank of free resources (yes, totally free!) for math, science, arts & humanities, computer science, and engineering. And then there’s also the option to purchase second hand materials.
At the end of the day, quality education is something you cannot put a price tag on because it’s a combination of the program, materials, classes, experiences, peer-to-peer interaction, character formation, and your presence and intentionality in your child’s learning. So whether you’re partnering up with a homeschool provider or going independent, the best way to save money on homeschooling is to plan it well. Be creative. Ask tips from other parent-educators. And keep track of your spending—we know that as you see your child flourishing because of this holistic parent-led approach, you will realize that every centavo you will spend is worth it.