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Well, it depends! Homeschooling is so personalized to each child and each family—you may be surprised at how much homeschool budgets can vary. If you have the time and flexibility to take advantage of opportunities to borrow curriculum, use the library, shop for used books, find reusable, multi-level, or free curriculum, and exchange services for extras like music, art, etc., you might pare your costs down to $50–100 per student. Adding in some paid extras like co-ops, online courses, enrichment classes, or sports could bring your budget up to $300–500. And if you opt for tutors, video courses, or all-inclusive curriculum packages, your cost may easily be $500 on up. (Still, that’s a lot less than private school!)
You can check out more creative ways to stretch your dollars here.
Homeschooling through virtual charter schools or public school independent study programs is actually a form of public education in which the public school, rather than the parent, directs the child’s education.
While we recognize that a family’s moving from a brick-and-mortar public school to a virtual charter school or independent study program is a step in the direction of more parental involvement and being able to provide a safer, more nurturing learning environment, their child’s curriculum and schedule are still ultimately controlled by the public school. The sad reality: many parents exiting such programs have told us they are leaving because of limitations on curriculum choices or inflexibility in scheduling and pacing—restrictions which keep their children from thriving.
HSLDA does not provide legal services in connection with children enrolled in any such public school options.
We recognize that the curriculum, technology, and other amenities offered by virtual charter schools and public school independent study programs can be very helpful and even essential to families facing financial pressure. In order to help make the ultimate flexibility and freedom offered by private homeschooling available to as many families as possible, we offer curriculum grants through HSLDA Compassion.
HSLDA understands that private therapeutic services can often add up quickly. And we know that you are committed to providing the best education possible for your child no matter the cost.
That’s why HSLDA offers Compassion Grants to homeschooling families in need of private services. You can learn more and apply for a grant here.
Other local, state, and national organizations also offer assistance to families needing help with private services for their children. If you’re an HSLDA member, feel free to reach out to our Special Needs Consultants for more information.
As a parent considering homeschooling your child who has special needs, does your decision hinge on the accessibility of services like occupational, speech, or other therapy or evaluations? We get that—so here’s a quick summary of the options available to you and your child.
Although HSLDA doesn’t generally recommend it, you can often get special education assistance through public school programs. These programs include any services funded by state or federal dollars though your local school district, whether the services are provided in your own home or at the school.
While you can obtain an evaluation for special education needs in every state, only about half of the states require services to be provided to homeschool students. See your state’s special needs provision here.
Parents who choose to homeschool already have a lot on their plates, and, in HSLDA’s experience, many families have found that public school services come with strings (and potential legal difficulties) attached. So it is best to choose a private service provider whenever possible.
If your child is currently receiving public special education services, you may wish to begin transitioning to private sources for your child’s special education needs. There are many different paths available to obtain a private service provider. You can learn more about locating one here.
HSLDA members can reach out to our Special Needs Consultants to get in touch with a local special education professional.
Concerned about being able to afford services? You might be interested in applying for one of HSLDA’s Compassion Curriculum Grants.
If you would like to learn more about homeschooling a child with special needs, we invite you to check out our Special Needs page. We’ve got lots of resources and support for your homeschooling journey, from start to finish!