Home-schooling is an option increasingly being considered by parents concerned about problems in the state school system. If carried out effectively, it can give your child a far more targeted and personal education than is possible in a large class. Is it really an option for everyone, though? How much does home-schooling cost?
The Savings and Costs of Home-schooling
Even a state school can be expensive, and on the face of it home-schooling gets rid of these costs. This is especially true if the school requires a uniform, especially since it has to be constantly replaced as the child grows.
However, home-schooling isn't free. For one thing, you'll need a lot of resources that the school would provide. While many of these can be downloaded free, you may, for instance, need to buy specific textbooks for your child.
In addition, a major cost you'll encounter eventually comes when your child needs to take exams. As a private candidate, they won't get the free access to GCSEs, A-levels and other exams that they would at school. GCSEs, for example, generally cost between £30 and £50 each, depending on the subject and the board, and your child may be taking up to twelve of them.
The Cost of Private Tuition
This assumes you feel able to manage your child's education in a wide range of subjects without help. In practice, it may be necessary to hire private tutors for at least some of the more specialist subjects. So how much do private tutors cost? That depends on the subject, your location (needless to say, London is the most expensive) and the tutor's experience. As a very rough average, a session may cost anything from £18 for biology or Spanish to £28 for Russian.
The good news, though, is that you can save on tuition costs by using a less-experienced tutor. This doesn't have to mean they're less competent, and you can assess their suitability by paying careful attention to reviews. A less-experienced tutor might even be a better fit for your child than the most highly experienced.
What Are the Wider Costs of Home-schooling?
If you're undertaking all or a substantial part of your child's education, it's going to take up a good deal of your time. It's unlikely that both of you will be able to hold down a full-time job at the same time, and this could have a negative effect on your ability to meet the costs. However, while there are no grants for home schooling, your child will have the same right as any to Child Benefit. Also, taking a reduction in income could mean you're entitled to Universal Credit.
Whether you're paying tutors or taking a hit on your income, you'll need to be realistic when planning to home-school your child. If you can afford it, though, you'll be able to give them an education built around their own abilities and learning style. Register with TutorExtra to find more information about home-schooling.