Homeschooling is becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to traditional schooling, especially in New Jersey. With the rising cost of educational tuition, more and more parents are turning to homeschooling as a way to provide their children with an education tailored to their individual needs and interests.
But how much does homeschooling cost in New Jersey? The answer depends on various factors, such as the type of curriculum chosen, the number of homeschooled children, and the additional materials and resources required.
While the initial cost of homeschooling is relatively low, the ongoing costs can add up over time. In this article, we’ll discuss the various costs associated with homeschooling in New Jersey and provide tips for keeping expenses as low as possible.
Overview of Homeschooling
Homeschooling is the practice of educating children in the home rather than sending them to a traditional school. The method can be used to educate children of all ages, including preschoolers and teens.
While homeschooling is not regulated on a federal level, each state has its own set of laws and regulations regarding the practice. In New Jersey, parents may choose to homeschool their children if they meet one or more of the following examples:
Children whose parents are educators may have greater insight into their child’s learning needs.
Children whose disabilities would be better served in a home environment.
Children whose parents are employed full-time and cannot get them to and from school on a consistent basis.
Advantages of Homeschooling
There are many advantages to homeschooling, including increased parent-child bonding and communication. With traditional schooling, the parent-child relationship may be strained due to long work hours and the time spent commuting to and from school.
This can make it difficult for parents to spend time with their children and have in-depth conversations about their day and other topics that could be beneficial for both parent and child.
While homeschooling, greater flexibility, and individualized instruction help parents tailor the curriculum to their child’s needs and abilities. This can allow children to progress at a more natural rate, according to their own pace, rather than being compared to their peers and placed at the appropriate grade level.
Improved concentration and focus – Studies have shown that homeschooling can improve grades, even in subjects like math, where standardized testing is involved.
In fact, some research suggests that the average homeschooled child achieves two years more progress in every subject than their traditionally schooled peers.
Initial Cost of Homeschooling in New Jersey
The initial cost of homeschooling in New Jersey is approximately $100 per child per year. This includes a wide variety of resources and tools, such as:
Textbooks – Textbooks are essential to any curriculum, especially when homeschooling. They are often a better choice than other materials due to their flexibility and ability to be reused for multiple years.
Computer and internet – Computer literacy is an essential skill for the modern world, and most curricula include some form of computer use.
Calculators – Most curricula include some form of math, and therefore a calculator is necessary for many homeschoolers.
Colored pencils and paper – Many curricula require students to fill out worksheets and other exercises; therefore, colored paper and pencils are essential to any homeschooling toolkit. These will also encourage artistic expression and a relaxing way to unwind after busy work.
Ongoing Costs of Homeschooling in New Jersey
No ongoing costs are associated with homeschooling in New Jersey, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any expenses. In addition to the initial costs outlined above, there are a few other costs to keep in mind as a parent who is considering homeschooling:
Tutoring and online curriculum – While most curricula are designed to be used without additional help, many parents choose to supplement their child’s learning with additional resources, such as online tutoring.
Extra-curricular activities – Some homeschooling parents choose to include a few extracurricular activities in their child’s education to give them a chance to socialize and make friends.
Travel costs – Some homeschooling parents include field trips in their child’s education, which can significantly add to their monthly budget.
Types of Homeschooling Curriculum
There are several types of curricula that parents can use for homeschooling. They include:
Traditional – Traditional curriculum is divided into units, chapters, and lessons. It may also be broken down into various levels.
Unit study – A unit study curriculum is based on real-life situations and topics. It follows the child’s interests, and the parent chooses the topics that connect them.
Unschooling – Unschooling is a type of curriculum that is child-led, with minimal or no structure. It is focused on the child’s natural development, and the parent is a facilitator of this process.
Additional Materials and Resources for Homeschooling
As we’ve already discussed, parents should be prepared to purchase a few additional materials and resources in addition to their regular homeschooling costs. These include:
Timelines – Timelines are useful in organizing historic and contemporary events, making them easier to understand and follow.
Dictionaries and encyclopedias – These tools are essential for defining words and concepts that may be difficult for children to grasp.
Computer software – Computer software is often helpful in reinforcing concepts taught in the classroom, such as geography and the periodic table.
Homeschooling Support Groups
Parents new to homeschooling may benefit from joining a parents’ support group. In these groups, parents can discuss various topics related to homeschooling, including curriculum options, daily schedules, and outside enrichment activities.
Many of these groups also organize field trips and other educational events, which can be a fun way for parents and children to socialize and bond. Alternatively, parents may also be able to find a support group for their specific homeschooling method or curriculum, such as a co-op for a unit study or unschooling groups.
Ways to Save Money on Homeschooling
There are several ways to save money on homeschooling, including:
Choosing free or low-cost resources – Many free and low-cost resources are available to homeschoolers. These can be a great way to save money while providing your child with an excellent education.
Modifying your child’s environment – Certain aspects of a child’s environment can also affect their learning, such as the temperature in the room and the amount of noise present. These can help parents save money while still providing their children with a high-quality education.
Selecting a flexible schedule – Some parents follow the traditional school schedule, while others prefer a more flexible schedule. The latter can be a great way to save on homeschooling costs since it allows parents to avoid unnecessary expenses such as extracurricular activities and field trips.
Options for Financial Assistance
Parents who are struggling to cover the costs of homeschooling may be eligible for financial assistance. Many organizations provide financial assistance for homeschooling; some may offer additional benefits such as mentoring and support groups.
The Huggable Images Program offers free teaching materials, such as posters and charts, to homeschooling families in need. Homeschool Grants – This website provides information on various grants parents can use for homeschooling.
Summary of Homeschooling Costs in New Jersey
The initial cost of homeschooling in New Jersey is approximately $100 per child per year. No ongoing costs are associated with homeschooling, but parents can expect to spend a few dollars per year on additional resources and tools.
New Jersey parents can save money by selecting free, low-cost resources and modifying their child’s environment. Parents can also choose a flexible schedule to save money on extracurricular activities. Funding for homeschooling is also available for parents struggling to cover the costs.