Homeschooling can save you money – here’s how

By Louise Schoonwinkel, MD of Optimi Home
Issued by Optimi
Johannesburg, Feb 15, 2022
Louise Schoonwinkel, MD of Optimi Home.

Raising children can be an expensive endeavour – between clothes, food, schooling, extracurricular activities and all the other things your child needs, the costs add up. 

What many parents don’t realise is that there is a way to save on the cost of schooling without compromising on quality – it's called homeschooling.

Fast becoming the schooling option of choice in South Africa, homeschooling is an affordable route in comparison to most private schools and many public schools.

So, how can homeschooling help your money go further? Here are eight ways:

1. Save on school fees

Most private junior school fees range between about R60 000 to R160 000 per annum (excluding boarding). High-performing public school fees range between R30 000 and R60 000 per annum. In comparison, most online schooling providers and homeschooling curriculum providers’ fees range between R6 000 and R30 000 (depending on the grade and offerings).

2. Resource-inclusive fees

Textbooks and other resources are included in some homeschool curriculum fees, meaning you do not have to pay for lesson materials on top of school fees. Added to this, if you or your child already have a tablet or laptop that is used for personal entertainment, this can be doubled up for educational purposes too – so there won’t be a need to buy an additional device for school.

3. No uniforms required

Most South African schools, both public and private, require children to wear a very school-specific uniform. Because homeschooled children do not need to wear a uniform, homeschooling parents can save a lot of money by not needing to purchase clothing that is just for school.

4. Fewer transport costs

Because homeschooling parents do not need to drive their children to and from school (or pay for alternative transport options), there are little to no transport costs associated with homeschooled children’s education (except, perhaps, for transporting children to extracurricular activities).

5. No compulsory field trips or camps

Many schools host both one-day and multi-day outings for learners, such as visiting museums and overnight camps at nearby campgrounds. Usually, these outings are compulsory and often come at an additional expense for parents. Not to mention overseas trips that sports teams and school choirs embark on, which can add undue pressure to parents to be able to afford these trips. With homeschooling, you have the freedom to choose family travel or outings you’d like your child to experience, at a time that suits you and your budget, without incurring these extra non-negotiable expenses.

6. Cheaper holidays

One of the great benefits of homeschooling is the flexibility that parents have when it comes to choosing when to take their vacations. Because children do not need to attend class on campus, parents can decide to go on holiday during the ‘off-season’ months when most other children are at school, and they can teach their children away from home. Holiday accommodation is considerably cheaper during these periods.

7. No fundraisers or development fees

Many schools host various fundraisers throughout the year, such as bake sales, for example, which require parents to spend money and time buying ingredients and preparing baked goods, or buying cakes and sweets from others. Schools also often have additional, compulsory development fees that go towards the maintenance of the school. Obviously, with homeschooling, parents can avoid these added expenses.

8. No aftercare costs

Often, working parents cannot collect their children from school before they have finished working and end up having to pay the extra fees for after-school care (commonly known as aftercare). Homeschooling parents do not need to worry about such costs, as they do not have to collect their children from school.

While the financial benefits are clear, homeschooling also provides both learners and their parents with a plethora of other positive influences to their school life, family lifestyle and all-round well-being.

For parents who are looking to find out more about the benefits of homeschooling, they can visit the Impaq website. Impaq is South Africa's leading homeschooling provider.