How Much Does it Cost to Homeschool in the UK?

While some people will answer the question “How much does it cost to homeschool in the UK” with the answer, “Nothing”. I’d say that it depends. It certainly doesn’t have to cost a fortune, in fact it can easily cost less than sending them to school, but realistically, you’re likely to spend some money.

A note on language: In my posts, I refer to “homeschooling”. In the UK, the correct term for educating your child at home is “home Educating”, with homeschooling referring to a child doing work at home that has been set by school. I use the the term homeschooling in my posts because many people who are new to home educating will use the term homeschooling when searching online and I want to make sure they can find the information.

Why the Cost of Homeschooling in the UK will Vary for Everyone

The cost to homeschool will vary depending on your circumstances, including your children’s ages, your consifedencs levels and whether or not you need to give up work or work less hours.

Lost Income

One of the main costs that people forget to take into account, is lost earnings. A significant number of parents who choose to homeschool their children will give up work to do so and that represents a significant financial cost. Even those parents who combine working and homeschooling may decide to work less hours therefore lowering their earnings.

Home Education Costs at Different Ages

I would also say that the cost of homeschooling varies with the age of your children. When you are home educating younger children, there are more free and low cost resources available. You will easily be able to find free worksheets online and workbooks are often available cheaply from shops like The Works. Many Apps that suit young children are often cheaper than those aimed at older children.

Younger children (those who would be in key stage 1 or key stage 2) are often happy to spend time at the park which provides free entertainment and exercise. They also learn a huge amount from play which is of course completely free. Meet ups for this age usually take place in parks or woodlands and so don’t usually incur a cost. Local trips to free museums and galleries also provide lots of free learning for younger children.

For older children (who would have been in key stage 3 or key stage 4), learning resources often cost more. Workbooks usually aren’t available so cheaply and apps for older children to learn often have a higher monthly cost once you’ve used the limited amount that’s available for free. You also need to take into account the cost of GCSEs if you choose to do them.

Older children are likely to be interested in getting involved in activities that have a cost attached, for example bowling, skating and rock climbing. These activities often also form the basis of socialising for home educated teenagers.

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Your Confidence in Home Educating

If you feel confident that you can support your child’s learning you will likely end up spending less on resources. You might be comfortable teaching based on your own knowledge when they are young and just using course textbooks when your child is older.

If you are less confident you are more likely to want to spend money on resources like online subscriptions, courses, online schools or private tuition.

The Cost of Resources for Home Educating

It is totally up to individual parents if they choose to spend money on resources or not, but in reality, many do. You can find some free resources for 11-16 year olds in this post or try this post for free resources for 5-11 year olds.

The Cost of Homeschooling Books

Books are often the cheapest type of resource to use. For younger children who would have been in primary school, you can buy workbooks for key subjects from places like The Works for around £4.

For older children, the popular CGP Complete Revision and Practice books are around £9 from Amazon. While these books are great, when it comes to GCSE level they don’t actually teach all of the course material so you would you need to buy the course textbook. These tend to cost a lot more, often £20-£40 if bought new.

The Cost of Homeschooling Apps

Many parents use apps to support their child’s learning and these usually have to be paid for. For younger children, Reading Eggs and Maths Seeds are popular and cost £9.99 a month for both. Doodle Learning is also popular with younger children and costs £7.99 a month.

For High School Age Children, Edplace is popular, it covers Maths, English and Science and costs £15 a month. IXL covers Maths and English and costs £12.99 a month.

The Cost of Homeschooling Classes

There aren’t a lot of homeschooling classes for primary school age children compared to the number available for older children. This likely reflects the fact that parents of primary school age children are usually more confident covering what they would be learning in primary school, so are less likely to want courses.

Learn Laugh Play offers classes from 4 years old upwards, classes for primary school age children are £3 a week, you subscribe to a class but can cancel it at anytime. £2 tuition Hub has classes for children from age 5 and up, they are £2 a lesson paid in blocks of 5.

For secondary school age children there are courses for key stage 3 and GCSE courses. Prices vary a great deal, as do payment structures. Some are paid per lesson, some termly, some monthly, some yearly and some a lump sum for the whole course.

Learn Laugh Play and the £2 tuition Hub also offer classes for Key stage 3 and GCSE level, at Learn Laugh Play GCSE classes are a bit more expensive at £6 a month.

There are also specialist course providers for some subjects at GCSEs, for example Humanatees offers GCSE courses in Humanities subjects that cost from £25 a month for two years. Southwest Science School offer GCSE courses in Science for £100.

The Cost of using Online Schools

There are a number of online schools in the UK offering provision from the age of 4 up to 18. These represent one of the most expensive ways to homeschool but can suit some parents, particularly if they don’t have the time or confidence to go it alone.

While costs vary, online schools usually charge fees up front, often for a term or a half term at a time. Many offer a discount if you pay for a year in advance. As an example, Kings InterHigh charges £690 per half term (6 weeks) for their primary age package and £1150 per half term (6 weeks) for their core IGCSE package (8 IGCSEs).

Exam Costs

You can keep the cost of taking GCSEs down by self studying using the course textbook however there is no way to avoid the exam costs. Do bear in mind though that GCSEs are optional and your child doesn’t have to take them.

When planning for GCSE costs you should factor in the number you child will take. Most home educated children don’t take the 9 or 10 they take at school. Some just take English and Maths, some do 5 as that is what many employers and colleges require. It’s best to find out what your child will need for their next step and plan accordingly. This post explains the cost of GCSEs for homeschoolers in more detail.

The Cost of Taking Accredited Courses

Instead of GCSEs, some home educated children take online courses that lead to a qualification. These usually involve doing work from home and submitting written work, photos and videos to be assessed.

The cost of these varies by course provider and many offer payment plans. Technology Triumphs and Aced Qualifications both offer a range of courses with prices from around £600 for a level 2 course.

You can find out more about these types of courses in this post on alternatives to GCSEs.

The Cost of Using Tutors

There are a number of different ways that home educated children might use tutors but they are all totally optional and don’t have to form part of your home education.

One to one, face to face tuition will be the most expensive and can cost of upwards of £35 an hour. One to one online tuition is usually a bit cheaper.

Some families get together and arrange for a tutor to work with a group of home educated children. This usually costs the face to face rate divided by the number of children attending, plus any cost for a venue.

Group online tuition is usually the cheapest option and can cost from £10 an hour.

The Costs Of Socialising when Home Educating

People always have concerns about home educated children having the opportunity to socialise. Luckily, most communities have plenty going on for homeschooled children to get involved with.

For younger children, there are often meet ups in local parks. Meet ups themselves are usually free although some move to an indoor venue in the winter, like a soft play, which can incur a cost. If you live outside of a town you will also have to factor in travel costs to get to meet ups.

There are usually meet ups for older children and teenagers too, these are also sometimes in free places like parks but are also sometimes combined with activities like bowling ice skating or playing pool.

Beyond just meet ups there are also likely to be structured activities that go on for home educators in your area, all of which will cost money if you want to do them. Within a 30 minute drive of where I live my home educated son could get involved in Street dance, drama, art, football, rock climbing, ice skating, Forest School, parkour, tennis, athletics, skateboarding, circus skills, gymnastics and engineering.

He actually just does a day at Forest school and an hour football, which cost £5.50 and £25 respectively which we find plenty.

The cost of Homeschooling in the UK really can grow or shrink to fit your budget, the important thing is to be aware of costs before you start so that you can plan accordingly.

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