What Is The Actual Cost of Homeschooling in the UK? Could It Be Free?
As friends have started to spend £100’s on school uniforms it got me thinking about the real cost of homeschooling UK. Is it costing me more?
Is home education actually cheaper than school?
How much does homeschooling cost in the UK?
Of course, the cost of homeschooling was not even part of the reason we decided to homeschool. But I am really staggered with the savings.
Check out all the other homeschooling pros and cons to see if it is right for your family.
If you are seriously considering homeschooling check out my post how to start homeschooling UK guide for more help.
I also suggest doing your own research to find out what homeschool supplies you’ll need for homeschooling. But you can manage with very little, and you probably have everything already.
**There may be affiliate links in this post. You can read my full disclosure at the bottom of the page.**
Homeschooling Resources in the UK
Before I jump into how much homeschooling costs in the UK. I thought I would share some of my most popular posts on FREE resources:
Free curriculum for homeschool.
Over 90 of the best homeschooling programs UK.
What is the Cost of Homeschooling in the UK?
Zero. That’s right, it doesn’t have to cost you anything.
There are so many free homeschool curriculum resources you can use. You don’t have to spend anything. Now, we spend more than this which I will detail below. But….
YOU DON’T HAVE TO SPEND ANYTHING TO HOME EDUCATE YOUR CHILD.
How to Homeschool for FREE
Now, remember what I said about homeschooling free? It’s true. There are so many free resources you can use, if you are on a tight budget you can home educate for FREE.
Become a member of the library. If you have a library card you can get books out for FREE. If you are studying a particular subject and they don’t have the books you need in stock. Ask them to order them in for you. It’s that easy.
Libraries often have days when they offer crafts and homeschool activities as well.
Use free homeschooling resources. There are so many amazing free homeschool websites you can use for all homeschooling styles. For example Khan Academy, free typing games, and free coding games.
Use Pinterest. It has so many great printables and ideas of things you can do.
Contact local businesses and see if you can arrange field trips. Some ideas would be, a fire/police station, shop, food outlet, or farm but honestly the options are endless. Now not everyone will say yes, but a lot will. Real-life learning! I love it.
Free Books – you can get lots of Kindle/audiobooks for free. If you are looking for books for 9 year old boys you might enjoy checking out my post.
Youtube – now I hate screentime, but as a mum of a 9 year old I have to give in!!! But youtube has loads of free videos that are educational. Check out our favorite kids educational videos.
Museums / Art Galleries – A lot of these are free, of course, but check before you go. These are a great way to get out and about while learning and having fun.
Cost to send your kids to school per year!
Now, of course, this list is how much we have spent in the past, and of course, I could have found the items cheaper! For example not buying a pencil case from Smiggle! But I hope this gives you an idea of how much it costs to send your children to school.
- School Uniform £209
- School Shoes – £45
- Polo Shirts £21 (for 6)
- School Branded Jumpers £42 (for 3)
- Sports Clothes £12 (£5 for shorts, £7 for 2 t-shirts)
- School Trousers £13 (for 2)
- Trainers (to leave at school for PE) – £25
- School Shorts £7 (for 1)
- Pencil Case £12.50 (from Smiggle)
- School Socks £6 (pack of 5)
- School Bag £25
- Educational School Trips £250
- School Dinners £430
- Going on holiday in term time!!!
Now if I take out our holiday cost, the actual cost of sending your children to school is over £1k a year! Will you spend that on homeschooling? Absolutely not!
How Much Is The Cost Of Homeschooling?
Well for us, we don’t homeschool for free, but that is a choice we have made.
But it is certainly cheaper than sending your children to school!! With all of the costs listed below, we probably spend about £500 a year. I haven’t included clubs he attended before as we had that cost anyway.
But, please remember YOU CAN HOME SCHOOL FOR FREE!
We currently subscribe to IXL, check out my IXL review. Which costs approximately £100 a year, if you follow this link you will get 20% off. But there are others such as EdPlace which is also a similar price.
We also subscribe to Twinkl which costs about £60 a year. I love their worksheets. But, see how we use Twinkl free resources in our homeschool.
Check out all of the homeschool curriculum reviews we have written over the years.
Cost of a private tutor for homeschooling UK
If you are thinking of getting a tutor to help with homeschooling we highly recommend MyTutor, check out our MyTutor review.
They are great for when the kids are approaching GCSEs and A-levels.
Educational Days Out
We tend to have a big day out at least once a month, and our favourites are Bosworth Battlefield and Kidzania.
As a home educator, you are entitled to school prices!
So you can get amazing discounts (as long as you go in term time) from nearly all the attractions. For example, Legoland, Eden Project, the zoo etc. You will need to organise this before you go though, so make sure you contact them in advance.
My son absolutely loves reading, even from an early age. So although we do borrow books from the library (for free) we also buy books. We tend to buy them in bulk, so his favourites at the minute are David Walliams and James Patterson.
Educational Subscription Box
We change this quite regularly, but we subscribe to educational kids subscription boxes every month.
The reason we change them is if we had the same box every month he gets a little bored! Our favourite at the minute is Mel Science, but it used to be toucanBox when he was younger.
But I always buy them when they are on offer.
toucanBox is currently 50% Off on the limited edition Christmas box with code awbox22.
Mel Science is 50% off the first box with code HOMESCHOOLOF1.
Educational Board Games
I have included this here, but actually, we don’t generally buy them.
Either Santa brings them for Christmas or he will ask for them for his birthday.
Check out over 40 of our favourite educational board games here. But we absolutely love playing board games.
Our all-time favourite is Frenetic (check out our Frenetic review, but we highly recommend it!)
We do get through a lot of paper! So this probably with ink costs us about £20 a month! Check out all of our homeschool supplies, you don’t need as much as you would think.
Sports Clubs / Theatre Club
This is something we did before we deregistered him from school.
But, if your kids did not attend sports clubs, I would highly recommend it if they are homeschooled. Mainly so they can interact with their peer group while keeping fit!
I am not going to go on about homeschool socialisation because quite frankly I find it ridiculous. My son spends more quality time with friends and family than ever before. But you get my meaning!
We have tried all sorts of different homeschool planners, but we have finally settled on Trello. Check out how we use Trello for free as our homeschool schedule.
Let’s get organized this school year with our free printable homeschool planner. There are 13 pages included.
This is absolutely optional of course. You can homeschool from just about anywhere! We already had a home office so we made some slight adjustments. See how we have changed our homeschool room in our updated blog post.
Funding for Homeschooling
Now I wish this was the case, but no. If you home educate your child, you will get NO FUNDING. It is like private education, if you opt-out of state schooling, you have to pay for it.
But, you are just as entitled to tax credits and benefits if you homeschool as you are if your children attend school.
Zero. That’s right, it doesn’t have to cost you anything.
There are so many free home education resources you can use you don’t have to spend anything. Now, we spend more than this which I will detail below. But….
YOU DON’T HAVE TO SPEND ANYTHING TO HOME EDUCATE YOUR CHILD.
Absolutely, there are so many free resources you can use. If you are on a tight budget you can home educate for FREE.
If you home educate your child, you will get NO FUNDING. It is like private education, if you opt-out of state schooling, you have to pay for it.
Last Updated on 24 January 2023 by homeschoolof1
I disagree a lot. I homeschool my children and it’s far from being absolutely free. Yes it can be free, of course, but most of the time we will want to provide our children with opportunities and those we need to pay for. Such as classes (f.e swimming or sports or arts). Many people also opt in for tuition with certain subjects. All of these really do add up especially once you have more than 1 child. We spend aroun £200 a month per child, and we have 3. They do swimming, sports, taking second language classes with a good tutor and also go to a club for home-ed children once a week, where they meet, sociolize, play and learn at the same time. Of course, all of this is not a must when homeschooling, and it’s possible to do it for free just by limiting one’s self to library and museum (which are great! Don’t get me wrong) but let’s be realistic, everything aside from that costs money. As for school, by all means, costs of sending child to school are high, but I would not say they are higher than homeschooling. Some of the things mentioned in the list you would buy regardless if the are attending school or not such as: trouser, bags, shorts, sports clothes, trips. Okay we might not need that pencil case when homeschooling but we need tons of other supplies that are more expensive than a pencil case. I love homeschooling but I think we need to stop glamorising it and be realistic.
I am thinking about home schooling. My 13 year old son has recently been diagnosed with ASD Autism Spectrum Disorder. Would I be able to home school or would this go against me?
I don’t know what you mean, go against me? Having ASD would not stop you from homeschooling, however, there may be provisions in place that might change that. It will be best to speak to your local home education department to confirm either way. But good luck :))
Is there a certain amount of time a day you are required to ‘teach’ them? Could I do it alongside my job (8.30-3.30) so after work and weekends?
My son will be going to secondary in sept but really aren’t sure about it x
Hey, that is one of the awesome things about homeschooling. As long as the hours are covered, you can do them when you like. Weekends, at night, during the summer break.
I just pumped to your web and looks like you know lots of home schooling. Please advise me what shall I do first … means first step to sign my kids to home schooling educations. Shall I contact with council or school first? And all other info will be nice to know. My older is 13y and younger 9y
I think it depends where you live. If you are in the UK or Wales you don’t officially need to tell the school at all. However, we did. You just need to contact your local home education department and inform them of your decision to home educate.
Any other questions please ask.
My daughter is 12 years old and I really would like to know more about homeschooling at this age range. Thanks in advance.
Did you get any info? My son is 12 and not having a good time at school. Ive offered homeschooling as an option to look into. He seems keen but i also want to find out more for secondary age.
Hi Jennifer, my son is 11, 12 in December, feel free to message and I am happy to chat with you about it. Its email@example.com
Hi I am so sorry I missed this comment Patricia, did you decide to homeschool your daughter in the end?
hey when this coronavirus mess up has ended I want to homeschool my daughter but I read something saying to homeschool your child you have to pay 13k a year for the schooling not the supplies or clothes but this says it’s free and another one said £300-600
Hey I am sorry I missed your message, did you decide to homeschool in the end? Homeschooling can absolutely be free, feel free to message me 🙂
Wow, only £1.75 for school lunches, we pay £2.30 each day for ours (although had the 1st 3 years free). If you’re at home, you still need to provide lunch, and wouldn’t you pay for transport/membership to home school groups/events etc if you do those? But you don’t have morning club or after school clubs/wrap round care which working parents have to pay for. Our school trips are cheap – probably only pay about £30 a year for all the cross school events and the 1 or 2 cheap trips a year in total. We don’t do big trips at our school until y5/6 when they have a residential. We do have the cost of swimming bus (about £35 a year), but his swimming has come on so much going twice a week.He certainly wouldn’t get to swim as much relying on me to take him regular.y
Tbh, I’d much rather pay the money, have a child who’s educated (I hope) at a decent level across all the subjects better than I could probably do, with his peers, as well as getting the breadth of sport opportunities that he has to do (but would refuse out of school to try). Plus I wouldn’t lose my annual salary. Even if I wanted to home school, it wouldn’t be an option as I work full time and wouldn’t be willing to give up work to teach. I doubt as you said, that cost comes into the equation with people deciding to home school
You are definitely right about the loss of income of course, which I haven’t taken into account here as I work from home. So yes of course home education isn’t for everybody (to be honest I hadn’t even considered it until about 6 months ago). Freddie had his first school residential in year 2 (I hated every minute of it!!! – But he of course loved it!!) so I think it massively depends on each school.
The reason I actually wrote the post was because I honestly thought it would be costing me more, as I have heard many times before from home educators. But for us personally it is actually saving me money (which I will be saving for him to go to university).
I haven’t got a problem with the school system at all, and to be honest I feel that for most children it is for the best. However, for us home education is definitely the way forward 🙂