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Home education is generally less expensive than school education, because it does not require school buildings and teachers. However, in families where both parents work outside the home, homeschooling often means that one parent has to stop working. Due to the loss of this income, many parents view home education as expensive.

However, if you take all the costs of schooling into account (e.g. school fess, school uniforms, transport), as well as the costs associated with working (transport, after-school care), home education is not that expensive. Parents often spend more on keeping a child in school than they generate with a second income.

If you budget carefully, you may find that it is not impossible to live comfortably on one income. For single-income families, home education is generally cheaper than school education. There are many ways to contain the costs of home education:

  • Use the same curriculum and learning materials for multiple children.
  • Use a unit study curriculum and teach different age groups at the same time.
  • Compile your own structured or unstructured curriculum.
  • Make use of 2nd hand curriculum material and free resources on the internet.
  • Join support groups that can negotiate discounts for field trips.
  • Make use of a public library.

To calculate the nett cost of home education, click here to open an online spreadsheet. It performs the following calculation, using typical values that can be adapted:

Nett cost of home education = Homeschooling costs + Loss of income - Schooling costs

In families where both parents work homeschooling is still possible. Since home education needs much less time than school education, parents could work part-time. If parents work different shifts, the time in-between shifts could be used for home education. Parents who work from home or have their own businesses can easily combine home education and business. To involve the children in the business can also be a learning experience for the children.

It may be more difficult for single parent families to homeschool their children, but it is not impossible. Single parents who work from home can combine work and home education. Parents who work outside the home can homeschool after office hours. They can set a schedule that a child who is old enough to work independently can follow on their own. Some single parents can involve tutors or family members to help with the education.

In 2018, it was determined that the state spends an average of R16,435 per annum per child on education. Therefore, every child that is taken out of the school system, saves the state R16,435.

Legal & Research

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Home schooling was recognized in 1996 in the SA Schools Act.

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History of home education in South Africa (Wikipedia article)

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