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Public School

August 11th, 2015 at 02:55 pm

I just read Laura's entry about senior pics. Ugh.

DW has homeschooled our two girls for their entire learning career. DD1 has opted to enroll in 8th grade at our local public school. It was her wish, and I supported it, and DW supported it.

Reading Laura's post has made me wonder about the financial ramifications of the switch.

We've purchased curricula each year for the girls' school. I couldn't tell you how much, but DW could. But I think it ends up being somewhere less than $500 per year total for both girls. For the most part, DD2 uses DD1's used materials. And DW buys used, and swaps with other homeschool moms. So, that $500 price is probably out dated, as DW has gotten better at doing school on the cheap.

They've been attending a local home school co-op to take classes that may be better offered in a group. But, there's not the pressure for super fancy clothes, or neat note books, etc. like there is in a public school setting.

I can't help but think that the public school option will, on balance, end up being the more expensive option.

Of course, that can also be part of the learning - No, you don't need all these new, shiny things like the other kids. And, I really don't think it will be a huge issue with DD1 anyway.

But there are those things like senior pics, prom, etc. that seem to have escalated in price beyond any reasonable level over the last 25 years since DW and I were in school.

4 Responses to “Public School”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    Most of the fees are optional...but hard for young teens to resist. I lucked out that my daughter wasn't interested in homecoming and prom which would have cost much more.

  2. laura Says:


    My girls attend Catholic high schools on partial scholarships. Their uniforms (required) are purchased at the used sale or hand-me-down from older friends. My children are lucky to have one nice vacation every other year. They don't go somewhere every school break and they've had to get used to rich friends travelling to England on Spring Break, four-day cruises, etc. Their good friends are a mixture of both - those with more money/less money. I think that their upbringing (understanding economic limits and choice) has helped them for either a public/private school. I hope your daughter will be able to find balance. And when your daughter is in high school and Homecoming is right around the corner, you can always give her a budget. I've covered $xx.xx for a dress - with daughters covering overages or applying underages to make up/accessories or manicure. Best wishes to her!

  3. snafu Says:

    Costs seem to depend on the specific schools and their administration My recollection is nearly weekly...felt like daily, requests for funds for events, trips, outings, sports gear, art supplies on top of the initial list of very specific, brand name school supplies. I remember being frustrated by all the theme days like Bermuda shorts day, PJ day, Pizza day, celebrate harvest by dressing like a farmer [bib overalls & plaid shirt never worn again], Halloween breakfast & haunted house, every month a new focus.

    If that wasn't enough, parents were asked for endless hours of fund raising, home baking to re-sell, volunteer hours for sports, driving, sewing, and more. This was on top of very high school tax which is loaded atop municipal taxes. We needed to keep a sugar box full of small bills to have correct sums to distribute with little notice.

  4. Bob B. Says:

    Thanks for the thoughts all. That sounds like a nightmare, snafu.

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