If you have been reading our posts about cottage school and how we decided to switch from participating in a large homeschool co-op to this smaller, home based cottage school, you might be wondering if cottage school is affordable. Our cottage school meets once a week in Jenny’s home, and all four of us moms volunteer our time. We think one of the strengths of this model is it’s affordability. At the larger co-op we all attended, we had to pay for facility costs, tuition, curriculum, and childcare for our younger children. The total cost would be into the thousands per year. While this is clearly way less than a private school tuition, it was still our desire to see if we could have a quality co-op and spend less. We have been pleased with how the cottage school model has been able to achieve a more cost effective way to educate our kids. We have worked together to come up with these ways to share responsibilities and keep costs low.
- Jenny hosts cottage school in her home, so we don’t have facility fees.
- Annie, Christie, and I share the teaching responsibilities, so we don’t have tuition fees.
- Jenny takes the bulk of the responsibility of caring for the littles while the rest of us teach. Whenever we aren’t teaching we help out with the littles as needed. Therefore, we do not have childcare fees.
- We purchase curriculum, and it averages to about $200-300 per family for the year.
- We purchase supplies for our children for the various classes and that averages to about $200 per family for the year.
- Jenny makes lunch for everyone each week, and each family contributes to help buy the food. This cost is about $250 for the year.
Every year is a little bit different, so some of these costs will fluctuate, but we would highly encourage you to consider a cottage school model as an option to have community and support in an affordable way. Hundreds a year rather than thousands a year seems like a no brainer for us, and we still feel like our children are receiving all of the benefits of a large co-op–if not more. Feel free to ask us any questions you may have about how to organize your own cottage school budget. Also, let us know if you are already meeting in a cottage school, please share with us ways you have found to give quality, budget friendly education to your kids.