Even though home schooling may not come with the costs that a private school education does, it isn't free. From textbooks to curriculum plans, home schooling parents need to pay for educational materials that are necessary for learning. To offset the costs, home schooling parents can apply for educational grants. These financial awards can help parents pay for lessons guides, a home library, testing and evaluation fees and school supplies.
Money for Special Needs Students
The Home School Foundation offers grants through the Special Needs Children's Fund. Members of the Home School Legal Defense Association -- or HSLDA -- who have a child with special needs are eligible for these funds. Only families who have been HSLDA members for six months or more may apply for this financial assistance. Home schooling parents may use the award money to pay for equipment, therapies, educational materials or testing. Some states offer their own grants for children with disabilities. For example, North Carolina administers a grant that reimburses parents for educational items up to $3,000 per semester.
Help Paying for Curriculum
Unlike public schools that create a curriculum, home schooling families must either design their own or pay for one. Parents who can't afford the cost of their chosen curriculum can get financial help from the HSLDA's Kids Curriculum Fund. Home schooling families can use the awards from the Kids Curriculum Fund to pay for a basic or essential curriculum. There is no set amount parents may receive. The grants are based on the family's needs and available money within the fund.
Assistance for Online Classes
Some home schooling families choose to use an online educational program. There are web-based home-school organizations and companies that provide financial assistance for families in financial need. For example, Calvert Education offers a financial and emergency aid for students who attend the Calvert Virtual Academy. Likewise, Jeffco Public Schools' Virtual Academy also offers financial help for families who meet income guidelines. This virtual academy serves home-schooled students in Colorado. Similar programs exist in other states.
Grants for Special Groups of Students
Home schooling single parents may find financial help through the Children of Single Parents Fund. This one time monetary award is income-based and not intended to provide continuous assistance. Widows and widowers can apply for a scholarship through the HSLDA's Widows Fund. This grant money can help to pay for the costs of a home-school curriculum. Parents can also use the grant for emergency financial relief.
Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.