Do You Get Paid to Homeschool? A Guide to Grants for Homeschooling

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Get Paid To Homeschool With Sonlight

Is it possible to get paid to homeschool your children?

If you are a homeschool parent, or considering homeschooling, the cost of teaching your kids at home can feel intimidating.

I remember well the early days of clipping coupons and using cloth diapers so that we could afford to homeschool. The good news is, times have definitely changed, and now, there are so many more resources available! Families are finding ways to homeschool for free, and in some cases, homeschoolers can even receive funds for homeschooling.

So, do you get paid to homeschool? Essentially, the answer is yes, it is possible to get paid to homeschool, although there are restrictions and requirements you’ll need to keep in mind.

Let’s explore the details...

How much does it really cost to homeschool?

There’s no doubt about it, homeschooling can be expensive. Especially for big families, the costs of homeschooling can add up.

On average in the United States, homeschooling is estimated to cost between $500 and $2,500 per year, per student.

Of course, for so many of us, these costs are well worth it, even if we have to budget creatively. However, it is also possible to cut costs, invest wisely in reusable resources, and in some states, even receive grants for homeschooling or other tax-supported funding. 

Expenses you can expect while homeschooling

As a homeschool family, the main expense is typically the cost of your homeschool curriculum. But beyond that, your children will need some basic school supplies, like paper, writing utensils and some maybe some standard art supplies like glue and crayons. Think of the lists traditional schools provide before the start of the school year, and factor in that you probably already have plenty of tissues and hand sanitizer!

As a homeschool parent, you’ll also likely want to have some supplies to keep you organized like a binder or two, some file folders, and maybe some colorful pens for fun.  (Actually, if you are anything like me, add plenty of caffeine to the list!)

You definitely do not need to create a homeschool school room, or even purchase desks or a whiteboard. But, in time, you may want to invest in some extras such as more advanced art supplies, science tools like a microscope, maps or a globe, and possibly a sturdy bookcase.

Keep in mind that when you begin homeschooling, you really can keep it simple. One of the best ways to get started is by choosing an all-in-one curriculum. From there, you’ll only need basic supplies.

How to find funding for homeschoolers

Many states have programs in place designed to help homeschool families make homeschooling more affordable, and potentially free.

Funding for homeschooling can go by a lot of names. Most commonly, states that provide tax funds to homeschool families do so through programs called Educational Scholarship Account programs, Educational Savings Account programs or even Empowerment Scholarship Accounts programs - all commonly abbreviated ‘ESA.’ 

These types of programs may also be referred to as homeschool voucher programs or homeschool scholarships. Currently, seven U.S. states offer this type of program, including Arizona, Florida, Idaho, New Hampshire, Ohio, Utah, and West Virginia.

Learn more here about each of the programs in these states, and more details about ESA funding for homeschoolers.

What are homeschool vouchers?

As states have continued to develop programs that allow families to receive government funding for homeschooling, there have been many name changes.

The term homeschool voucher commonly refers to a state’s homeschool savings program, or ESA.

Voucher programs began in the 1990s as a way to offer parents choice in education. Early voucher programs allowed parents to use tax funds that would have otherwise been used toward a child’s public school education toward other educational options, typically private school tuition.

School vouchers are currently available in 30 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, but in most cases, they can only be used at approved schools that meet specific requirements. Right now, these types of vouchers cannot be used toward the cost of homeschooling.

What are homeschool scholarships?

The term “homeschool scholarship” typically doesn’t refer to scholarships that help with the cost of homeschooling. Instead, this refers to scholarships eligible to homeschoolers applying for college, such as Sonlight’s College Scholarships for Homeschoolers. 

Seven states currently offer ESA programs and in some of those states, ESA is an abbreviation of Educational or Empowerment Scholarship Account.  

Learn more about which states offer ESAs that help fund homeschooling expenses.  

Is homeschooling a tax write-off?

A small number of states offer tax credits for homeschooling, but a tax credit is not the same as a tax write-off. Currently Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Ohio, and Minnesota allow families to deduct some homeschooling-related expenses.

It’s always a good idea to check with an accountant about tax specifics in your state.

What states give you money to homeschool?

Currently, there are seven states that offer funding for homeschooling.

They are: 

Each state’s program is unique, and the names differ, as do the requirements.

To learn more about any of these programs, use the links above or contact the state’s department of education. Homeschool groups in your area may also be able to offer information.

(If you are brand new to homeschooling, it will also help to learn more about the homeschool requirements in your state.)

Using State Funds to Purchase Sonlight

Sonlight loves working with families who are eligible for homeschool funding through their state.

Head here to learn more about how ESAs work, and on how to partner with Sonlight to get all the curriculum you need to get started homeschooling.  

Take a look at an overview of how individual states provide funding for Sonlight curriculum (we add more states every month!):

Arizona

Arizona provides families money to use toward homeschooling, through its Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) program.

To qualify for Arizona ESA funds, families must meet specific requirements, and then can apply for the Arizona ESA program here. If approved, qualifying families receive on average $7,000 per child for students in grades 1-12. The Arizona ESA Parent Handbook is available for Arizona families looking to learn more about the ESA program in Arizona.

Florida

Florida’s Family Empowerment Scholarship Account Program provides qualifying student families funds that may be used toward private school tuition and other educational resources. Families who choose “traditional” homeschooling (not enrolling in an umbrella school/ private, program-approved school) may be eligible for funding through the Unique Abilities branch. (FES UA). The Florida Family Empowerment Scholarship for Students with Unique Abilities provided an average of $10,000 per student in the 2023-2024 school year.

In addition, in 2023, The Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program began offering a “homeschool” option for up to 20,000 students. This program is termed the Personalized Education Program (PEP).

For more information about Florida's ESA programs, find the ESA parent handbook here.

Get Paid to Homeschool with Sonlight

In summary, it is possible to use state funds for your entire homeschool year, depending on your state’s programs. 

We want you to know that no matter how you choose to proceed with funding, Sonlight’s complete, all in one, literature-based curriculum supports you in all your homeschool planning and learning needs, so you can focus on what matters most in your homeschool - your family. 

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