There may be a financial impact on families in addition to the purchase of school supplies and curriculum materials, as one parent (typically the mother) usually refrains from employment outside the home in order to supervise the child's education. Some compensate by running a business as a family, working from home, or enlisting the help of friends or relatives during the hours in which the adults are working.
The tangible costs associated with homeschooling are as variable as the reasons and philosophical approaches. Scholastic Achievement and Demographic Characteristics of Home School Students in 1998, Lawrence M. Rudner, Table 2.12, tracked expenditures running from less than $200 to greater than $2000, per student. Notably, the three largest categories were the lowest three levels of expenditure. Students in the $200 or less category were in third – 17.9% of all students – $400-$599 was second – with 21.5% – the largest single category, at 33.8%, was the $200-$399 range. The highest 5 expenditure categories combined – ranging from $600 to $2000 per student – amount to 25.1% of the total, and only 2% of homeschool students lived in households that spent $2000 and over.
All of these levels were well below the U.S. national average expenditure for public school students in 1998; $6200-$6500 per student. The majority utilized less than 10% of public school expenditures.
The study did indicate a relationship between the amount of money spent on homeschool students and academic achievement.