9 Effective Ways to Get Money for Homeschooling from the GovernmentFree Stuff
Many parents are turning to homeschooling as dissatisfaction with the school system spreads across the nation.
What many don’t know is that it is possible to obtain money for homeschooling from the government to help ease education costs.
Unfortunately, many people don’t realize the expenses that come with homeschooling until they have their kids at home full-time, not to mention the fact that many parents give up full-time jobs to teach their children.
In this article, I share nine effective ways to get money for homeschooling from the government.
1. Know Your State Grants
You might have some difficulty funding your homeschooling education expenses through state grants fully, but some states do offer significant payoffs for staying at home.
State funding for homeschooling is becoming more popular with only a few states refusing to offer any benefits.
Some states offer substantial assistance to parents.
This is especially true for special needs students. North Carolina, for example, gives $8,000 per year to qualifying disabled students enrolled in homeschool programs.
2. Federal Funding for Homeschooling
There is little available in federal funding for homeschooling right now, but that’s going to change soon.
The best way to utilize the U.S. Department of Education for homeschool funding assistance is to take advantage of a registered and accredited the charter school.
Charter schools often act as the bridge between parents and the Department of Education.
The school will likely have regular testing requirements including any state or federal testing, host tests such as the Exit Exam and SATs. These schools utilize the Department of Education’s requirements for education, making it much easier on parents as they provide the curriculum.
Although charter schools are close to the public school system, there is little or no expectation of attendants of a charter school to show up to classes or engage with predetermined teachers.
The benefit that charter schools offer regarding financial relief is that they receive funding for extracurricular and athletic courses as well as books.
Although all other materials still fall to the parent, it can save you thousands of dollars per year in books and extracurricular activities.
3. Public Funding for Homeschooling
The government is a great place to start when you’re looking for funding for homeschooling, but they offer another avenue too.
The government on both a state and federal level help connect homeschooling parents with public funding.
Many public schools receive regular public funding, and your child has equal rights to access a portion of that funding as well.
Money for homeschooling from the government can include going to the school district in your area and applying for public funding. You will have to jump through many hoops to make any progress, but it can cover many of your costs.
Some school districts will disburse public funding to homeschool families for learning materials that can include books, laptops, technical equipment, science equipment and even sports team fees you pay out of pocket for extracurricular requirements.
In some cases, public funding from school districts can even help pay for tutors if you find that you’re unable to help your child in a particular subject.
Some states even offer an additional stipend for dual enrollment. So, if you enroll your child in a course through a public or private school keep copies of all your receipts, including receipts for additional expenses and send them in, via mail, to your state’s Department of Education.
So, more classes don’t equal higher payouts, but enrolling your child in piano lessons or an advanced mathematics course can benefit them in more than one way.
The best way to utilize money for homeschooling from the government is to get an in with your school district.
Find someone friendly and helpful because district employees are valuable resources for homeschool families.
4. Use Public School Athletics to Get Money for Homeschooling
Many charter schools will offer athletics, but if your child is passionate about a sport, it’s likely that they’ll never compete on a significant level with charter school teams.
Instead, start putting in requests with your school district for your child to try out with the public school teams.
Home school parents often cite that it’s unfair that they pay hundreds of dollars per year to get their kids into athletic programs that are less competitive and often overlooked in the college circuit.
Use public school athletics whenever possible and earn grants through your child’s performance there.
Often homeschool families can apply for mini-grants to cover the costs of athletic equipment such as cleats and uniform fees.
If you still need to make ends meet, but also need to stay at home to give your child an excellent education, start working from home. Many remote work or work-at-home jobs allow you to set your own hours, so you can teach by day and then work through the afternoon.
5. Follow the Coalition for Responsible Home Education
With the few homeschooling foundations or associations available it’s still difficult to find a reputable guide of resources.
For a good source when it comes to applying for grants and scholarships regardless of your state, use the Coalition for Responsible Home Education.
To obtain government money for schooling your child at home you have to think bigger than your immediate family, especially if you’re only homeschooling one child.
Many grants cater to large organizations or organizations that serve a local “chapter” of homeschooling families.
The Coalition for Responsible Home Education is a great way to connect with other families in your area and find existing groups that apply for these large grants and then disburse the grant among their members accordingly.
6. Gain Access to Donations
Public schools get donations all the time, and you can obtain access to these donations too. These donations have multiple payoffs not just in the fact that you’re accessing funds of materials for nothing, but during tax time as well.
The Home School Foundation, currently in the process of changing its name to HSLDA Compassion, connects people who donate with homeschooling families. In many cases, the organization will collect the donations, whether it’s monetary or material and then provide it to families who apply.
Donations can include anything from books and raw materials to curriculums. It’s unlikely that you’ll have direct access to monetary funds, but it does happen on occasion.
The government plays a role in this type of funding for homeschool families as they work closely with the Home School Foundation on many fronts. It’s this foundation along with a few others that are working diligently to obtain more financial support for homeschooling families.
Money for homeschooling from the government comes in through many channels and accessing donations, including monetary contributions, often gets overlooked.
The first thing that parents learn when they start homeschooling is that they must make every resource stretch. Whether it’s your local school district or reaching out to organizations that process and disburse donations for homeschooling families you can’t miss out on any opportunity.
7. Recycle Your Resources
There are many grey areas when it comes to filing taxes and dealing with homeschool expenses. For the most part, you can’t write off very much and writing off anything as a “hobby” can land you in deep water with the IRS.
But many homeschool parents learn that they can make a substantial amount of money on the side tutoring while using the resources that you already have on hand.
When tutoring you have access to many other resources from the government as well.
There are many grants from the U.S. Department of Education for tutoring businesses, especially if you’re non-profit. Because of the No Child Left Behind Act, non-profit tutoring companies are vital for many students.
Besides state-level grants, the U.S. Department of Education has two programs to support tutoring businesses. They are the Upward Bound Program and the Student Support Services Grant.
These grants address the needs of disabled or low-income families which is why the government provides support for tutoring businesses. The idea is that the tutoring should foster the pursuit of postsecondary education.
When starting a tutoring business, you may need to partner with a local college or university. It will undoubtedly help when applying for these grants.
Outside of the federal grants offered to tutoring businesses, there are also grants available on the state level as well as through private foundations too.
8. Take Advantage of Mini-Grants
Mini-grants get overlooked but can become a goldmine for parents. Grants usually have a specific purpose and can only go towards certain items.
Typically grant funds go towards purchasing curriculums, class tuitions, technology for your child’s education, and school materials. Many mini-grants require you to have a semester of homeschooling under your belt already, but others are willing to help out new families.
A popular grant is the Compassion Curriculum Grant which caters towards low-income families who intend to homeschool their children.
Other mini-grants can come from the City, County or State. It’s not difficult to find these grants, but many parents pass them up because they’re usually only for a few hundred dollars.
If your child has special needs regarding their education, then there are specialized associations that can help you find grants that cater to this niche in the education system.
Home School Legal Defense Association helps low-income families and parents of special needs children to access individual grants.
There are also scholarships, both public and privately funded for students who are gifted and talented.
Parents of gifted students will often pull them out of public school to allow them access to better education opportunities.
Money for homeschooling from the government seems to cater to low-income families, and this is a great way to take advantage of opportunities for gifted students who might otherwise be at a disadvantage.
9. Get Help from the HSF/HSLDA Compassion
Two separate entities the Home School Foundation and the Home School Legal Defense Association are currently working towards becoming a single resource for the homeschooling families.
Them coming together will no doubt help families find ways to obtain money for homeschooling from the government.
The Home School Foundation has made it clear that they are a guide to help parents find state funding for homeschooling.
While the HSLDA has advocated for years to help provide public funding for homeschooling. Now that these two are coming together you need to get close and involved.
Finding government funding for homeschooling is a chore, applying for it is difficult at best, and filing your taxes afterward is a nightmare. The HSF/HSLDA Compassion is the best way to get money for homeschooling from the government.
Do you have tips on how to navigate the waters of mini-grants and public funding for homeschooling?
Share your experiences with federal and state funding for homeschooling below to help out other homeschooling families. Be sure to leave any helpful tips in the comments for parents who are new to homeschooling or thinking about taking their child out of the public school system to give them better education opportunities.
Logan is a practicing CPA and founder of Choice Tax Relief and Money Done Right. After spending nearly a decade in the corporate world helping big businesses save money, he launched his blog with the goal of helping everyday Americans earn, save, and invest more money. Learn more about Logan.