It’s difficult to get a real number for how much homeschooling costs. The answer is: it depends. It depends on a lot of things: your income, family size, location, etc. But the real question parents are asking is “Am I doing okay?”

Most of us grew up thinking the state is responsible for our kids’ education. The state does a crappy job, for sure, but no one blames the parents when the state messes up their kid.

Think about it: if your kid does not read until 3rd grade everyone talks about how negligent the school is.  That’s much easier than homeschooling and deciding your kid is not ready to learn to read until 3rd grade and then hearing people question your competence as a parent.

Parents want benchmarks. Schooling families can see benchmarks easily. Homeschooling parents want to benchmark themselves with the cost of homeschooling instead of comparing themselves to going-to-school families. I am someone who usually doesn’t care if people think I’m crazy. Yet still, I look for affirmation.

So I like that the New York Post published their article Parents are Abandoning Public School in Droves to Homeschool their Kids. Those parents report they are spending about $10K per kid. In NYC this is a nice compromise. It’s better than public school and the fancy private schools where everything is customized for every kid are costing about $40K per year. Per kid.

I like knowing what people spend in NYC because the unfiltered elitism of NYC is comforting to me. Also, anyone homeschooling a kid in NYC is a maximizer, and really competitive. And they’re well-read enough to know that competitive parenting is not cool. I would probably respect that parent, and if they are spending roughly $10K per year then I like that as a benchmark.

If I’m paying $10K for my older son this year then that means I’m doing most of the physics and calculus teaching myself. Disaster. Every year I’m scrambling to figure out how to pay for all the stuff I want the kids to have.

Recognizing my financial strife — or at least my ability to rank high in google searches for financial strife — some enterprising company offered me an unsecured loan for my business. Do maximizers get unsecured loans? Do homeschooled children count as a small business?

I get around not having enough money by not spending evenly between my kids from year to year. It’s weird because schools spend the same amount on each kid. Or at least say they do. Maybe the real benchmark is that when you homeschool you can spend money on the kid who needs it most. Parents are allowed to trust themselves to know what feels right.