Have you ever wondered what the extra costs of education are?
My son started grade one in 2015 and the journey I had travelled to that point, was actually the inspiration for starting my blog. I didn’t want other parents to struggle with the parenting realities that caught me off guard.
During the process of shortlisting schools, my biggest concern was the fees, as was the values and culture of each school. I was a single mom at the time and needed to be extra sure I would be able to afford his education. When it came to considering the fees, I purely looked at the annual fees as well as aftercare costs – but so many extra costs came flying in my direction!!!
Liberty is all about empowering parents, so I was pleased when they challenged me to share my experience with the extra costs of education, with parents who are currently or yet to walk this journey.
School Application and enrollment fees:
The concept of putting your child on a waiting list at the so-called “best schools” while you are pregnant or just after they are born, was one which I was not aware of nor prepared for! Not only that, but the reality that I could not afford the hefty application fees that most schools expected to accompany each application, was a humbling one to say the least. I came across many schools that needed large deposits before I could even submit an application for my son and in many cases, his placement was not guaranteed. I was shocked and devastated. The average application/enrollment fee was R5000-R10,000.
In his very first term and year of primary school, I had a meeting with his teacher, who recommended that I get him assessed for speech therapy. Having spoken isiZulu exclusively for almost 4 years, his pronunciation of some of his English words needed improvement. Of course the assessments came back with a strong recommendation for speech therapy. At the time, it cost about R800 per month and he needed it for almost 2 years. I definitely saw the benefits thereof.
In addition to this, in that grade one year, I was told he needed occupational therapy, which I didn’t proceed with, due to affordability and my medical aid not covering it. I still wonder what he could have benefited from it.
I’m grateful that my sons school offers a diverse range for free extra murals, such as cricket, soccer, chess and coding which he participates in. However, his talent and passion for soccer, meant that he needed additional professional classes to build and nurture the skill.
Both of my children have swimming as an extra mural – the oldest for fitness and skill and the youngest for safety. Drownings are the leading cause of death or injury in children under the age of five, so I see this as a non-negotiable.
Lastly, where extra murals are concerned, my son attends reading therapy once a week. Initially, it was an activity to supplement the speech therapy; however the level of confidence it gave him and the direct correlation we saw in this academic results, led to us deciding that it would be worthwhile for him to carry on, despite the speech therapy coming to an end. Reading is an important skill that is needed for every single subject at school.
Combined, our costs come to about R2250 per month.
Tutors and extra support:
As a working mom, juggling the corporate life and parenting doesn’t come easy for me. When it comes to homework, my son is quite disciplined (we’ve come a long way). He gets home from school and does as much as he can, then leaves out the sections where he needs my guidance. My work schedule for each day looks very different and I’m not always able to be home before 6pm to support him with the extra projects, cycle tests and exams that are continuously on the go.
Accepting that I needed help, in the form of a tutor, was a big step for me. However, sitting up with him til late at night to finish school stuff was making both of us very miserable. With limited resources to help with school work, with my husband working in a different province, I really didn’t have much of a choice here. The peace of mind of having a tutor has been great, but it comes at a cost that I’ve had to budget carefully for. Depending on his academic calendar for each month, the cost ranges from R300-R800 per month.
So how do we prepare for the extra costs of education?
- Prior to enrolling your child at a school, attend the schools open day and ask as many questions as you can, such as the cost of extra murals and educational support like extra lessons.
- As soon as you are able to, get yourself a financial adviser, who will guide you on various savings and investment options for your child’s education. You can read about my experience with a financial adviser here.
- Limit your child to a few extra murals to avoid cost build-up.
Giveaway – WIN with Liberty:
The extra costs of education may throw you off completely, as it did me, however I hope this post prepares and gives you an idea of some of the extra costs of education.
Together with Liberty, I am giving away an amazing hamper which includes:
- a children’s lunch recipe book
- a really lunch box and a
- Liberty sports bag
To enter, leave me a comment, telling me what your extra costs of education are. Would love to hear from you!
Full T’s and C’s are available on this website and will apply. Giveaway will close on 22 February 2019.
Modern Zulu Mom