Yes, we have thought about college but first we have to get through primary school. DS1 and DS2 go to public school as they live with Baby Mama during the school year. She does send them to one of the best public schools in our area. DS3, DS4, and DS5 are home school. There are costs to both public and home school. But I am only going to touch on the home school part because that is what I am most knowledgeable about.
We do have cost for school supplies, umbrella school, co-op and curriculum. We try to make it as cost efficient as possible for us. We don't have the Internet, but my parents do. They let me use their Internet, printer and computer to print school work as needed. The boys use Easy Peasy All-In-One curriculum and we love it! It is free and very interesting to the kids. Pretty excited because their science and history is going to line up with co-op this year. We buy our supplies when everything is tax free. Yes, I am a hoarder when it comes to TP rolls and scratch paper. Why throw stuff away when you can reuse it.
But in addition to reading and math, I enjoy teaching the kids life skills. We learn how to budget and coupon and how to use these skills how to help others. We are currently couponing for Operation Christmas Child. Learning these skills don't cost a thing. But it instills values we want them to have. We also let them do community activities. As they get older, they will build a community service portfolio for colleges.
We utilize the library. Most library have a large movie, cd and audiobook selection. So we can find lots of cool things here and the boys think it is a field trip so win-win.
Craiglist often you can find craft things like paper rolls and pipe cleaners. That is great! I also contact our local paper and get newspaper roll ends for free. It's great to draw on and to trace their bodies to make a skeleton.
We also can find supplement curriculum at yard sales, used book stores and the local private school hosts a yard sale and they are a dual school (both private and home school) and we find amazing things there!
As for college, our state offers free tuition for the first two years at a community college. There are also grants for home schooled kids. DS3,4&5 will have their dad's GI Bill as well. They can do work study programs while in college. They all have savings account, which don't have a lot of money, but we ask for CDs for them instead of gifts (or experiences if people insist on getting them gifts). They will have jobs as soon as they are able to work. We want them to have a work ethic and we will be teaching them how to save their money instead of just blowing it. We also hope for scholarships. There is always the FAFSA as they will probably qualify for the Pell Grant. There is always job corp too. Which we encourage all of the kids to go to.