I've been asked by Leadership Ashland to be on a panel to discuss home education. The following is one of the items that will be on the table: Please share costs associated with home education. This is my tentative response:
If you would, please allow me to indulge in a moment of home school humor: The cost of home education is slightly less than a 25 million dollar middle school.
All kidding aside, the great thing about home education is that it can be as inexpensive as a library card. You can walk downtown and check out as many books as you would like. You can still get a bona fide education this way, perhaps one that is much better than you would get at a high end academic institution. Alternatively, you can spend a couple thousand dollars if you want to go all out and invest in a lot of curriculum, high end field trips, technology, and a ton of materials. Most likely though, even if you go high end, it is still going to be less than a what you would pay at a public or private school per child.
I would like to add two things though. If you want to talk expenses, you need to talk more about what it will cost your life, rather than your checkbook. We will be upfront with you and say that home education can be taxing, especially for the mothers who do the lion's share of the work. Home education is a labor of love, and there can be days where it can drain you emotionally, physically, and spiritually. As a matter of fact, I know many parents who send their kids off to schools because they simply don't want to deal with their kids from day to day.
Now, having said that, let me also say this: It's not so much the cost of home education that is really the main question. The real focus should be its value. The value is exponential when you consider it. For one, there is the opportunity to ensure that your children are being properly educated. At my house, we don't have to worry about what my kids are learning. Whereas, at the public school they can be taught values and principles that are far out of accord with what we believe.
But even more than that, through home education you have the opportunity to develop a depth of relationship with your child that you couldn't otherwise form. We are with them for the majority of the day and therefore have a bond with them that most parents cannot attain.
We are living in a day where the generation gap is widening. Most kids barely know their parents (and vice versa), even though they sleep in the same house. Usually, the strongest bond a kid has is with his friends, who are typically simpletons who will not give them wise counsel.
As home educators, we are ensuring that this doesn't happen to our families. We choose to teach our kids at home because we want to be as tightly knit together as we can be. We want to develop and maintain the kind of bond that families are supposed to have.
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