When people talk about teaching their children from home in the absence of any definite or structured curriculum, it is perhaps natural to think that homeschooling is cheap. But this is far from the truth. Although homeschooling does not stick to any particular text, this is perhaps more of a bane than a boon, when it comes to finance.
When you need to make sure that your children receives
state-of-the-art education so that they can compete with regular
school goers, expenses will naturally mount. The actual cost of
educating a child at home is surprisingly high. Up-to-date
textbooks, course materials, a library, computing equipment,
lighting, specially designed furniture all cost money. In this
case, the cost may be slightly lesser when it comes to
homeschooling the second child. Add to this any additional tuition
cost for tutors who come to teach subjects that cannot be handled
by parents, like higher-level math or science. The total cost can
be a bit mind boggling.
If you take another important factor into consideration,
homeschooling costs may effective triple. The need for having one
of the parents tied to the house and fully dedicated to providing
education deprives the family of a second earning member. The
average homeschooling teacher is usually a lady with a college
degree. This means that she can easily bring home a pay of $35,000
or more. It is also interesting to note that most families that
have more than 2 children do not opt for homeschooling at all.
But, there are those who have been successful in carrying out
homeschooling at low rates. This is dependent on the size of the
family, the support group, the type of materials used and the
availability of the material. When successive children can reuse
the materials, cost goes down. Much of the course material can be
got from vendors of homeschooling materials. A membership in a
public library, theatre, concerts, ballets and other cultural
events also help in cutting costs. Sometimes, it is even possible
to barter expertise. For instance, the mother of an 8-year old
gives dancing classes, and her daughter receives drawing classes
for free. Support groups allow you to divide the cost of field
trips, science projects and fairs.
Whatever the cost, advocates of homeschooling say that the
benefits far outweigh these considerations. When you are able to
decide what knowledge your child receives and when he or she
should be taught and to what extent, it gives you a lot of freedom
and a lot of power. Both the children as well as the parents
benefit from this mutually enriching experience.