A friend of mine and I were having coffee the other day (really strong coffee in the middle of the day, no less!), just chatting about our kids and homeschooling and all of that. A lady at the table beside us was obviously eavesdropping, and after she paid her bill, she came back to our table.
“I couldn’t help overhearing you talking about homeschooling. I have felt the pull to home-school my children for 3 years, they are now 9 and 8, but everyone I talk to tells me how expensive it is and how hard it is.”
“Oh, girl,” says I, “you need to talk to some real-life homeschooling moms! It is neither expensive nor difficult. I mean, some days are challenging, but so are days when you are working a job or running a business.”
“I have been talking to other homeschooling moms,” She said. “They’ve told me that they spend $500 – $1000 a year. And there are weeks that they are just in tears trying to keep their kids on track and their houses are a wreck and their husbands aren’t happy…”
Wow! I stood up and hugged her (to keep from crying or laughing out-loud). “We are starting our 9th year of teaching our kids at home, and if you combined all the books and supplies I have bought for school over those 9 years, it wouldn’t equal $500. Yeah, sometimes my house is a wreck. Sometimes I want to flush my kids’ heads in the toilet. Sometimes I wrack my brain trying to remember how to divide fractions. But, dang! It is so worth it.”
We don’t offer our kids a cut rate education. They are getting the best, because they are getting me. HA! Not that my brain is the best, but my love for them is the best. No one else in the world cares as much about my kids learning as I do. We can explore and search and learn all they are interested in. We can surge ahead or slow down as needed. We can field trip to our hearts’ content. And WE DON’T NEED A JACKED UP CURRICULUM TO DO IT! HA!
Some ways to save:
There are folks that spend big bucks on curriculum, books and supplies. But they don’t HAVE to do it. They CHOOSE to do it. Their kids aren’t smarter/faster/cuter/less smelly… they just use a different means of educating their kids. If you are currently home-schooling, I encourage you to not put a burden on those considering doing the same. One does not need to spend big bucks to teach their kids at home. You may choose to do that, but don’t pass that yoke on to another.
We use a Classical Approach to education. Lots and lots of good, classic books. We teach the kids to think and find information. We teach them to reason and apply scripture. We memorize a whole lot. But more, so much more, we love. We love being together; we love learning together; we love traveling together; we love discovering together. We love.
If you are feeling the pull to home-school, but are afraid of the costs. Don’t be. You don’t have to spend a dime more than you would buying supplies to send your kids to school. You may have a messy house from time to time, but who doesn’t? You may have days (or weeks) when you feel like nothing is getting through (like algebra!). But I experienced that a million times more in my career life than I do in my home-school life.
Be encouraged. You don’t have to be brilliant, rich or Super-Mom to teach your children at home. Just look at me! HA!