Monday, March 19, 2007

finances and homeschooling

Kiplinger Magazine recently published an article about the expense of homeschooling and gave some suggestions as to how parents can save money.
"Whatever the advantages of home-schooling, saving money isn't necessarily one of them. Add up what you spend on books, curricula, tutors, field trips -- not to mention the loss of a second income if one parent becomes the full-time teacher -- and the cost of home-schooling can easily rival paying private-school tuition."
Perhaps they didn't talk to enough parents or research private school tuition costs, but when I, in a weak moment looked up tuition in some local Catholic schools I was shocked. It would cost over $9000 to send my two oldest children to elementary school! Compare that to the $900 I spend on enrollment in an accredited program and another $400 in classes, lessons, and supplies. Of course I shouldn't count sports and music since they would be the same no matter where they attended school. As for lumping in the "cost" of a stay-at-home parent's lost salary-with three more chickadees under school age I would be home anyway, so why not teach the older ones too?
"Some decisions may be dictated by your state's requirements. In Virginia, for example, most home schoolers must get state approval of curricula for core subjects, such as math. Buying a program can run $200 per child per year. And signing up with a school district may mean you're subject to more oversight, in addition to the testing and annual reviews that some states require."
Virginia has complicated homeschool laws and it was erroneous of Kiplinger to state that most homeschoolers in VA have to get approval of some sort. The article also states 3 different costs for homeschool programs, seemingly to scare parents off, instead of stating a range, from free (using internet and library resources) to over $10,000 per child for private tutoring. Public school is not exactly free these days, with large sums of money required for supplies, fashionable clothes, and in some cases, fines for missing school for a vacation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your views regarding working with tutors for homeschooling. This is particularly relevant for parents who may not have the skills to teach children all the subjects they need to learn. There are several companies offering unlimited tutoring for under $100 per month and I was wondering if you have any experience with them. I’ve come across a number of online tutoring websites (e.g. tutor.com, homeworkhelp.com, tutoreasy.com, www.schooltrainer.com, etc.). Has anyone prepared a comparison of the various companies (pricing, quality, etc.)?