Is Homeschooling Right for Your Family?

by TTMK on August 8, 2013 · 5 comments

The following post is by staff writer Melissa Batai

When I was young, there was a family a few houses down from my friend who homeschooled.  I thought, “Well, that’s weird.”  I’m sad to say, even a year ago when I heard that one of my son’s classmates was going to get homeschooled, I thought, “Well, that’s different.”

Different, and definitely not something I wanted to do.

But, sometimes Life has different plans.  This fall, I’ll start homeschooling my kids for the first time.  Why?  Well, simply put, my child had some bullying issues at school, and the administration did not address it the way I would have liked.  My husband and I decided, at least for the time being, that it’s best to homeschool our children.

Will Homeschooling Save You Money?

If your child is attending private schools now, yes, homeschooling will likely save you money strictly in the cost of educating your child.  If your child is now in public schools, homeschooling will likely cost you much more.

Financial Implications of Homeschooling

If both parents work outside the home, making the decision to homeschool will likely mean sacrificing one income.  I’ve heard of couples who both continue to work outside the home by splitting shifts.  One spouse works during the night, for instance, and the other spouse works during the day.  Then there is always someone home with the kids.  This likely wouldn’t be easy to do, but it is possible.

If one parent is already home with the children, the financial implications are likely less serious.  I’m a freelance writer who already cares for our two younger children at home.  Deciding to homeschool just meant that I would have a little more on my plate every day.  Our income will remain the same.

Keep in mind, public school is much cheaper than homeschooling.  However, for some (like us) public school wasn’t even an option because the schools in the area are so inadequate.  Our only option was private school; homeschooling will be much cheaper than that.

Like Everything Else, You Get What You Pay For

If you’re considering homeschooling, let me tell you, there is so much available!  You can find everything from free materials on the web to $1,000 curriculums.

There are sites entirely devoted to finding and using free homeschool materials.  Personally, I think patchworking together lessons from free materials would be difficult, but there are definitely people who do this.

Instead, I decided to go with a moderately priced curriculum.  I got all the lesson plans and materials shipped to my house.  This ensures that my child will get a well rounded education and that I won’t have to devote all my time to chasing down freebies and creating lesson plans.  I can continue to use my “free” time on the weekends and evenings to do my freelance writing work.

Our homeschool year starts in just a few weeks, and I’m both nervous  and excited, as is my child.  While we are saving money compared to paying for a private education, our main focus now is quality of education and making sure our child maintains and grows his abilities.

My Questions for You

Are you like me?  Did you initially think homeschooling is “different”?  Would you consider homeschooling your children?  What would the financial implications be for your family?

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Edward Antrobus August 8, 2013 at 7:13 am

There are now online public schools as well. From the commericals I’ve seen, it seems to be free, at least in Colorado. Growing up, I used to think of homeschooled kids as weird. It wasn’t their fault, most of the homeschooled kids I’ve met were done so because their parents wanted to give them not so much of an education as an indoctrination into their rather non-mainstream views. It’s kind ofd funny (in a sad way) because I think the parents even realized they were limiting their children, because the first-born son would always go to school so they could be successful while the younger ones would have to make due.

Aside from that whole hornest’s nest of an issue, however, I’m generally leery of homeschooling and online elementary or high school programs because of socialization issues.

As far as bullying goes, I dealt with it by working my way onto the good side of one of the bullies. From then on, I was under his protection and I never had to worry about other bullies again.

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AverageJoe August 8, 2013 at 7:40 am

Interesting. My comment was similar to Edwards (how the hell did that happen? :-)). The financial costs don’t bother me so much as making sure my kid is able to be socially engaged by other kids. If I were to home school, I’d want to make sure he/she were in plenty of activities with others of the same age. It sounds like an adventure! Good luck in the new school year!

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Edward Antrobus August 9, 2013 at 8:09 pm

Well, you had to be right eventually! 😀

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Matt Becker August 8, 2013 at 8:19 am

For me, homeschooling is definitely still in the “weird” category. Not because I don’t agree with it, just because it’s so uncommon. But I’ve read a little bit about “unschooling”, which to me is pretty interesting. To be honest, my guess is we’ll go the standard public school route, but I’m certainly not opposed to the idea of doing some kind of homeschooling down the line. Like Joe said though, I’d want to make sure there was plenty of social interaction involved as well.

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Melissa August 17, 2013 at 1:18 pm

Funny, but I always thought homeschoolers were a bit weird, too. 🙂 Now that we’re homeschooling, well, it’s a paradigm shift.

We have our kids in a variety of different groups including soccer and choir, so I’m not too worried about the socialization.

Actually, the question of socialization kind of makes me laugh. I went to public and private school all my life, and I’m still a bit socially awkward and feel shy around people I don’t know. My daughter has never been to school, and she’ll go to a playground and within 5 minutes find another little girl to play with the rest of the time we are there. I think you are how you are socially no matter the schooling method.

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