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Costs and Benefits of Home Schooling

Apr 2, 2008
Education plays an important role in your child's life. It will determine how prepared they are for the future and influence the kind of opportunities that they are given. Three different ways to educate your child include public, private and home schooling. This article is designed to give parents an idea of the costs and benefits associated with the home schooling option.

Costs

The costs of home schooling can be broken up into two main categories: time and money.

Time -- For most mothers with school-age children, public or private school provides a precious window of time in which they can focus on a career, personal interests, errands or simply relaxing. When parents choose to home school, that large block of time becomes allocated to the task of teaching and supervising. This means, for one parent, that there is less personal time in every day and there is little or no opportunity to hold a full-time job.

Money -- Consequently, home schooling may equate to a smaller family income. The cost of one parent staying home to teach and supervise is much higher than any of the materials you will need. Still, a budget should also be made for supplies like pencils, paper, a curriculum and books.

Ways to Defer the Costs

Buying a pre-made curriculum package will save you both time and money just because you won't have to prepare and gather all the materials yourself. Without a pre-made curriculum, you might spend countless hours just brainstorming all the topics you want to cover, creating lesson plans and looking for the right resources. And, if you do want to add supplementary material, it will be much easier if you have a basic skeleton of subjects to guide you.

The library is another resource that can help you home school economically. As long as you get your books back in time, you will have a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips that is absolutely free and just making the trip is a great way to get out of the house.

Another way to cut the cost of home schooling is to use some common sense. When you do buy materials, make sure that they are needed. Don't go overboard or try to recreate the wheel. After all, you don't need to purchase the same kind of resources available at a private or public school to foster a good learning environment in your home. Work with your children at the kitchen counter or the dinner table rather than buying a "home school desk," use a small dry erase note board rather than buying a huge chalk board and take good care of your resources so that other children can use them as their education moves forward.

Benefits

There are clearly some costs associated with home schooling, but it is important to remember the benefits too. Because of the one-on-one attention that children receive through home schooling, it is a very effective tool for teaching. Parents often find that their children understand subjects better and faster so they can cover more ground than public or private schools.

Home is also a safe environment for learning. Children feel comfortable there and you can be sure that there are no bullies, drugs or alcohol causing damage.

As the teacher, principle, secretary and nurse of your own little home school, you get to decide your child's schedule too. This means that family events like reunions, vacations, pictures and holidays are much easier to plan because you are very flexible.

And best of all, parents who home school regularly find that they develop strong relationships with their children as they sacrifice their own time to teach them and play with them.

Home schooling does require time, money and sacrifice, but it yields better educations, safer learning environments, stronger relationships and a lot of flexibility. So the next time you ask yourself if you can afford to home school your children, you might want to ask if you can afford not to.
About the Author
Heritage Home School (http://www.heritagehomeschool.com) can get you started on the home schooling track with a comprehensive and easy to follow curriculum. The author, Art Gib, is a freelance writer.
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