How Much Is Homeschooling Worth?
Homeschooling is not easy sometimes, but how much is it worth? One Mom said recently to the approval of many other homeschool Moms standing around, "It would be easier for me to put my child in public school and get a job!" Yet parents persevere in homeschooling for many reasons, not the least of which is how incredibly bonding and rewarding it can be. Unfortunately it seems that many homeschool parents have such a predetermined view of what their homeschool will be like they don't consider the alternatives, even when their own homeschool is not working out.
I often ask parents who are struggling with homeschooling, "If you quit homeschooling, then what will you do for your child's education?" Rarely would a homeschool parent consider public schools. They will often name a local, private, Christian school as their alternative, even if they are not a faith-based family, because these parents want a quality education in a safe environment. I usually point out that this would cost the family $600-$800/month and that the child would be gone 5 days a week until mid-afternoon. They will then lament that this is NOT what they want to do but they feel that have so other choice. I also point out that the parent will have to spend 1-3 hours a night in helping their child with homework at night.
My point is that if your alternative to homeschooling is a ~$700/month, 5 day a week option, then you could try putting some of that money and time into homeschooling success. Private tutors are expensive, but often worth the money in their insights and ability to help a child. Using just half of that money, $350/month, toward your child's education would go a long way. Homeschooling classes might be far away but the drive time is much less than your child being gone to school all day. And if a parent will spending 1-3 hours a night helping with homework, make that time in your home now for your child. Unfortunately, the inflexibility of homeschooling parents can be their downfall.
In addition these same parents will spend hundreds of dollars a semester in art, music, horseback riding lessons and other extra activities. I recently saw that horseback riding lessons were $25 for 1.5 hours and that seems reasonable. But most people think that is expensive for a math or language arts class. Yet which one is more important?
In conclusion I say to parents- please consider what kind of time, money, etc. your family would give if you were not homeschooling your child and try to meet that obligation in the middle, at least, if you are not successful in your current homeschool. Be honest what you would do and what you can give in your child's education now. Be flexible about what your homeschooling has to look like. Managing your homeschool well is more important than teaching every single subject to your child. So what is homeschooling worth to you?