Tuesday, March 22, 2011

transitioning... counting the costs

...this is the fifth post in my blogging series on transitioning from home school to public school...

"I've looked at homeschooling curriculum.  It's SO expensive!!  I get tired of 
hearing moms say that homeschool is cheaper than public school.  
It's NOT!"

With a voice slightly raised and full of accusations, a mom once said those words to me.  She was a teacher at heart and took personal offense to anyone that chose to home school their children.  I had often heard such one sided arguments from her as she desperately tried to defend her personal stance on public school.

The really funny thing is that any education choice I can find is full of it's own expenses.  Some expenses are monetary... some are time oriented... some require much creativity.  It doesn't seem to matter if it is public school, private school, home school, un-school... they all have a cost. 

It's amazing to me how quickly Christian women (myself included) are quick to argue that our way is the ONLY way to... raise children... educate... change diapers... feed our babies... go through labor and delivery... etc. etc.  We give each other very little grace and instead try to tear one idea (or person) down to build ourselves up.  Are we really so insecure in our own decisions that we feel as if we must defend them to the world or to each other?

In the few months that my 14 year old son has been in public school, I have found that we are spending more money than we would if Eric were still home.  However, much of that is because I try to spend as little on curriculum as possible... often buying used books or borrowing from others.  There are valuable high end curriculums out there, I'm just not into purchasing them new, so I learned how to educate for less at home.  In our state, public school students have to "rent" their textbooks.  The rental for one semester of 8th grade was just under $200.00... plus fees for shop class, PE class, 8th grade field trip, track team, etc.  Monetarily it all adds up... 

What I didn't realize when we started this journey, though, was how much of my time would be free with Eric schooling away from home.  While I've paid more in monetarily, I've gained more time to do other things... personal Bible study, writing, working with the girls, time with other women and some quiet time.  The downside, though, is less time with Eric.

Transitioning from home school to public school forced me to count some costs that I had not previously considered... and in doing so... realized anew there is no perfect way to educate my children because they are sinners living in a fallen world with a sinful mom.  

...all I can do is count the costs of educational choices and follow His leading in our journey.


  1. ahhh yes, why do we think our way is the only way. . .yet we are always more than willing to embrace the uniqueness of our children. The same people who tend to be most opinionated would lose it if we tried to put their children in a box. Yet, that is what we tend to do to each other! Oh to be graceful!

  2. So true. Only you and God can know what is going to work for your child and your situation. I see a lot of the opinion slinging too. We are all just silly willies...
    Now, if I could just get hold of a few of those extra hours you have....

  3. It's funny how we do that with our "religion" also. Whether Jew, Baptist, Catholic, Mormon, etc. Aren't we all following the same God?

    What a beautiful post!


Thank you for your kind words!