Sunday, July 4, 2010

Homeschooling: The Cost-Benefit Analysis

by Robyn Wildman

I'm just stepping back into the work force - full throttle. My children, whom I was home with from the birth of my second, have both stepped into public high school. My son went into grade 9 & his sister followed when she reached the "grade 9" age. - I'm sad, but also proud that they are able to make "life" decisions for themselves. I know them so well that I trust - and have seen it to be true - that they will proceed sensibly, but that's another topic.

I often think about what the "cost" of staying home with them was to our family. From a visual perspective you can see it: hand-me down clothes; old kitchen appliances & worn out furniture. But if you listen, you will hear the value gained: how easily my children speak to and enjoy the company of others (adults & children alike); you will hear the beautiful music they can play, because they had the time (nothing but time) to fool around with the instruments; to love the instrument & then want to learn it! And to find joy & challenge in making that instrument represent how they felt that day, and who they are - I don't believe that they'll ever lose that. And if you look at our faces (not our clothes or furniture) you will see self-confidence, happiness and LOVE.

"Over qualification" usually means you don't get paid what you're worth - what you've been told you're educated to earn. What I recognise now, about giving up my income & homeschooling my children, is that I was paid extremely well (& I was worth every penny of it!) for being home with and so involved in my children's lives. Is there anything more valuable to you than your children?

Would you give up the new car; big house; expensive vacations & shoe shopping, if it was a choice between that & your child?

...... you bet! In a nano second! Most of us did! I have been paid in love and joy for starters, but the benefits package included (for me) friendships; education; self awareness & a whole bunch more written in the fine print!

Many times I've sat in my old, cold, 70's house, thinking about how to pay the repair bill on my old, stinky car but I knew (I've had to look deep into my heart sometime - past the envy I have for others' possessions) that I have earned so much more in the years I spent with my children, than anyone I know who chose work over homeschooling.

Blunt? Maybe?! But when you're worth as much as I am (wealth brings power & I am truly rich!) you can say anything.

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First posted on the VicHomeLearn Discussion List, 2010. Reprinted by kind permission.