I was thinking this morning of the cost of homeschooling. I’m not talking about the curriculum costs. I’m talking of the invisible costs that one rarely thinks about.
Time-From the time a parent begins homeschooling until the last child graduates, time is at a premium and not your own. Everything is considered through the lens of how it will affect the school day.
Housework-having 1+ kids home all day makes havoc in the home, no matter how hard a parent tries to keep school in one room. You end up on the couch, the kitchen table, the back yard, the front yard, and just maybe, the desk. You end up with projects everywhere. They tend to multiple and take over living space. Kids are kids and they make messes. Learning IS messy.
Freedom-It is much easier shipping them off for 7+ hours a day so you can either work an outside job or do the ‘domestic engineering’ job and whatever service work you may choose; or just taking time to meet a friend for tea somewhere for some girl time.
Privacy-When you homeschool, suddenly everyone thinks they have the right and responsibility to speak their truth into your lives about what levels of knowledge your child may be at. They have an opinion and they think it is their right to tell it to you.
Responsibility-When you take on the job of a homeschooler, you take on a huge responsibility, especially if you have a child with challenges. You are making a statement that you feel God led you to educate your child apart from the government schools. This responsibility will cause you much stress at times and maybe even some tears.
Life-long learner-When you become a homeschooler, you become someone who has to continually learn to keep ahead of where your child is. They may have some unusual interests and abilities that you know God would want them to develop. So the parent becomes the learner so s/he also be the teacher. There are so many things I can remember having to study to teach my kids that I never learned in school. Despite being a straight A student and graduating with honors, I had no practical application for most of the stuff I learned in school so I promptly forgot it. I had to continually study and learn so I could pass this on to my children.
These are just a few of the invisible costs of homeschooling. Is it worth it?
When you catch the glimpse of a child’s face when they ‘get’ it. When you see the excitement and happiness of a child when a project they have been working on come to fruition. When you see this special child grow into the young man/woman that God created him/her to be…..you will see that the cost was so small overall. Yes, it was well worth the cost.
One thought that kept coming to my mind was the currency of homeschooling is love.