The Cost of Homeschooling vs. the Cost of Public Schools

I wonder if the average citizen really understands just how cost-efficient homeschooling is?

Back when I was homeschooling all four of my kids, the most I ever spent in a year for “school” was probably $1500, and that was when my two older kids took high school by correspondence.

That was a while back, but I have a hard time imagining someone today even spending $1000 per child to homeschool them. The thing is, educating a child costs far more in time than in resources, and we moms don’t invoice for that time.

As for resources, a Bible, a public library and some good museums are really all you need. The rest is gravy.

And there’s plenty of gravy in the public schools. Get a load of this, from today’s Wall Street Journal:

The state now spends roughly $13,000 per public-school student in Chicago, but the money has done little to reverse a dismal high school graduation rate of 51%.

Holy cow! For $13K annually per child, most homeschool parents could homeschool their children through graduation, and pay off the mortgage early with the money left over.

A Simple Solution? Not Exactly

Most of the time, the concepts of simple living and frugal living are complementary. Simple living usually involves downsizing, decluttering, even working less and living on less money. All of that fits in with a frugal lifestyle.

But some people are a little confused on the concept. Take the editor of the “HomeStyle” section of a local newspaper. She recently wrote a column about simple solutions that save time. One of her solutions:

Pre-sort laundry: Well, I finally did it—I purchased a plethora of laundry hampers that say “lights” and “darks” so everyone in the family can help sort the laundry as we go. So far, it’s the best $80 I’ve spent in a long time.

Whoa, $80? If she had to spend money, couldn’t she just have bought white, beige and black laundry baskets and told everyone to put their whites in the white one, their darks in the black one and their light colors in the beige one?

Better yet, why spend money at all? Can’t you just put signs on the hampers you already have? Write the word on a piece of duct tape if you have to.

I can think of all sorts of uses for $80, and none of them involve labeled laundry hampers. That kind of waste has nothing to do with simple or frugal living.

Do You Fear the Future?

Every time I click on Drudge these days I see all sorts of headlines about the scary stuff going on in our economy. People are losing their retirement accounts and investments. Other countries are having money issues, too. It’s easy to become frightened.

But blog reader Jan A. emailed me something that is the perfect antidote for those headlines. Thanks, Jan!


God’s Bank Ain’t Busted Yet
By Alice P. Moss

The bank had closed; my earthly store
had vanished from my hand;
I felt that there was no sadder one
than I in all the land.
But my washerwoman, too,
had lost her little mite with mine,
And she was singing as she hung
the clothes upon the line.

“How can you be so gay?” I asked;
“Your loss don’t you regret?”
“Yes, ma’am, but what’s the use to fret?
God’s bank ain’t busted yet!”
I felt my burden lighter grow;
her faith I seemed to share;
In prayer I went to God’s great throne
and laid my troubles there.

The sun burst from behind the clouds,
in golden splendor set;
I thanked God for her simple words:
“God’s bank ain’t busted yet!”
And now I draw rich dividends,
more than my hands can hold
Of faith and love and hope and trust
and peace of mind untold.

I thank the Giver of it all,
but still I can’t forget
My washerwoman’s simple words:
“God’s bank ain’t busted yet!”

Oh, weary ones upon life’s road,
when everything seems drear,
And losses loom on every hand
and skies seem not to clear;
Throw back your shoulders, lift your head,
and cease to chafe and fret.
Your dividends will be declared:
“God’s bank ain’t busted yet!”