Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What does it cost to educate a child?

I was just reading over at Alan Caruba's blog about the high cost of public education and how poorly we as a nation have been served by the Department of Education.  Evidently the NEA think the best way to solve the "educational crisis," as ever, is to throw more money at it. 

Where is all the money going?  Buildings, grounds, utilities, and teachers' salaries are really not that much.  For what we pay for "free" public education, we ought not to have to pay for a sheet of paper.  In fact, when I was in grade school in the 70s, I remember that the schools provided paper!

What fascinates me is that, as a homeschooling mother, I could take my kids to Greece, Rome, Washington DC, London, and Paris to see for themselves where history was made for what it seems to cost to educate a single child in the public education system.  And I don't have to undo the brainwashing afterward, either. 

In a couple of hours a day (since I don't have to bother with the administrative busywork that public school students and teachers often have to deal with), I can teach my kids history, read to them, get their phonics handled, study math, and give them the afternoon to explore on their own.  I can provide them with prisms, magnets, magnifying glasses, Legos, and let them explore physics.  We grew a garden this year, and my 7 year old Jared has discovered an interest in botany. 

Mercedes is getting old enough that yes, she needs a little more direction in her work.  But not a lot.  Often what is needed (especially at this age) is to pique their interest and let them explore from there. 

We do phonics, reading, writing and math daily.  We do history on Tuesdays and Thursdays, science on Wednesdays and Fridays, read-aloud every evening at bedtime (right now we're reading Winnie the Pooh), and we go hiking (as long as we are able to) on the Saturdays they are with me, which covers geology.  Phys ed is walking or running ever day, plus shooing the kids outside to play. 

Total cost?  About $500 a year.  All together.  Including a bunch of field trips and gas.  If I go overboard on spending, that is. 

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