Making the decision to homeschool is usually a very personal and a hard decision to make. Esther and i are not parents yet and although it’s our desire to become parents at some point, i cannot talk on this subject as a parent, but i have varying opinions on this issue. Hence, i will come back to cross check these opinions when i get kids of my own. (CAUTION! The word KIDS is heavily used in this post to reference children). I also have close friends who took this path and actually withdrew their kids from public school to homeschool.
With this in mind, I asked my wife last night – when we get kids can we consider the possibility of homeschooling? The answer was a resounding NO! The NO answer may have changed my thought process, but for today i will discuss the financial implications of the decision to homeschool.
I also invite parents out there who have walked this path with their children to tell us why they chose that route and how this decision has affected them financially.
To be able to take on homeschooling, it usually requires that the teaching parent quit his or her regular job unless they are able to work from home. And even when they can work from home, the amount of work that can be accomplished while providing educational instructions is very minimal.
This means that the family might have to learn to live on one income, and part of making this decision will require parents to sit down and do a their personal financial analysis.
From a non parent view – If you are in huge debt this decision can be daunting because you not only want your kids to have good education but also a decent lifestyle.
If you quit your job to homeschool
- You will no longer have 401k benefits from your employer- but you can open a Roth IRA account for your retirement savings.
- You lose insurance benefits from your employer – hopefully your spouse’s employer offers the same insurance benefits. You can also subscribe to an individual family plan (it is expensive but you get a tax break).
- In case your spouse is unable to continue working or supporting you due to disability, injury, lay-off or such life altering circumstances, you may have to go back to work. One way to atleast shield yourself – is getting a life insurance and a supplemental disability insurance.
It is very hard to quantify the time parents spend with their children in terms of money. I am of the opinion that the day we invent that system, we will start trading kids for money. That being said, to effectively homeschool your kids, you have to devote your time to it. You will have to personally instruct, grade, do lesson plans, and may have to learn in order to teach. All this will take a good chunk of your time in a day (if not all day). But you have to answer the question – Is it a worthy trade-off?
As noted above, to sustain a homeschool program you’ve got to have the dedication and drive to do this every day. Obviously as a parent-teacher you get (am assuming) a lot of time to play with your kids (during their breaks), but that in itself cannot be sufficient reason to sustain a homeschool program. Both parents need an internal drive to do this every day, be supportive of each other and appreciative of the time that the teaching spouse spend teaching the kids.
What are your home school experiences?