As education scores have gone down in this country you hear more and more people decrying the need to spend more on school to help our youngsters. The problem isn’t a money problem though. Anyone who home schools and has heard the per pupil expenditures of a typical school district knows this to be the case. While I am sure there are gaps in this study (I don’t know that they factored in the cost of feeding your students at home everyday for instance), I still am willing to be that the numbers show the truth about spending and education performance.
Our greatest expenditure in home schooling is usually the curriculum. We use computer based software for our kids from grade 3 and beyond and other materials for the younger student. It isn’t cheap at roughly $350 per student per year, but we can also reuse it as the next student comes to that grade if we wish which cuts down the cost over time. Compare that to a per pupil spending that can be as high as $23,000 or so in a public school.
To put public school spending in perspective, we compare it to estimated total expenditures in local private schools. We find that, in the areas studied, public schools are spending 93 percent more than the estimated median private school.
And if you want to whine about underpaid school teachers go right ahead, but no one pays us to teach our kids. No one cares as much about teaching them as we do either, so I know we wouldn’t find another teacher wiling to put in the kind of hours we do for the kind of pay we receive. Our pay is seeing our kids learn and grow and “get it” as they study and learn, and that is enough for us. You aren’t going to see us walking out of the house on strike or any of that either. For us it really is all about the kids and their education. That isn’t just some platitude or empty sentiment.
Education isn’t about the money you spend. You can keep throwing money at the public schools until we are bankrupt, and it looks some days like we just might do it. The truth is that more money will never overcome the one thing that a home school has that a public school can never replicate. The caring, tenacious work of a parent teaching their own child.