The Cost of




by Donna Heck



For those who have not had the pleasure

of meeting or dealing with her, Donna is my "Right Hand (wo)Man"

not only on the Sr. High Form+U+la List, but she also helps

me handle many of the emails I receive.  Here's what you might

receive from her if I need to forward an email to her:


My name's Donna Heck and I'm Barb Shelton's online secretary, list shepherdess, student, and best of all, friend. In the past Barb was able to personally respond to everyone who contacted her, but the number of homeschoolers wanting her personal attention has become so large that she has found there is not enough time in the day for her to keep up with the requests for her time and attend to her family's needs which includes continuing to homeschool her youngest daughter.  She regrets that she is no longer able to be as available as she was.  This situation finally led her to create her wonderful web site, "The Homeschool Oasis." Nearly every question you have will probably be answered there so I suggest that you spend a lot of time at the site reading!   :-)



And now to begin this article,

here is one such email that I forwarded on to Donna...


Dear Barb,
I loved your web site!  I would love to homeschool my children. But I  feel like it would cost too much. My husband makes an average of only $32,000 a year. How costly is it? 



And here is Donna's response...



You asked about the cost of homeschooling. Wow! That is a loaded question! Ask ten people and you'll get ten different answers!  I feel a better question is "what will it cost my family if we DON'T homeschool"?  


But to begin with the financial aspect...  If you feel that the Lord is leading you to homeschool, shouldn't you also believe that he will provide the means to do it?  I believe this firmly!  It has been proven over and over through the homeschooling families I talk with daily.
My married daughter is homeschooling her daughter. Her husband makes less than $25,000 a year.  I know of single moms who work for low wages and still homeschool.  There are now sooooo many resources available for free or very low cost that money should not be a deciding factor, in my opinion. The internet is a wonderful resource if you know how to use and control it.
Homeschooling by incorporating a lifestyle of learning like Barb Shelton and Marilyn Howshall (and others) live is so totally different from what you are probably used to that it may take a while to fully grasp the concept. Once you do, you'll say "this is so easy, so natural, why did I ever think public school was an option!?"  (For a good intro to Lifestyle of Learning, click here.)
All that said, let me back up and talk a minute (or more   )  about traditional school methods ~ and what they will cost you...  When you think of school you most likely think:  teachers, classrooms, textbooks, over-crowding.  Right?  There are homeschoolers who choose to "do school at home" but that's not what a lifestyle of learning is all about. If you choose to homeschool that way ~ merely doing "school at home" ~ then, yes, money is definitely going to be a big factor. Especially as you get into the high school years and need more and more equipment to meet the "requirements" as set by each state. Textbooks are very expensive. However, there IS a less expensive way!
Barb suggests a season of re-education for you before you begin homeschooling so that you can come to understand these things.  You need the time to learn that the education system in America is NOT the final word on education.  Nor is it always (or usually, in my humble opinion) the BEST answer!  Click here to start reading about it.  (Item number 15 on this page deals with finances.)  Barb's course will lead you to books that will reveal a whole new and different way of thinking! 
She has also written a Jumpstart Navigator for you use to get your children going in studies while you are re-educating yourself if you want to go that route. Resources can be borrowed from your library or church. Barb sells many through her catalog, and you can find used items in the many swaps available now on the internet. 
I hope you will spend some more time at Barb's web site and learn more about the Lifestyle of Learning method before you jump into an expensive form of  homeschooling, or decide against homeschooling at all because you think  it will be too expensive. I don't think there are many things I've done in my life that have been more rewarding to me personally or to my family than choosing to homeschool! 
May you hear and follow God's leading in whatever you choose to do.



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