Fork over your money!

Fork over your money!

School’s back in session…

Many homeschooling parents go back and forth between public and private education, trying out every option until they find the best possible education for their children. I know homeschoolers that go to school part-time for certain subjects; I even know some who send some kids to school while others remain at home. Every child is different, so it makes sense that every child should have his or her individual learning path.

The families who have gone to public school this fall are reporting some really disturbing stories about how much school costs. Although I remember the majority of last year’s property taxes going to our public school—which we don’t use—families are still being asked to send in money for things every single week! Where is that tax money going to?

I’m not protesting paying teachers, but I sure would like to know why our public  school friends have to send in $6 for a class t-shirt, $10 for supplies, and fifty cents every few days for popcorn, popsicles, and other treats. It’s only been in session for two weeks and one family has already spent $50! Many of these families are on limited incomes and cannot afford this constant call for spending—and now they’re being given fundraising programs to hand out and raise money for the school, the first of many for the year. None of these things have to do with learning.One family didn’t have change for “Popcorn Day,” apparently a product of the PTA, and the child was very upset. The teacher wrote home a note chastising the mother, even though the activity was supposedly “optional.” Why can’t the PTA fundraise if they want money and not let the kids suffer for it? Fifty cents may not be a lot to one family, but to another, it may be the last scrounged up change for a gallon of milk or a loaf of bread.

We homeschool for pretty much free. We only spend money on things that we need for living—food, regular activities, bills, and such—and once in a while we splurge on a class. My daughter has some classes, but they are all free through our co-op. I don’t understand where all these costs are coming from. Professional school photos? Take them yourself! We have homeschool moms who take them for half the price as well. Class t-shirts? Are those really necessary? And why have these class snacks and projects if they are so expensive—why not just let them go play in the dirt and use sticks, rocks, and leaves, which is not only more natural, but free? (These are primary and elementary grades, mind you.)

Perhaps teachers should be getting more discretionary funds for their classrooms and costs could be cut elsewhere—such as administrative costs…