Tuesday, January 6

Financial Dreaming

One assumption you can safely make about the majority of homeschoolers is that we live on one income. Sometimes I meet couples who both work and take turns to intentionally educate the kids, or one parent works outside of home and the other has a home-based business. Sometimes I even meet single moms who are homeschooling (and I haven't pryed enough to find out how that works). These stories inspire me. There is so much we can learn from one another. But for the most part, as in my case, one of us does not bring in an income.

In case you ever wondered -- and I have been asked from time to time -- there are no tax breaks for homeschoolers. We still pay the same property or income tax everyone pays to support the public schools. I dream of the day when all of our curriculum will be tax-deductible, but since all of life is "curriculum" that could get a little sticky for any accountant. On top of the regular tax, our utlilities are higher because we are home all day and use the heat, light and water. I'm not sure if our food bill is proportionately higher (because we tend not to buy more expensive pre-packaged foods like Lunchables and little bags of chips) but I feel like my kids are eating ALL the time. In addition, high speed internet for research and lesson ideas has become an essential expense and those library overdue fines tend to be pretty regular if we need to hang on to a book a little while longer.

Oh, the things I could do with the $8,510 per student spending in Oregon (according to here.).
  • 69.3% is for teaching and student resources. That's $5,897.43 I could put toward books, school supplies, craft supplies, the library, lab equipment, printer cartridges, paper and a very little something for me to expand my professional wardrobe.
  • 17.3% is for buses, building and food. That's $1,472.23 I could put back into our food budget, keep the van running smoothly and and maybe outfit our home with a proper worktable and cozier reading nooks.
  • 6.7% is for the principal's office. That's $570.17 for that cozy couch I've always wanted to have in my bedroom to retreat to while all the little people are quietly doing their work [note: sarcasm].
  • 4.0% is for business services and technology. That's $340.40 I could pay a computer tech to network both our computers at home and install a child-internet filter.
  • 2.7% is for the central administration. That's $229.77 for date nights and baby sitters -- during which we always end up discussing the direction of our kids' schooling (not).

But somehow we do this thing and manage to spend about $400 a year on curriculum materials on top of our living expenses. And I feel like they are getting a customized, intensive and thoughtful educational experience while blowing all the benchmarks out of the water. So, we're doing okay. A little on the poor side, but okay nevertheless.

And then he prayed, “God, I’m asking for two things before I die; don’t refuse me— Banish lies from my lips and liars from my presence. Give me enough food to live on, neither too much nor too little. If I’m too full, I might get independent, saying, ‘God? Who needs him?’ If I’m poor, I might steal and dishonor the name of my God.” -- the words of Agur in Psalm 30

1 comment:

  1. I just found your blog and was so blessed by the scripture you included at the end! It would be awesome to have that amount to spend that you mentioned. But, yes, God provides on so much less.
    Thank you for the encouragement you provided during a tough season in our home.


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