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Teen Finances Project, Homeschooling Pros/Cons

By Heather Idoni

Added Friday, March 07, 2008

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 9 No 19 March 7, 2008
ISSN: 1536-2035
Copyright (c) 2008 - Heather Idoni, FamilyClassroom.net

Welcome to the Homeschooler's Notebook!
If you like this newsletter, please recommend it to a friend!


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Guest Article
-- Teen Finances Project
Helpful Tip
-- Free Math Videos Resource
Winning Website
-- HTML Tutorial for Kids
Reader Question
-- Pros/Cons of Homeschooling?
Additional Notes
-- Searchable Archive
-- Our Email Group
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Guest Article

A Project for Your Homeschooled Teen... and You
by Barbara Frank


Here's an interesting project to try with your teenager. Look up
the career field he or she is most interested in right now (yes, this
is likely to change, but let's go with the current choice). Find out
how much on average that field is likely to pay your teen, and how
likely it is that your teen will be able to find work in that field.

Rather than use a site where the specific career is being promoted,
try using the government figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics*.

Armed with these figures, now go to the website of a college that
offers the degree your teen would need (if indeed he/she would even
need a degree to go into that field). Find out how much college would
cost for the specific degree desired. Take the amount given and
increase it by 6.6% times the number of years until your teen is
college age, because right now, that's the average annual rate of
increase in college tuition and fees**. Now, take a good look at the
number on your calculator.

Question: How long will it take your teen to make back that money
based on the wages he/she can expect to make in the field of his/her
choice? This is a key question, one that every parent needs to ask
themselves and their teen. And if you and your teen don't have enough
cash saved up to pay for college and will have to resort to loans, the
ability to make back this money is crucial to the teen's future
financial solvency, much less financial freedom.

I realize I haven't told you to deduct scholarships from the college
costs. That's because you have no way of knowing how much, if any,
scholarship money your teen will receive. We're looking at the worst
case scenario here, because you need to know the bottom line.

Amazingly, most people don't think this far ahead. In fact, most
colleges and universities don't encourage them to do so, preferring to
push loans (both government and private) on them instead. This
includes some Christian colleges; I learned this from my son's
experience at a Christian college.

This simple exercise could change the way you and your teen look at
both attending college and choosing a career. And if you know any-
thing about how our country is faring in this global economy so far***,
you realize that decisions like what career to go into and what
college, if any, to attend are more important than ever.

* http://www.bls.gov/bls/occupation.htm
** http://abcnews.go.com/Business/LifeStages/wireStory?id=3759797
*** http://ft.com/cms/s/0/80fa0a2c-49ef-11dc-9ffe-0000779fd2ac.html


Copyright 2008 Barbara Frank / Cardamom Publishers

Barbara Frank is the mother of four homeschooled-from-birth children
ages 14-24, a freelance writer/editor, and the author of "Life Prep
for Homeschooled Teenagers", "The Imperfect Homeschooler's Guide to
Homeschooling", and "Homeschooling Your Teenagers". To visit her
website, "The Imperfect Homeschooler", go to:


Do you have comments to share about this topic? Please do!
Send your emails to: heather@familyclassroom.net



Helpful Tip

Math Videos Website!


"I got this through an email and just had to pass it on! What a
great resource!" -- Nicci in Michigan


Do you have an idea, experience, or tip to share? Please write!
Send to: HN-ideas@familyclassroom.net

Winning Website

Learning HTML for Kids of All Ages

Like it or not, technology is here to stay! Why not give your
child a technological boost by letting them learn some basic HTML?
Designed for kids ages 10 and up, this site provides an easy to
follow tutorial format that teaches the basics of building a web-
site. Technology is always changing and pages aren't coded in
straight html much these days, however, the basic "tags" of the
html code are still used, and anyone can still build a website
by following the instructions provided.

-- Cindy Prechtel, www.HomeschoolingFromTheHeart.com

Last Issue's Reader Question

"I am considering home schooling my 3 children. I have one in
2nd grade and two in the kindergarten age group. What have you
found to be the biggest benefit to home schooling? What do you
enjoy the most and like the least? What are the drawbacks to
being at home and bearing the responsibility of teaching your
children? I have already made a list of the 'costs and benefits'
-- I'm just not sure. I look forward to your feedback." -- Lynn

Our Readers' Responses

"The most prominent benefit I have seen in homeschooling my 6
children is that their relationships with each other are very
close. The children are not disrespectful to me or other adults,
and they play well with children of all ages. They are learning
home skills they will need to know, like laundry, cooking and
cleaning. They also learn to teach themselves; they do not rely
on me to hold their hand every step of the way. This is what
more children need -- to teach themselves. We have this mental-
ity that you can't learn unless you take a 'class'.

I don't want to make it all sound like a bed of roses, but your
struggles will be different than mine. My biggest struggle is ME.
I can be inconsistent sometimes, and some days quite frankly, I
just don't feel like homeschooling. Also, I have limited resour-
ces and TIME! But you make a choice. And my husband is incredi-
bly supportive. So don't expect it all to fall into place -- I've
been doing it 6 years and it's a constant trial and error process.
Every child is different. One curriculum will work like magic
with one child... and not another! So when it's time for change,
don't feel like a failure -- just realize it's part of the process."
-- Crystal N.


"My girls are the same age as yours. I have found the biggest
benefit to home schooling is getting to talk to them all them time
-- and do they ever talk! I love it. I love the questions --
everything is a learning experience. I had to go to the eye doctor
recently -- talk about learning!

The only drawbacks and things I like the least are really about me.
I am impatient at times -- so we start every morning with prayer,
and I mean *every* morning or I am a cranky Mommy. I refer to that
part of me as 'Aunt Michelle'.

I see the responsibility as a privilege. Most people consider
their children to be an inconvenience when really I see them as
teaching me so much. I am also learning a ton along with them. I
love to play and create and we have tons of opportunity for that
-- another bonus.

Be encouraged -- you will not regret the decision!" -- Michelle


"Hi, Lynn! Hopefully, the biggest benefit to homeschooling will
be the final product, although I'm a few years away from being able
to make that claim yet. For now, the benefits include: freedom to
design our own lifestyle; an educational program custom built for
each child's needs, interests, strengths and weaknesses; private
tutoring/mentoring for our children, a proven educational advantage;
evenings spent reading aloud together or playing games, instead of
struggling over homework; flexibility to be available to serve others;
not having to compete for the position of authority in our children's
lives; not having to compete for each other's affection and loyalty,
resulting in better family relationships. We enjoy having our chil-
dren with us, and we're grateful we have more time to spend with them.

I can't think of anything we dislike, or any drawbacks. Time manage-
ment is a tremendous challenge for me, but I think that's a personal
weakness of mine, and I can't really blame homeschooling for that. I
had difficulty managing my time before I had children. For us, the
benefits far outweigh the costs." -- Mary Beth


"I see no drawbacks. Our decision to take our kids out of the public
school was made to keep them from influences contrary to what we were
already teaching them at home: godly home life vs. ungodly school
life. We have never had big rebellion problems (of course there were
some) and we credit prayer and keeping negative influences to a mini-
mum. It is a big commitment on the part of the primary educator (me).
I gave up a career in nursing for this new career. It is a ministry
that I won't trust to anyone else as long as God gives me the grace to
keep going -- which, hopefully, will be 16 more years until my last
child graduates.

We love the flexibility to travel, choose our holidays, give our kids
(and me) the sick days they need. I could go on forever.

1 Thessalonians 5:24 says, 'Faithful is he that calleth you, who also
will do it'." -- Lesa


Good things about home schooling:

1. Child learns at own pace
2. Field trips on a whim
3. Availability to do cultural events as the arise (with or without
4. Lessons in the park (or outside.)
5. Greater sibling closeness
6. Vacations when places are not crowded.
7. Doctor appointments any time - don't have to be scheduled around
8. Knowing exactly what your child has studied so you can make
tie-ins as they occur
9. No homework
10. Control of bad influences
11. Less materialism/give-mes because all the kids have it
12. Stay up late to watch Nature
13. Get as much sleep as is actually needed
14. No work coming home from school when sick (unless you want to.)
15. A little less exposure to every cold. (My kids still get sick -
hey, they get their socialization!)
16. Greater continuity of household routines
17. Recess when it is needed most (by child or adult!)
18. Teaching to how the child learns
19. Relaxed mornings - no rushing for the car or bus
20. Can see the working parent regardless of what the schedule is like.
(We know some home schoolers whose dad works rotating schedules
that sometimes would mean they wouldn't see him awake for a couple
of weeks if they were in traditional school.)
21. Life can happen - weddings, funerals, reunions, vacations, family
events, addition of siblings
22. There is no pressure on a child to if the child has a learning
difference - as fast as they go is normal
23. Nutritious lunches - not made with sub-quality meats.

Challenges to home schooling:

a. You are working a full time job (if you have more than one) and
the kids are still home and messing it up
b. The kids aren't away someplace so that you can have doctor's
appointments without kids tagging along.
c. You are home. People may try to take advantage of that.
d. People call you because you are home. It interrupts teaching.
e. It is harder to do coffee with friends without your kids.
f. It sometimes feels like you have no time for yourself.
g. Kids can resist the mom role changing to the teacher role
h. It is frustrating when your kid doesn't 'get it' even though they
understood yesterday. (Time to back up and go over it again.)
i. Meal time can last all day if the kids are grazers.

-- Cheryl W.

Answer our NEW Question

"I recently was in the hospital with what was finally diagnosed
as a seizure. I now am no longer able to drive my 6 year old
first grader to our home school group meetings and we're missing
out on her friends. Her behavior has not been great and being
the oldest, some emergency care ("if I have another seizure")
falls on her shoulders. Can anyone tell me a good way to help
us adjust through this transition?" -- Christine


Do you have ideas for Christine?
Please send your answer to: HN-answers@familyclassroom.net

Ask YOUR Question

Do you have a question you would like our readers to answer?

Send it to HN-questions@familyclassroom.net and we'll see
if we can help you out in a future issue!

Need Immediate Help?

Visit our Homeschool Encouragement Center! This is a live 24/7
'chat' area where you can talk live to our homeschool counselors
by typing in a box. When you get there, just introduce yourself
and let them know that Heather sent you!

This ultra-safe chat is supervised by experienced moms who are
there to serve and share their wisdom... or just offer a listening

Check out our schedule of daily chats and jump right in! :-)


[Note: This ministry is geared toward Christian parents, but all
are welcome. You may need to download a Java program to utilize
this service. Email Luanne@educationforthesoul.com if you have
any technical difficulties.]

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