Why pay for homeschooling when you can teach for free?

There is something to be said for good teachers that is sometimes missed among the homeschooling faithful. A good teacher can bring life to a subject, having a tangible effect on someone's entire life. I love to write, partly because it has always come so naturally, but it's also because I enjoy the language. That is entirely from the heart of the long line of great English teachers I've had from Elementary school to college. I've seen the attention of one good teacher determine the career path of a student they took the time to care for. I've seen teachers instill love, confidence, and much more than plain facts to the children who depend on them. It's remarkable.

There is something to be said for good teachers that is sometimes missed among the homeschooling faithful.

Now, yes, we as parents ought to be the primary influences in our children's lives. We need not delegate part of our parenting responsibilities to professionals. Still, we should be careful not to rob our children of a host of good educators. We do this through books, curricula, videos, and in-class opportunities. It's important for me to remember that I am not always the best teacher. It has been a relief at times to realize that I don't always have to be the teacher. The kids have Mr. Pudewa (IEW), Mr. Demme (Math-U-See), Ms. Shurley (Shurley English), plus the characters in the Self-Paced History and Bible courses (Veritas Press). They've got the geography and science song writers; I don't add anything to their content at all. And of course they've got Dahl and Lewis and Warner, Mark Twain, Pastor DeYoung, and many, many others who've written the words that make up their favorite reads.

And I do trust these authors and professors to some real extent. Oftentimes, I don't know how we will get where we're going from the page we are on, but I trust the author does know. When Chris was first starting to read and write, I made up all of his worksheets and activities myself. We worked mostly on math concepts -- which he called patterns, and of course read. When we began dabbling more into learning to read, I had no plan whatsoever. A friend happened to suggest the book they were using -- which someone else had recommended to them -- and leant it to me. I caused more frustration than I should have by not following the script exactly the first time around, but Chris did learn to read -- and to love reading. We still use that same un-returned book: Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.

We should be careful not to rob our children of a host of good educators. We do this through books, curricula, videos, and in-class opportunities.

People often mention the numerous free resources available to homeschoolers when someone is wondering about the cost. "Why, you could homeschool through high school completely for free!" I don't know if that is entirely true, but I am aware of (and use) several no cost or low cost resources -- such as Duolingo for language learning. I'm glad such choices exist. Still, when I think about how much money I could save if I just did everything for free, I try to remind myself that education is in fact a good investment. There is no need to do it all on your own, and we need to pay workers for their good work.