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Monday, April 15, 2013

Why Homeschool - Part II

I am ready to share a few more thoughts about our choice to try and homeschool for a year. (See also part zero and part one).

It is hard to know where to start, so let me talk about the most concrete issues first. One that I already mentioned, of course, is the cost. Summarizing what I already said, we are not ready at this point to try a government school and private schools are expensive. Without being too specific, overall yearly we are talking about the equivalent of a few thousands of dollars, and in addition to this many schools ask for an initial "donation", i.e. a non-refundable fee that is almost as high as one full year of regular fees. In the school we almost enrolled our kids in, this fee was intended to cover the cost of a new building. After an initial moment of doubt, we were satisfied that this was a legal and legitimate request, but you can see how this kind of commitment can only make sense if there is a long term plan of staying in the school all the way (the school does cover the whole K-12 course of study). It does not however make sense for us, given that we do not even know right now whether we will still be in India in one or two years time.

When we explained this, the first reaction of many generous family members was to offer to help pay some of the fees, so I feel compelled to clarify that while money is a very important factor in our decision, it is not the only one. There are other reasons that are just as important: I mentioned some in my earlier post and I will try and explain more here.

Avoiding the daily commute ranks high on our list of reasons. We live a bit out of town and most schools that could be acceptable to us in other ways are really far. We have subjected the kids to a long and stressful commute - hours in the car *every day* - for almost two years now and we would like to try and simplify our daily life a little. In addition, even though our job allows us to work from home every now and then, at the moment we are very rarely able to take advantage of this. Maybe I am experiencing a dangerous wave of optimism here, but I imagine our quality of life really improving substantially with this choice.

These are our main reasons: money, uncertainty about our future whereabouts, a very stressful daily life. I will leave my wisdom about education for part III :)

Friday, April 5, 2013

Early morning

A few photos taken while getting ready for school in the morning. We ended up being a bit late out of the door, but I couldn't resist Lila in her new dress :)