Help us make a decision. The pros and cons of homeschooling as a prepper family.
Each August, we have the usual chat about homeschooling. We consider it every year, whether the pros outweigh the cons, if it is right for just one child, two or all three? Since both my husband and I both currently work, who would be doing most of the teaching and how would a drop in income affect our daily living and our prepping? Would the kids get enough positive socialization if they had less opportunity to meet their peers and share the culture?
Would we unschool, use a curriculum, or apply to a distance learning or co-op program? There are a lot of considerations, but let me talk just a little bit about the prepping aspects of homeschooling.
If we decided to be homeschoolers and preppers, we would have the advantage of being able to guide their education more closely, allowing our children to explore their interests and gifts fully. To some degree, our existing school district, one of the best in the state, allows for interest through clubs, extracurricular activities and the gifted program. Community events and programs offer more opportunity. Of course, both these systems have limits. There are no prepping programs in school, no time to practice fishing, learn canning or explore means of self reliance. There is also no contingency plan, that I know of, to allow for continued education in the event of a disruption of circumstances.
Another attractive advantage of homeschooling is having my kids with me every day. Yes, this can be tough when you need some alone time, but knowing that in the case of an emergency, it would likely be me in charge versus a school or government would give me some peace of mind. I know our preps and our plans. I could act quickly, and I would only be focused on three kids, not hundreds. Plus separation from my kids would be much less likely if we were all at home.
Our home is less likely to be a target for harm. Unfortunately, as we have seen, schools can be targets for violence–the everyday kind, such as bullying, and the terrorist kind, such as with Sandy Hook.
Now for the cons. As mentioned before, homeschooling would result in a drop in income, which we may not be able to handle. We live very frugally and have no debt other than our house mortgage, but it is a big debt. Food prices are sky high, and we have five mouths to feed. The grocery bill is a big part of our budget, although we do try to practice good stewardship with meal planning, co-op produce, bartering, etc. If we reduced our income to allow for homeschooling, there would be less money available for our preps, and we still have a long way to go in our goal to be self sufficient.
There is also the thought that perhaps allowing the kids to have exposure to multiple teachers, students and the families of those students would give them an advantage in an emergency. There is a larger circle of people to call upon if needed. It also gives them the opportunity, not always pleasant but necessary, of learning to deal with different types of people and personalities, skills they would need if the SHTF.
So what is your advice?
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