Friday, 10 October 2008

Why home educate? (10) Cheap holidays

Home education is expensive, right? Think of the cost! The lessons, books, resources, visits!

Um. Home ed can cost not much per term, especially when compared to a Max Mara overcoat.

And there's the hammer blow. The home ed is cheap; the salary loss is the real cost. That and the Max Mara, to which a body might have to bid a teary farewell (Grit then waved goodbye to the delights of Episode, Clarins and Waitrose cheese counter). That loss of income could turn what is potentially a cheap or low-cost educational option into possibly the most expensive private education available. It all depends on how much you're giving up.

But we're all in different circumstances, right? Like, now, unemployable. Because Grit is totally bolshy and no way is she going back to slog in an office, and everyone should be relieved about that, because you might get me on the end of a telephone help line or something, and then you would pay to keep me away from that telephone. But you know, the point is, we all cut our cloth according to our circumstances: we spend as little or as much on home ed as we think we can afford. Probably to the exclusion of all else, in Grit's case, but at the end of the day she will go in hock to the bank for a bottle of beer. She deserves your pity about that because basically she is a clapped out old banger and a bottle of beer is the highlight of her day.

But really, say we go away somewhere in the UK - Kent was fun, as was Cornwall, and Cheshire - and we don't actually call that a holiday, because we are doing educational things like visiting castles and measuring seaweed, and we stay in a caravan somewhere and go out-of-season, and that, compared to school holiday time, is cheap. That's out-of-season cheap. Come half term, the prices of that caravan or those flights literally rocket. No wonder parents want to take kids out of school for annual holidays.

So if we cost the cheap home ed out-of-season not-holiday, together with the lessons, books, resources and library fines, it probably equates to the cost of a week's holiday taken in peak season August with a few desperate weekend treats grabbed at Clarins.

You see, there are always ways and means of justifying what we do.

Give me five minutes more, and I'll actually have saved money by home educating, and be able to go and buy myself that Max Mara*.

There is of course that mother-thing which is a crap-thing, and skews the financial considerations. You know, that sort of thing that says, £2.99 for a tee-shirt that actually fits is a total rip off, but £15 for a cuddly pink hippo is a bargain. I think that's just a mother problem I have. I suspect I'm not alone.


Irene said...

I think home education also takes a lot of imagination and dedication and I don't think everybody has it in equal amounts that you do, Grit.

sharon said...

Guilty! We tended to take hols during term time, couldn't go otherwise, I had better things to spend money on than inflated accomodation costs! We had the faithful National Trust membership card so had to visit everything within an hour or so's drive of our temporary abode. By the time the local wildlife sanctuaries, museums, working heritage sites etc were factored in there was very little for the school/s to grumble about. Sometimes we even - gasp - let the boys go to the beach and play!

Love your costings. I have no idea why our bank balance is always so precarious, I always 'save' so much on my purchases!

kellyi said...

I have loved this series. As a new home edder it has been very comforting to read.

Agree with the cheap holidays. We went away to centreparcs and it was under half price compared to out of term time and there were loads of other home edding families there, and some of them were normal!

Potty Mummy said...

This is the first year we have to stick to school holidays for away trips. Ow! Is all I can say about the price.

Grit said...

hi irene! truly, i have discovered stamina, and a refusal to give in or be beaten by circumstance. i'm going downhill, fighting.

that's true sharon! there are such savings to be had, aren't there! actually i don't bother telling that to dig anymore, i just say 'we've had that ages'.

kelly, i hope you'll forgive the next post coming up! keep with it! we're in for the long haul!

hi pm! the difference in cost really shocks me; legally though you can still remove a child from school for 10 days for annual holiday, can't you?