Sunday, 1 April 2012

Cut your cloth

Aunty Grit! You have a lot of experience in throwing someone else's money about. I have a question for you. Can home education be expensive?

Dear Reader, I can answer Yes. If you spend a lot of money on it.

Or, No. Not if you spend not much money on it.

If you are mean, like me, then home ed is cheap! Probably cheaper than state school. Certainly cheaper than Stowe, Westminster, or Roedean. Unless you count the loss of a second salary, in which case, home ed is the most expensive private schooling you can buy.

It all depends how you count it, right?

I mean, if you move house to put your child into a school with a preferable league table position, do you count the relocation in your schooling costs? And when I load the kids in the car and take them to see a field in Leicestershire, do I count that as education? Or doing something interesting?

So you spend what you do. It depends what your child wants, and what you can provide (after you've deducted the cost of a bottle of Claret).

There! Question sorted!

Now, back to reality. Shark wants a fish tank. Some foolish woman (not me, surely) said she could have one (maybe I was drunk).

Anyway, I look at the price of fish tanks (no wonder I drink). Have you seen the price of these things? FOR A FISH? A fish that costs 90p! To live in a house with doings that comes to HUNDREDS?

There is only one solution to this dilemma (or two, if you count the steadying glass of brandy). Find the cheapest way possible.

1. Ask our home ed 'hood. Any hand-me-downs? (Nope.)

2. Freecycle. (No doing.)

3. Dumpster diving. (Local council bastards have sealed off the best hunting grounds for miles. Apparently too many of us were crawling over the bins nicking stuff.)

4. Local newspaper small ads; charity shops; jumble sales etc. (Fish tanks are obviously rare.)

5. The fishy friends community and ebay. (Well, a bloke is offering a tank in Brighton, but the petrol cost to collect it would wipe out the benefit.)

6. Car booty. Yes! So I'm told. Tinkertop buys one a month for her obsessive collection of stick insects, worms, crickets and creepy things.

So it's off to the booty!

Where we did not find a fish tank. (Tinkertop got there ahead of us.) But we did find 14 new teenage fiction books, two pairs of leather boots (one adult, one child), one Victorian salt cellar, a collection of sparkly jewellery, a stack of hamster housing* and one inflatable frog.

All for less than twenty quid! The fun, boundless. I account for it under the heading Education, but that's just me. (And the celebratory Sunday lunch G&T afterwards, I account for under the heading, Drinking.)

*Strictly speaking, the hamster housing cannot be counted in the total. The hamster housing was free. Shark, Squirrel and Tiger stood in front of it discussing whether the hamster would like it for what felt like hours. The stall holder simply bagged it up and gave it to them. The cost of them blocking the stall was obviously greater than the 1.50 he'd been asking.


KP Nuts said...

I share your thinking here. "expensive" is a different term to different people. Recently there was an article published showing how school catchment areas impact house prices and it was big.

I like the choice - I'd rather spend our money on gold fimo than regulation grey knickers and socks ;-)

kelly said...

try tesco - they had tanks for £10 when I went in there a while ago. They weren't huge but they were big enough of a couple of goldfish...or are you going fancy and tropical?