Three Ways to View the Expense of Projects

Many projects that are part of project-led learning can cost quite a bit of money. It would be easy for parents to spend over a thousand dollars in a year on a child’s interest in robotics kits and competitions. Raising an animal or a garden can require significant expenditures, especially if you do not already live on a farm.

Three Ways To View The Expense Of Projects

I want to look at three ways to view the expense of projects. The first two are philosophical, the third, which is practical, most home school families are already very good at, and so need little advice from me.

Three Ways To View The Expense Of Projects

Projects Compared to Private Schools

Three Ways To View The Expense Of Projects

The least expensive decent Christian school in the Houston area costs over $ 4,000 per child per year. With all the children in such a school, a mom can maintain a job and pay for that expense. There are advantages, the largest is that you don’t have to worry about what your children will learn or do during the day. One huge disadvantage is that, even in the best of schools (for which you will pay more money), modern schooling incorporates a huge amount of wasted time – all of which you pay for.

So, scaling back from those costs to about half that amount, if a family were to budget around $ 2000 a year per child, each project could have a budget of around $ 160 – $ 200. Some projects will require more, others much less. Certainly, educating our children costs us money, but we consider it money well spent.

Most Projects Create Value

Probably the most important thing to keep in mind with projects is that most of them are about creating value. Sure, there is an expense in planting and tending a garden, but the food brought to the table has value as well. Compare the value of the clothing your child makes for him or herself against the cost of the sewing machine. A $ 200 machine could easily create, in the course of a project, clothing that would cost you $ 200 to buy.

More than that, inside a student’s series of projects could be one or two that develop into a profitable Micro-Business your child operates during his or her high school years that will pay for much of the cost of high school. We paid around $ 80 a month, plus driving expenses, for my daughter’s piano lessons. Now, in tenth grade, she is earning $ 350 a month teaching piano lessons, with the parents driving their kids to her.

Doing Projects for Less

Home school families are experts at finding great deals, at swapping and sharing. Project-led learning fits into the same patterns. Several families who chose robotics, for instance, could space out the time of year each child does that project, passing on the same robotics kit from one to the next. Books can be shared in similar ways.

Many tools can be found inexpensively, especially with the Internet. The more expensive Natural projects can be equipped by visiting nearby family farmers or farm auctions.

The more we work together to reduce the costs of the projects, while keeping the value and experience levels high, the more people there will be who can make the switch from simulation to real learning.

Daniel Yordy is the director of YGuide Academy, an Internet school serving the active-learning needs of families with students in 7th through 12th grades.