Financial impact of HE(26 Posts)
Me again with another question...! After another heart to heart with my DH about my desire to HE he's said he's fine about it (hooray, at last!) but he's worried about the money side of things. We could cope with the day to day stuff but he thinks I should be working more hours (at the moment I work 3 mornings a week) so we can save for pensions and the girls' futures. We are pretty frugal generally and don't go abroad and hardly spend on clothes, outtings etc so we don't really have any capacity to decrease our outgoings...
How do you fine the money side of things (if you dont mind me asking!)? Do you worry about not saving anything?
Thanks as always
I'm a pensioner now  with legal responsibility for my grandson since he was 2 and he's now 12. I've HE since he was 6.
Before I was of pensionable age I was on IS. I get child benefit for him too. I put away £10 a month in a savings account for him [or more if I can spare it]. It's not much - just something for him to have when he's older.
We manage quite well. We haven't had a holiday for ages, but because I have my bus pass I can take him out and about a bit more now than before.
I get stuff from charity shops, car boots, ebay, Freecycle.
I don't really know many wealthy HEs
Home education has really brought out my son's entrepreneurial side and enabled him to go really deeply into his areas of special interest. This way we save tens of thousands of pounds on university fees. I can't claim we've saved on home ed by his not encountering peer pressure to buy latest stuff, because I think he would've been immune to it but it might apply to some children. Also think home ed has provided a much sounder basis for good mental health than school ever could, if you look at how many work days are lost to depression etc so I reckon he'll be in sounder position as I get older. There are hidden financial costs long term with school. Sideways slant on this, sorry!
Can you work from home? As your DC get older, you may be able to do some work outside the home (e.g. w/es or evenings).
As Marjorie says, I don't know any wealthy HEers but I do know plenty who are frugal and imaginative in how they manage.
EHE does mean less spending on "special" clothes and you don't have to pay for pointless trips (e.g. to cinema for a "treat" at the end of term - you can do that cheaper on Saturday mornings or for free during National Schools Film Week). It is also very educational (and cheaper) to cook from scratch.
Gardening/allotment keeping are frugal and educational activities too.
I've read about quite a few HEers running small businesses from home, eg. hand-made crafts.
Sometimes kids running their own businesses. Great way to teach them about responsibility and budgeting.
Why would we save for our children's future? Yes make sure you have a pension of course, but wouldn't your children prefer to be happy now than to have some huge piece of expenditure when they are young adults? I don't get that, really.
I HE 4 of my 5 (although DS2 is off to college in September ). My DH works 2 jobs and all the overtime that he can get and still earns less than 20k a year (basic salary is about 15k) We get tax credits and just make do.
We don't find HE any more expensive than school because we don't have to buy uniform or pay for trips/fundraising/transport/lunches etc. I have an allotment and cook and bake almost everything from scratch, we also eat a lot of beans/lentils/veggie stuff to keep the shopping bills down, in fact I can feed all 7 of us for about 30pounds a week on a good week.
We don't spend a lot of money on clothes, although DH insists on "proper" jackets and boots and the like. We don't have a holiday every year, the house is a disaster zone and we don't often go out. We don't have savings but DH has his work pension and a wee account with Glasgow Credit Union. At the moment we are using it to save for DS1's graduation in 2 years, after that it will be for DS2's graduation when he finishes uni in 6 years or so.
I would like to have savings for emergencies but it's not possible so I don't really worry about it. Why would I worry about saving to give the children money in the future when I can make them happier now? School almost killed my DS3, he was so stressed and depressed that he wanted to die and had to be signed off due to stress. School completely failed DS1 and 2 (AS), made DD ill because of bullying and just didn't suit DS4 (also AS). I would far rather have happy, confident, balanced children who don't begin and end the day in screaming, weeping hysterics than have extra money and kids who are continually on the edge of breakdown.
I would have thought getting it right now was more important than the future, which is an unknown quantity. We definitely have no money for the girls future, which we may have had, had I worked full time and had the girls in school. But had we chosen that path, I am sure my girls would not be the happy, confident individuals they are, especially DD2 who was a poor fit for school. They may not have had much of a future to save for.
DD1 wants to go to dance school and DD2 to university to study sciences and heaven knows how we will afford either. But I'm going to cross those bridges when we come to them, because I need my girls to be happy now.
It isn't easy. You will have to make financial sacrifices if you home ed. But I'd say those sacrifices are well worth it.
Oh, and we don't save. Not a penny. We are pretty much hand to mouth; the money comes in at the start of the month, it's gone by the end (it lasts to the end if we are frugal and lucky enough not to have any surprise bills).
But I have two gloriously happy children who are having the best childhood you can possibly imagine, and all the money in the world can't buy that.
We are the same, Posy. Hand to mouth, money almost never makes it to the end of the month. That's why DH opened the GCU account a couple of months ago, I was starting to panic about DS1s graduation. (That's what DH's Saturday job is for.) His girlfriend graduated this summer and it cost her. him and her parent's a fortune. DS1 spent about 500 quid just getting the rest of his highland wear, paying for ball tickets and stuff and a wee present for his gf. Her parents had to book a cottage in St. Andrews for 4 days so that they could go to the ceremony and then dinner and whatnot.
DH reckons that it'll cost us at least 1500 pounds between clothes for us, travel, staying over, grad dinner, DS1's grad fees... it's a nightmare, we will need at least the 2 years to save up and it still means cutting even further back on other stuff.
However, I would rather have happy children NOW, well adjusted adults later and no money than the alternative of having a job, money, savings for an uncertain future and desperate, miserable children who grow up into desperate, miserable adults. As you say, all other bridges can be crossed when you come to them.
Do any of you get help from your extended family?
Marjorie, no I get no help from anyone at all, financial or otherwise. My family are all actively and vocally opposed to HE, they think that I am ruining the children's lives. This is particularly the case because a couple of them are behind where they would be if they were at school. My 8 year old, for instance, can't really write because he goes spare if you try to get him to do it, but he can read and is brilliant at sums, so he will get there in his own time. BUT no-one but me seems to accept that. Even DH is not fully on board with HE, he just realises how bad the alternative really is because it was him that dealt with the schools and the LA for DS1 and 2.
I have 7 adult kids and they have their own children [15 grandchildren, including the one I have]. They don't voice their opinions regarding me HE grandson [they know better] and I don't interfere with their choices for education.
However, I do get quite a lot of support from them, both practical and sometimes financially. I don't get flowers and choccies for birthdays and Christmas - I get book tokens, annual subscriptions for different education sites, i.e. Enchanted Learning, my favourite, and Mathletics etc.
Grandson's not a great reader although he does love books but his handwriting is excellent, although I keep it to a minimum. He prefers to use his laptop, it's much less stressful. It doesn't matter how the work is presented, more so that he gets the concept.
I used to get stressed about the reading but I don't any more. It just puts them off.
I reckon there are so many savings to be made thanks to HE. My DC were at fee-paying schools (so we are saving lots there by home educating). I was spending lots on transport to and from school (so another big saving). I find that packed lunches can be expensive (the little pots of yoghurt and other bits and pieces). We tend to waste less, eating what we had for supper the next day for lunch and using up other leftovers as we are around to do so. We grow a bit of veg too. We save on school uniforms (terribly expensive and not very comfortable in the case of the ones my DD had).
One quite odd thing is I find that because I know my DC are happy and at peace, I seem to be less influenced by marketing of the latest gear for children. There's very little peer pressure to have the latest stuff that one might have at school. I'm still able to work from home but I fit it in around HE. Sometimes I do my writing first - sometimes we get the HE done and sometimes we do it all together but we seem to muddle along ok in general.
The main thing is what musicposy said: "But I have two gloriously happy children who are having the best childhood you can possibly imagine, and all the money in the world can't buy that". My DH works so I have the luxury of working part-time and I often wonder what I'd do if I had to work full time/go back into an office and I think that honestly I would rather live on bread and cheese and make do than give up HE. It's made that much of a difference to the quality of all our lives.
Grandson goes to HEROES two full days a week. It's £35 a day but I get a bursary for both days. He does all sorts of things and they've just brought in a Maths tutor working right up to GCSE level. He does cooking, archery, small animal care, outdoor sports, loads. I get a couple of days to myself to catch up and do my planning. One of the other parents takes him for me as I don't drive, and I chip in my Child Benefit for petrol.
He's never shown an inclination to go to Secondary. The feeder school here is crap anyway and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.
Also what FionaJNicholson said about mental health: I honestly believe that by home educating I am investing in the future mental health of my DC. As she said: "Also think home ed has provided a much sounder basis for good mental health than school ever could, if you look at how many work days are lost to depression etc so I reckon he'll be in sounder position" - I really do believe this.
marjorie I get financial help from my parents to a certain extent. My mum pays a large part of the girls ballet fees. If we run out of money she will give us £20 or so to help us until DH gets paid. If there are big bills she will lend us the money and I pay her back at the start of the following month.
I am incredibly grateful and without her the girls would not be able to do half the stuff they do. DD2 has just been accepted into our local youth theatre. She's been on the waiting list for 3 years and we can't turn the chance down. But they wanted £60 terms fees by the end of July and I just didn't have £60. My mum paid so she could do it.
I do feel guilty that we are still being supported to a certain extent by my parents who are in their 70s. It seems wrong, somehow. But if I think of my DDs I know I would do the same for them. Plus I am lucky in that my mum can see how happy the girls are and she wants to make sure I can keep doing what I'm doing instead of having to get a full time job and them having to go into school.
Like you, my husband's family tend to give money and vouchers we can use for birthdays and Christmas, and I have some wonderful lifelong friends who are very comfortably off who also buy stuff for the girls and treat us to things now and then.
I'd just love for the tables to be turned for once and for me to be able to treat them.
posy, if they are doing it willingly, then that's all the thanks they will want. One of my sons is in the army and he helps me out financially sometimes, but if he has to go away on exercises or to Afghanistan, I go there and mind my grandson . His wife was in the forces while he was away too and we just packed up our HE and off we went.
I expect it's much easier to manage if you have family support though. I do get very tired sometimes but can just imagine the stress I would be under if grandson was in school.
It's bloody hard work wiping the floor with errant head teachers
Marjorie, you are so right about dealing with teachers. It made my husband almost as ill as the kids were dealing with school related garbage. The stress was completely unmanageable for all of us
One of the reasons that folk are so anti-HE in my life is that it is almost unheard of where I live. I have never met anyone else who does it and the LA only has 11 kids on their register, 4 of them mine. The nearest family that I know of (mum and 1 DD) live 2 buses and 2 trains away. So my family and friends have no experience of HE at all, all they see is a lack of exam passes and a lack of being able to do what everyone else can do. They are outraged because I am not a qualified teacher so how can I teach the children anything. If they actually realised that I don't actually try to teach very much, they'd be horrified. My brother, SIL, sister and BIL reckon that I should be out working, earning a wage and that I don't send the kids to school as a way of avoiding that . They just don't seem to understand how awful school was for all of us, they think that everyone is just being precious and ridiculous and that the kids should just buckle down and get on with it.
It is hard and I do get very tired. DH works 6, often 7 days a week, leaving at 7am and often not getting back until 10pm (7:30 at the earliest) So I am at home on my own with 2 AS boys, a dyslexic, dysgraphic boy and an hormonal preteen girl. I have to do all the house stuff, all the family stuff, all the HE stuff, all the gardening/allotmenting, everything and I have PVFS. It's a struggle and DH is usually knackered as well, but it's much better than the alternative.
Just think of all the money you'll save though - uniform, shoes, school dinners/lunchbox stuff, school trips, all the random "voluntary contributions"...
I expect you'll get really resourceful, there's a lot to be had for free or really cheap if you look carefully. I remember a thread on here about HE resources and how lots of families start off buying loads of fancy new stuff, never to use it. I'm not a HEor - we are giving school a go to start with - but I made that mistake too. I am a total sucker for Educational Toys but as DD grows I've realised we really haven't needed much of it.
I'm finding this thread really interesting, as we are very skint (i.e. scraping the bottom of the overdraft most months) and I'm planning to HE my nearly 3 year old DS. It's reassuring to know that people do manage with very little
I agree completely about using available resources for the here and now. I'm hoping that by allowing DS to learn the skills he needs to follow up his own interests, we will be preparing him to be able to choose a job/career that he can succeed in (and I don't really care whether this is particle physics or plumbing, so long as he is happy with it and can stay afloat financially).
I love the idea of cottage industries which are run from home (and have been fondly dreaming of DS and I selling home-made cushion covers etc. at craft fairs and market stalls etc.)
All you experienced HEers - how do you think childminding would work alongside home education? (am nearly qualified and am hoping to start this autumn)
I intend to work from home as soon as ds is older and more independent. I'd rather not work for somebody else. My dh feels the same way. This often means that you work harder and make less money but you get a bit of flexibility. You learn to get very creative about what you do with money in order to make ends meet.
Childminding could provide social contact for your child. The only thing is that I'd be worried about being too tired from childminding to HE. Taking care of several children can be draining. I had a friend who was a childminder and she was nackered at the end of the day -and she didn't HE. However, if the children you take on are pretty much the same age you could do some gentle HE and include everyone (or let them listen in). I don't think the parents would mind one bit.
I am thinking about HE for my DD (14) but we are already struggling with money so I can't afford to quit my job. Some weeks I don't even go food shopping and the DCs have to go to relatives for meals. I work 4 days a week and could try to teach dd on my day off and set work for her to do through the week. She would go to my parents 2 days each week. Her GF would be able to help her with maths, geog and history work. Does this sound like enough to get her through. She wants to do GCSEs and get A* in all. She has her heart set on going to the local sixth form college when she is 16 but I am fraid that she may not acheive the grades required.
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