Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How much do you spend on unschooling?

It's really impossible to compare spending. I sometimes buy items that don't get used, or sit for months and end up in storage, and maybe get re-discovered someday. I could count grocery spending and movie spending and game spending and every spending because all of it is part of our family life and learning. Similarly, what we try to save, etc is part of our life and our journey of learning.
I may buy books, even some things others would consider 'educational' or 'curriculum', but I don't carry the labels in my thinking any more. A pile of dirt, a book. a dozen eggs, some people's trash - all of it is life and learning and not school.
In one way, I spend almost nothing on unschooling as we don’t buy textbooks or curricula – we use life, books, the library if we can pay the fines, movies, music. On the other hand, you could say we spend a lot if you count all our DVD hiring and buying, our games, our outings and the subsequent lunch out with friends.

So, what do we do all day if not use curricula? Today, we did folding of junk mail, our part time job – and this money making venture fits right in with our unschooling lifestyle, we have more time for this sort of thing. Computer games, piano, guitar, errands, prayers, mini golf with other homeschoolers for a birthday party and then lunch at the friends’ house with games, delivery of junk mail, reading religion related books in the car and reviewing Chinese for a Chinese Open uni course and doing an Italian assignment for an Italian Open Uni course, gaming, games of billiards, reading, someone is writing a story on the computer, someone is on facebook, listening to 60s music CDs in the car, watching Willow on DVD...So, we didn’t buy curricula but our money still gets spent, just on things of more worth or more interest or of more importance to the kids. And the kids made money today with their junk mail!

I really don't keep track of what it costs us to unschool the kids. We just buy what we think we might be interested in reading or playing etc.etc. We are big readers so I would bet that most of it is spent on books and subscriptions to magazines. Most of our available cash this summer was spent on a new garden,chicken coop and a small shed. The kids requested the chicken coop. They missed it from our old home. We try to save money by picking up books at tag sales or library book sales. Since we took time to grow a bigger garden and can our food this year (also a request of the kids) We are hoping to save some money off of our grocery bill and put that in the vacation fun. We are planning on RVing across the country......maybe...LOL
When we first started I would spend money on things that we really didn't need. Now I try to borrow to see if it would be worth our money.
Most of our outings are free. Yesterday the kids picked, washed and cannned tomato sauce. They had a blast and want to do it again today. My oldest boy spent the afternoon at our Amish neighbors house shocking oats. All free things to do! They had a blast. Now that our oldest girl is getting ready for college and my oldest boys has a list of winter projects I am sure we will be sending more money on things. Our church always has something going on. Our priest gives lectures a couple times of year!!FREE My oldest boy is really into rockets and inventing things. So is my friends son. Two books on rockets were of interest to both boys. So we bought one and they bought the other! They swap when they are ready. My oldest boy also likes astronomy. His friend has a great telescope that he has brought over on numerous occasions. My friend from church can sew...we have eggs we can barter with for lessons.
I quess my point is do you have to spend money.? Welll... yes but you can also find many things to do for free. Wonderful things. Happy learning!