Sandra Dodd

I could have put this under the question about whether to buy a Leap Pad or a tablet, or under single-parent unschooling, but it's applicable to anyone thinking about unschooling, or who is in the process of making a decision involving money.

Unschooling is priceless. It cannot be bought. And "cost" is a difficult concept, so if you have an easy answer floating to mind, try to scatter it and look from many different angles.

If a child is in a private school, unschooling won't "cost that much," meaning no one will send you a tuition bill and a steady stream of fundraising requests and tell you what clothes and shoes you have to buy.

If both parents are working and decide one should quit work and stay at home with the children, will it "cost" a full-time income? In one way of looking at it, perhaps. But counting potential is a trap.

If a family values love and relationships, unschooling can pay off in a jackpot of closeness and joy that could hardly be possible with school in the equation, and could never be bought back with a thousand hours of expensive therapy down the road. (Maybe factor in the time savings of not spending a thousand hours sitting and talking about what you could've done differently, in addition to the cost of it.)

Unschooling doesn't need to be expensive, but anyone choosing unschooling simply to save money is making a mistake. If parents don't want to spend any money on games, toys, museums, out-of-town trips, books, or whatever it is the kids might be interested in, then unschooling will not work at their house.

One doesn't need to be rich to unschool, but it takes dedication and focus, creativity and resourcefulness.


And just the other day we took our kids kart racing and I thought I was spending too much money. I felt bad for a few minutes for this money because we are so short on it right now.

Then I thought about it as an educational expense and my uneasiness was gone.

And learning was not the only result. The biggest result of going kart racing as a family was happiness, closeness and joy together. Our son, especially, was happy !

Well worth the $50 dollars we spent!

Being happy together and the smiles are priceless!
Alex Polikowsky

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