Re: Homeschooling and SVS

Scott David Gray (
Wed, 20 Nov 1996 01:29:26 -0500 (EST)

Hi Everyone,

On Tue, 19 Nov 1996, Dale R. Reed wrote:

> > Would many people choose to home-school instead of
> > going to an SVS-type school? Why?
> Cost. I can not imagine spending thousands of dollars a year to have a
> boy of mine fish all day now that we have passed the homeschooling laws.
> If the school is providing services worth the thousands thats fine but I
> do not understand what those services can be in 1996. In 1968 of
> course, in 1978 sure, in 1988 well maybe but in 1996 with all the less
> expensive alternatives, no way.

Yes and no. When I was first enrolled at SVS, my father wrote in a
letter to my old traditional school:
"We are spending $1,900 per year for the privilege of _not_ sending
our child to public school". However, we quickly found SVS valuable for
its own sake, in its own way.

1) The available resources and materials are worth the tuition for most
a) SVS has very stimulating environment, academically socially and
physically. There are many more people at SVS than there are in a single
family. As that number goes up, the number of interesting conversations,
fun sports, fascinating activities, etc goes up geometrically.
b) Most kids find it valuable to spend their days _away_ from their
parents. It often enriches the home life if the kid does different things
with his/her day than the parents (just as married people who work in the
same office may have less to talk about in the evenings). This issue
always comes up when parents run for staff... Parents as staff work
better when the parents stay well away from their own children during the
c) The presense of a community, which the child can involve him/herself
in, is of great value. The fact of _ownership_ of that community means
something... The presense of other children with whom the child can
create and recreate the community around him is important. At home, the
parents have already formed their community, and the "tone" of the
household/home is set much more so than the "tone" of a yet-to-be
discovered group of friends.
d) The presence of a variety of staff, from different walks of life, is
valuable. The kids see more than just _their_ parents, but see many
adults, and how they interact.

2) The economic reality is that homeschooling is _much_ more expensive
than SVS for many families. SVS costs a few thousand per year. Home
schooling costs one parent _out_ of the work-force... Even at a pittance
wage ($5/hour), this means a _minimum_ cost of $12,480 to the household
income. It is a very rare school district that allows "home schooling"
for kids when no parent is home -- which seems to be a tool for forcing
lower class families to listen to state-sponsored propaganda while
middle-class and upper-middle-class parents are allowed to protect their
children from it.

--Scott David Gray
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