Pioneer Woman at Heart

One Flourishing, Frugal and Fun Family!

One family learning to live off the land, cut back on expenses, and to live a simpler and a more self-sufficient lifestyle.

Adopted Motto

"Eat it up,
Wear it out,
Make it do,
Or go without."
~A Pioneer Sampler, by Barbara Greenwood~

Friday, August 31, 2012

More Repairs ~ Public School

Remember my van?  It's been in parking mode since last February, getting many repairs including new head gaskets (second time).  Well, it's still sitting in the driveway.  It needs a computer now.

Hubby says it needs this other part before I can drive it.

Today, my son's car needs the repair job.  Thankfully, he can drive the ol' farm truck to work.  Part of the hardware that holds up the gas tank basically disintegrated on his car.  Yikes!  

The trouble with self repairs, is finding the time to get the job done.  However, I'd rather buy a part (and wait patiently) than spend $800.00 of my husband's (and mine) hard earned income to pay for repairs.  I'd rather take another getaway instead.  Sounds selfish, but really it's not selfish.  We both deserve it.

Frustration with Public School

For the second year in a row, the 8th grade class is sending kids off on a Washington, D.C. trip.  The cost?  $600.00 per kid.  However, the cost doesn't stop there.  This year they are required to have a special dress outfit, with dress shoes that can be walked a lot in - more costs. They state all meals are included, but I am sure there will be more hidden costs they will drop on us later.  

Then there is the payment system for this trip. You can pay on-line with the school, but the school charges you for every transaction you make.  We already pay enough taxes for our school's so why should I give them anymore.   Public school is not free anymore.  It's down right unaffordable.  

We already just paid $225.00 in school fees, and even more than that on school clothes and shoes.  Not to mention the cost of required school supplies also. We skipped out on school photos, since they did them the day prior to school starting, and right after fees were paid.  If they had photos taken, that would be another $90.00 to hand over.  This year?  I'm taking their photos myself, and I won't have extras laying around in a box.

My daughter said to me that the teacher told her she could hand him the $200.00 cash and he'd take care of the payment.  Send cash with your kid?  He must not have teenagers.

Last year, I could pay the tour company directly, free of transaction charges.  This year?  We are not allowed.  We must pay the school directly.  They really know how to make things difficult don't they.  

Don't get me wrong.  I do think the kids will find the trip educational and fun, but is it necessary for schools to take these trips with the economy in a rut?  It just doesn't seem prudent to me.

And it doesn't stop there.  The teachers are encouraging students to take "electronics" with them on the school trip.  What happened to good ol' fashioned deck of playing cards?  Or a book?  As a parent who strives to keep her kids from getting sucked into time wasting electronics, this is very frustrating.  My daughter should know better than to ask me to go out and buy her a $60.00 electronic, just so she can take it on this school trip.

Public school also raises my medical costs.  It wasn't long before one of my kids are already sick.  School just started, and she coughing, blowing her nose, and has a sore throat.  Thankfully, I have the knowledge of natural remedies.  However, with the continuous amount of daily germs she is around, it becomes more difficult to treat.  She lacks rest from her daily schedule also.

Then there is the amount of homework I see my high schooler doing - 2-4 hours a night.  Ridiculous.  Ugh.

I think I may have just talked myself into homeschooling again....


Candy C. said...

Dang, when I was in school, field trips were to a museum or the state capitol or something!! When did trips to D.C. become commonplace?!?

Unknown said...

While not being a teacher, but working in a public elementary school (had 3 kids go thru the system successfully) here's a couple of things-

*trips used to be optional, if not I'd just say "no", stay home. Or ask if there are scholarships?

*most schools pay high bank fees every time they process any kind of transaction, so they may be just asking you for to pay for that too

*skip the school pics

*the staff encouraging kids to take electronics strikes me as someone who doesn't want to have to entertain the kids. I can see lots of those kids losing their stuff on a trip. My hubby chaperoned of of our kids music trip, a nightmare with many spoilied kids who had no respect for authority. MP3 players, however, are cheap, about $10.00 on up if your daughter wanted one of those?

*AND there are lots of bonuses in public schools-
exposure to different cultures, values and different systems of thought. Libraries, art, music programs, sports and other things.

*Our 1 daughter took a lot of AP classes in high school and was able to get a very big scholarship to an excellent university and was able to skip many classes due to the AP coursework. She saved a bundle:) You can't get that homeschooling...

simplicityinthemaking said...

People often ask me doesn't it cost a lot to homeschool. I tell them to add up in a year what they pay out just for a grade one and tell me who pays more. Our school system is different in Canada but the government a few years ago stopped buying school supplies, and then all the things schools sponsor like jump for MS and they expect the kids to get cash sponsors, which is of course family, book fairs, trips, you name it and they find a way to snatch the money.

Patricia @ 9th and Denver said...

Well, only you can talk yourself back into home schooling.

I say-- do it.

As to trips and costs; Yes, you could inquire about scholarships. You could also inquire about FUND RAISING though, as many long hourse that are spent at school already--I don't know where your family would find the time. I don't see the point of costly trips like this. When there are local programs that we be sufficient. The money you spend to the school for all these different trips and "programs" could be well spent on the entire family attending a trip that could be culturally stimulating, if you home schooled. Not to mention, it could probably be done more frugally.
-- As to electronics being brought, If that is not something you already have; or not something that your family is accustomed doing-- I say, take something to occupy them that they are accustomed to--if you daughter knits or crochets or does needle work, she can do that on the trip. Books can be read. Perhaps one of your children has a camera-- that is 'electronic'-- they could take photos and document the trip.
There are alternatives to 'electronics'.
-- I would also like to say, that exposure to different cultures and systems of thought; would be better taught by the parents who are trying to raise their children with Love and Admonition to the LORD. Nothing wrong with exposure to Liberal Arts, Music, Sports and other things-- when it is tempered by the Word of God.
-- The benefits of Home schooling are such that AP classes are not necessary-- College Classes can be taken by the Home School student at a young age, rather than after graduation; and There are Jr. Colleges that are much more affordable and push the Academics of a Home Schooled Student to such a level that they CAN AND ARE REWARDED "Very Big Scholarships To an Excellent University"

These are just a few of the benefits of Home schooling; but you know them already. You've done your research. I don't know what the reason for sending them to school was to begin with-- I'm sure you had a very valid reason at the time. Maybe it was just for a season---ultimately it is up to your Husband and yourself.

Many blessings to you, Pat

Unknown said...

You’re absolutely right, Kristina! It’s better to repair your car to save a few bucks. However, if you really don’t have any idea on what to do about it, then it would be better to look for an auto repair shop. There are actually lots of auto repair shops, which offer a fair price for their services. You just need to do a little research, or better yet, ask your friends for suggestions. Anyhow, it’s a very good thing that your hubby knows how to repair all those stuff. You can drive you car, soon!

Anna Higgins

Tyra Shortino said...
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