Should Parents Who Homeschool Be given Financial Help?
Homeschooling is something my wife and I have considered on several occasions, but we have yet to make the leap. With so much concern recently about the pressure being placed on schools in the UK and the lack of school places available it got me to thinking, should parents who homeschool their kids be given some kind of financial help for doing so, like a tax rebate or bursary of some kind? I’m not sure about the practicalities of doing it, as this really is just a whimsical thought, but here are the reasons why I feel it might not be such a crazy idea.
Freeing up a School Place
As we all know, there’s a lot of pressure on school places in the UK at the moment. If more parents homeschooled their children, you would think that this would go some way to relieving this pressure, wouldn’t you?
Not Using up School Resources
It would also place less pressure on school resources and teacher time. Children who are being schooled at home instead of at a local state school don’t use up any of that school’s resources including school books, teachers time and more. This is the kind of thing our taxes go towards paying for, isn’t it? Surely, then, parents who homeschool their kids wouldn’t be unreasonable in feeling they should be entitled to reclaim some of this tax back to use towards paying for homeschooling? Obviously, there will be other examples of services not being used by individuals but that we still have to pay tax for, but I still don’t think it’s a crazy idea.
At the Moment the Opposite Is True
Here we’ve given just a couple of reasons why it might be reasonable to give some kind of financial reward to parents who homeschool their kids. At the moment, however, it feels that the exact opposite is true. Right now, if parents decide to teach their kids at home, they seem to have to bear all of the costs of doing so themselves. They have to pay for their own books, pay for educational trips and trips for physical activities, pay for extra tuition where it may be necessary, and also pay out for any exams which come due. This can all add up to be a large expense!
Sure, I can hear many of you saying that it is the parents personal choice to take on this financial load, and I don’t disagree with you. But if more parents taking the decision to homeschool did genuinely relieve the pressure on the educational system in the UK, then surely it would make sense to relieve the financial burden on these parents in some way, especially as they are not using up school resources?
As I said at the start of this post, I have no idea whether having more homeschooled kids would make a massive difference to the pressure on the educational system in the UK or not. It just seems to me that at the moment, parents who decide to homeschool have to take on a big financial burden and pay for things that if they sent their kids to state school, they wouldn’t necessarily have to pay for.