Ridiculous Rising Costs of Education

The astronomical cost of college is so out of sight that if my children don’t get scholarships, they simply won’t go. In my mind, it’s much better to just learn a trade and go with it. We shelled out more than $500 bucks just for books for my husband to go back this semester. And don’t even get me started on that! I’m sorry. When your school requires you to buy a book just because it has the school name on it, there is something extremely wrong about that!

I was pricing high school curriculum for my son and it’s outrageously high. I couldn’t believe how much the writers and publishers prize their work! So much so that people who subsist on a fixed income can’t homeschool their kids with those “special” curricula. I’m sorry but if they were truly concerned about putting out a curriculum that would help families, they’d put one out there with the information our children need at a price anyone could afford. I mean, let’s face it. Not all of us have a good handle on our finances and a good many of us have fallen on hard times with the economy the way it is. I don’t want to leave my child in the hands of the state concerning their education. Truly, I live in LA, the state which vies for last place on the education rating scale with MS! Why should my children suffer through a 4th rate education, just because I can’t get the well written and in depth curriculum? And I don’t mean I want them to offer some cheesy credit plan. I want Christians, or at least those who profess to be Christians, to stand up and practice what they preach. Would it be so awful for them to offer those items in such a way that it covers the cost of producing it and just a small mark up for them to make some profit? Apparently it’s just too much to ask. Take Rosetta Stone, for instance. I’d love to learn as many languages as I can. But the asking price of a Rosetta Stone program is over $600 for all five levels. That’s ridiculous! If they’d cut that price in half, they’d still be making a really good profit. Usually eBay is the way to go when a product has a high price tag but Rosetta Stone has their product fixed in such a way that it won’t work if someone other than the orignal buyer uses it, if I’m not mistaken. (I haven’t researched this yet, but I plan to do so and post my findings. Please do not quote me on this!) A Beka is another company that I both love and hate. Their curriculum is fascinating. I love the books because they keep your child interested and the enrichment activities are possible to do with things you usually keep around the house. But the initial cost is so astronomical, the only alternative for me is to purchased used curriculum on eBay! That would be fine, except there are people out there who let their kids write in the workbooks. So those are hard to find in a used condition.

Getting away from specific publishers… In general, and all prices guesstimations, by the time you’ve purchased a student text for $24, a student workbook for $24 (that you will never use again if the student is allowed to write in it), a test and quiz book for $10, a teachers guide for $50 (because they figure you’ll use that more than once), you have spent a grand total of $110 for one subject and that doesn’t count shipping, which has gone up several times during the past year. And do they even consider offering free shipping? Heck, no! Sure, I could go to my local school and rent books from them in order to teach my child. But am I really saving money by doing that? And who is getting my money? Is the school system getting my money? And why should they? My child doesn’t even attend the public school!

This blog post has been brewing in my mind for some time now. It just strikes me as utterly ridiculous that we pay all these exhorbitant sums to attend college and get a college degree so we can get a job that has absolutely nothing to do with said degree. My sister graduated college back in Dec. of 2007, I think. She’s still working at the job she had before she finished school because she couldn’t find a job using her degree! And did that degree help her in the job she’s in now? Maybe, but not concerning her pay! She spent all kinds of money going to school because we’re all taught now that college is the way to go so you can get a good job, get paid more, and have a good life. But then reality hits after college is over. Another relative of ours can’t find a job in the computer biz! Can you believe that?? I can’t! He’s even in an area in which this type of expertise is highly prized. Utterly ridiculous. Honestly, I’d have to say, I’d rather apprentice my child to someone I trust for them to gain on the job training than to send them off to some college where they’ll get a “dumbed-down” “education” and end up without a job after all their trouble.

Shiller Math is an awesome product and I wish more companies would take a leaf out of their book. Check them out at www.shillermath.com or call them at 888-556-6284. You can buy 2 sets that will cover your child’s math education at least through 6th grade. Grand total cost was about $650 when I purchased mine back in August 2005. And if you are like me, you’ll have your kids writing their work in notebooks instead of in the books themselves. This way you can use it for more than one child. Another website worth mentioning in a positive light is www.enchantedlearning.com . You can print worksheets for Pre-K all the way to 5th grade. Some of the worksheets are only accessible to members but a membership is only about $25/year. It’s well worth that money for me. I haven’t been able to renew this year but I’m hoping to do so in the future. You can still print any of the public accessible worksheets but they will have ads on them. You can either cut the ads off or just ignore them, like I do. The two websites I mentioned are only a couple of the good ones. It’s unfortunate that you really have to dig to find them but I believe I prefer that to having them charge monthly membership fees or pay for the “privelage” of using their worksheets. Here’s a cool website I found through a Yahoo search http://homeschooling.about.com/ and you can also get a few free printable worksheets here. They also offer tips and tricks for homeschooling families. This site is totally free and so are the worksheets.

I guess having said all that, I’m done…for now. Bwah ha ha ha ha!
Until next time, remember to breathe when you are laughing a lot!