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How Much Are You Renting Out Your Kids For?

I 'unschool' (a particular philosophy of, and approach to, homeschooling) my kids.

Those who live inside the conventional box don't understand why I gave up my fairly cushy investment career to do so. One way I explain it is this:

I made X dollars per year, which, to be sure, certainly provided for some nice material things. In order to make X dollars per year, however, I had to send my kids to school to be, in a real sense, raised by strangers. The way I see it, I was renting out my kids for X dollars per year.

My kids are worth far more to me than X dollars.

How much are you renting your kids out for?

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Homeschooling Report Card

We couldn't get past the intrusive application our local public school required for Kindergarten admittance. Questions ranged from income to the state of mind of the mother while pregnant. Off to private school we went. That lasted through 2nd grade. We were busting our backsides in our small business and barely spending 3 or 4 waking hours a day with our children. Most of that driving back and forth. We knew something was wrong with that picture.

Sold the business and started homeschooling. We have always been DIYers anyway. Why not? Both our boys tested out of high school by the age of 14. In California, the California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE) can be taken if the student is doing at least 10th grade work. This gave them a high school diploma issued by the state which gained them entrance to local Community College.

Our oldest is 22 and days away from receiving his Master's in Physics. Our 20 year old is a senior at State University and is on track to graduate within a year.

It was a scary step, and not always easy, but damn glad we did it!

"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it." - Frederic Bastiat

Good stuff. Inspirational,

Good stuff. Inspirational, even. Thanks for sharing.

You sound like a proud parent.

As well you should be.


Thank you!

Happy to share at this point. We never knew anyone that homeschooled and also got a lot of negativism from family and friends. Here we are 13 years later and they finally understand. I just wish they would catch up on liberty vs. tyranny struggle.

"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it." - Frederic Bastiat

any DPers

have experience with autistic children and homeschooling? any first hand info would be greatly appreciated.

"The two weakest arguments for any issue on the House floor are moral and constitutional"
Ron Paul

jrd3820's picture

Hi Rocketman

I worked at a summer camp for kids with autism for 2 summers. This was quite a few years ago, but I did gain some knowledge about autism there.
I have also spent years tutoring home school students and working on test prep with them. Basically families would hire me to fill in some of their lessons every week. So I have a little experience in both plus some resources for both.
Is there anything in particular you are wondering about and what age is the kid and then I can get you some more specific info on what I saw work and what didn't work.
Hope all is well :)

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.”
― Dr. Seuss

I don't necessarily have

I don't necessarily have first-hand experience, rocketman, but I'd be more than happy to help you seek out helpful resources.

Please PM me if I can be of any use in this or any other respect.

Thankyou, Thankyou, Thankyou for this!

I totally agree!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Christians should not be warmongers! http://www.lewrockwell.com/vance/vance87.html

I must confess: I'm not

I must confess: I'm not finding you very controversial, Ms. ControversialChick.



John Holt & John Taylor Gato should be required reading.

Home schooling,unschooling, collaborative learning, private schooling; not all of these options work for everybody but young parents need to at least understand they have the autonomy to consider such options to that of public school. Once parents come to understand this, regardless of what they choose, they will never later regret having been ignorant to options they otherwise might have wished they had chosen.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

tasmlab's picture

You guys know there is a new Ron Paul book out?

Ron Paul (who is popular on this website) has a new book on homeschooling called "The School Revolution".

Y'all should check it out.

Currently consuming: Morehouse's "Better off free", FDR; Wii U; NEP Football

tasmlab's picture

I think most people have a terrible idea what unschooling is

I've been a libertarian for over 15 years and it STILL took me years and quite a few books to understand what it is.

My three kids last day of public school is in three days, if we can stand it. My wife and I just came around.

Currently consuming: Morehouse's "Better off free", FDR; Wii U; NEP Football


And congrats!


That's one way to look at it!
And yes, I have home schooled all of my children from the beginning. (My oldest is almost 27)
When people ask, I have two ways of looking at it.
1. Government education is an oxymoron. That's it in a nutshell.
2. Driving by a school building in the middle of the day feels about the same is driving by a prison. Why would anyone choose to put their children in prison?

great post!

My kids aren't quite old enough for school yet but my wife and I have been looking into local homeschooling groups. I will not be sending them to 5-day-a-week Indoctrination Camp.

Do you provide all of the instruction yourself? or do you work with other local parents to split topics/classes? Is there a place to find class-content online? or do you build it from scratch?

At their inceptions, the #Liberty, #OccupyWallStreet and #TeaParty movements all had the same basic goal... What happened?

I use as many resources as I

I use as many resources as I can, as creatively as I can, whenever the kids are interested in anything at all.

Having said that, I don't require anything of them. There is no math class; no designated reading time; no assigned activity.

They are curious by nature, as all children are. I try to foster that curiosity by presenting new opportunities for it to arise (taking them places; doing activities, games, projects, etc). When they ask a question, we go to the computer; or play a game; or write related things on the dry erase board and talk about them. They are engaged; enthusiastic; interested. Once they have satiated their interest on a given matter, we simply move on...

And of course, recent studies indicate unstructured play time is among the most critical things for child development. So we make sure that they have lots of that.

I can dig it...

2 more questions:

1. is there a network of other home-schoolers with whom you plan activities? (One of the only good things I can see in public school is the opportunity for kids to interact with other kids regularly)

2. Do you have a strategy for acclimating the kids to the rigid, scheduled world they'll encounter in adulthood? (I think that "bell-conditioning" throughout school years conditions us to function in the compartmentalized world that is the modern crony-capitalist system.)Or is it your hope that there will be a parallel system created by the growing numbers of us who chose not to embrace the masters' system?

At their inceptions, the #Liberty, #OccupyWallStreet and #TeaParty movements all had the same basic goal... What happened?

1) Absolutely. There are

1) Absolutely. There are groups on Meetup.com that you can join, and where I live there are even homeschool programs run by the county (a phys ed and art class, as an example; informal, and great chance for the kids to have fun and be among peers). Beyond this, we have them involved in sports programs (baseball, basketball, soccer, etc) and connect with other parents to get together, etc. We also go to the local parks a lot, pretty much daily in fact, and there are always plenty of kids who inevitably end up in big games of freeze tag, etc., with little or no need for parental organization or intervention.

Importantly, though, the social aspect of school often limits kids, unnaturally, to just their own peer group. Our kids, on the other hand, are more than comfortable socializing across age ranges, because that's what real life requires and what naturally happens absent the institutional school strictures. They don't just seek out peers (although they certainly enjoy their peer relationships); they regularly seek out and enjoy the conversations and company of adults, older kids, younger kids, and they do so without hesitation and without thinking themselves higher or lower in social status. This ability to interact freely is immensely beneficial to their social development. In fact, I see this as one of the biggest benefits of homeschooling/unschooling vs school, where lines are typically drawn arbitrarily across ages and grades, students and adults, to distinguish presumed inferior and superior ranks/statuses.

2) I get the gist of what you are asking, but I would disagree with the premise of your question. I don't think the world is rigid and scheduled. Certainly, parts of it are, especially in the corporate realm; but there is an entire universe of possibilities which lend themselves to those who enjoy flexibility and have the drive and creativity to take the palette of life and build their masterpiece, whatever that may be, in whatever manner they may. I think dedication/persistence is the most important trait whether one chooses to climb a rigid corporate ladder or pursue freestyle entrepreneurial endeavors; and I think interest must precede such a choice. As such, as my kids continue to grow and learn, my expectation is that they will understand what is required of them in whatever pursuit they undertake; and when that pursuit is interest-driven, then I expect that they will dedicate themselves to achieving their goals. And I expect that they will succeed.

right on

thanks for all the info.

I agree with everything you stated on #1 and get what you're saying on #2... I think you're a bit more idealistic or optimistic than I am though. LOL

either way, good on you for going this route and thanks for sharing what's worked for you and yours!

At their inceptions, the #Liberty, #OccupyWallStreet and #TeaParty movements all had the same basic goal... What happened?

Denise B's picture

I commend you on

your decision to put your kids well being above all else. My daughter plans to home school because she too understands that our children are our most precious possession and no one can give them the same guidance and love that their own parents can. I understand that there are many people who feel that they are not in a situation to do the same, and for some that is true; however, for many more it is just a question of priorities. If you can go without cable tv, new cars, fancy clothes, the latest tech. gadgets and many other strictly material items you would be surprised on how much less you can get by with.

The Old Testament talks about many cultures which would actually sacrifice their children to their Gods and people today look at that as something which is unimaginable and barbaric. They fail to see; however, that today's culture does the same thing. Our children's lives and well being are often sacrificed to gods of a different kind; the god of convenience, the god of wealth, the god of self....

There is little doubt at this point that the current public school system is designed to control our children's thought processes, corrupt their values and set them up for failure, on many, many different levels. The only way to protect your children from this is to remove them from it. That means sacrifice of self, comfort and wealth and sadly there are many who count the cost and find it to high. I can't in my mind; however, understand what on earth could be more important than your own children?

I'd say a lot of people don't

I'd say a lot of people don't have a choice. I can't afford to even HAVE kids much less quit my job to homeschool them.

End The Fed!
BTC: 1A3JAJwLVG2pz8GLfdgWhcePMtc3ozgWtz

What is the scoop with

What is the scoop with "Unschooling" The only thing i have seen on it was from some reality Wife Swap TV show which, being the human circus that it is, is probably not a good representation of it.

How do you find a balance between dicipline for your kids and making sure they have work ethic etc and being able to learn freely and express themselves?

We all share this eternally evolving present moment- The past and future only exist as inconsequential mental fabrications.

As a homeschooling parent,

I subscribe to the idea that sending children to daycare for 15,000 hours of schooling where logic and reason have nothing to do with the curriculum is a horrible idea. I did send my eldest child to public school and he is graduating / headed to University soon. He has witnessed my parenting style change to more closely mirror my political philosophy; libertarian. With that change, discipline has fallen from the vocabulary. There is nearly no strife and that which does occur is quickly worked thru with Non-violent communication(NVC). Throughout his public schooling he has been heavily augmented with non-state sanctioned history instruction by me. Once we started parenting more libertarian there was marked improvement in our relationship with our "teenager". Mind you I came from a completely southern redneck discipline kind of upbringing.

As to the work ethic issue. With my daughter; she knows what is the objective for the day, and the day is over when the work is complete and correct. No grades, no carrots, no sticks. She is responding very well. In short the rational being in us all wants to be fostered. it is the state (schooling), bad parenting and raising kids on justice within violent fairy tales that is the problem.

No not every family can afford it, but I believe this is part of the revolution and will be the norm in the future. Maybe small neighborhood school houses with age integrated classes would also be a norm (and a positive).

From personal experience, I

From personal experience, I can tell you that it takes a paradigm shift in perspective, and it's extremely difficult and takes a conscious effort every day. Might be easier for some than others, but so much of the way I approached my kids was reflexive, instinctive and emotional authoritarianism; a projection of my own upbringing, which is far from the unschooling approach that I feel strongly is the right one for my kids. So, for me it was about practice... practice... practice... After lots of reading.

That said, I've never felt better about what I'm doing with my kids and where they are and the opportunities we have in front of us.

As for delving into unschooling and what it is and what it entails: you will find widely differing definitions. My recommendation is to read John Holt (whose writings effectively gave birth to the concept), and then otherwise just google "what is unschooling" and immerse yourself in what others are saying and doing.

In doing so, you'll find the things that strike a chord with you and can make you a better parent and dismiss the things that don't and won't.

Whatever else it is, unschooling is a journey rather than a destination, and there's lots of personal evolving all along the way.

I see where you are coming

I see where you are coming from and think its great you are home schooling. I think though that things are not as clear as you present and you come across as very judgmental to people where you have no idea about their situation.

Are single parents renting out their kids by sending them to school while they work? Honestly many people are not able to home school due to work/financial reasons.

In my particular case there is a very good private school right by our home. I know many of the teachers so they are not strangers. I think there are opportunities there that I could not provide by home schooling. I dont think sending kids to a place you feel good about is "renting them out."

Also, many school days are 6 1/2 hours long leaving a great deal of time for parenting. The idea that by going to school someone else is raising the kids or that by choosing to send ones children to school a parent is forfeiting their role as parent is exaggerating just a bit i would say.

It's taken academics like

It's taken academics like John Holt and John Taylor Gatto decades, and countless books, to convey their thoughts on the relevant issues at play here, and they are far more qualified than I to comment on the subject matter. My post was merely an expression of perspective; a different way to look at things.

And certainly, as someone who was sent to school myself, I don't mean to insult those who are sending theirs now. My parents had the best intentions for me, and did the best they could with what they knew and the resources they had (or didn't have). I don't think anyone can be faulted so long as this is the case.

But it's a subject worth exploring, which is why I offered the brief anecdote that I did.

As to knowing teachers: I think this is especially important in the younger years if you're sending your kids to school. How well do you know them? For a significant portion of the day, your kids' malleable minds are in their hands. The implications of this are profound, and much of the parenting left to you after school hours becomes, to put it in terms easy to understand, "sloppy seconds." And the conditioning of young children at school to subjugate themselves to top-down authority, in my view, is extremely problematic irrespective of how well you know the teachers anyway.

And then there's the matter of the childrens' perspectives. Do they enjoy school, and choose to go of their own accord? If so, that's fantastic. If not, though, then maybe it is worth considering whether the "renting them out" phrase is actually applicable. After all, what if they don't want to go? Why force them? What is the opportunity cost of sending them, versus treating them as whole human beings and allowing and helping them to explore their interests and abilities? For even though you say there are opportunities at the school that you couldn't provide if you homeschooled, is not the reverse also true?

In any case, I'm not saying there's one correct way or approach or opinion as it pertains to learning or school. There are as many ways as fingerprints, as Gatto eloquently put it. And I'm more than sympathetic to the plight of those who face financial hardship to such an extent that school is more a babysitting service that they use out of necessity than a venerated institution of learning that they are grateful for.

But discussing all of these things is good and can produce ideas and better understanding of how we treat children, and what we think education actually entails or requires.

right on

I would agree with all your points I think. The reverse is also true as you say. Its a complex issue.

Didn't Barack Obama say you

Didn't Barack Obama say you shouldn't have to go broke for your family's healthcare? It frightens me how many people subscribe to that ideology.

I would agree with you...

your decision is an investment of a priceless kind.

Father - Husband - Son - Spirit - Consciousness

One the 'ruling elite' have spent trillions on.

You squashed their efforts with a decision and action to enforce it.

Thank you!

Bump for the anonymous

Bump for the anonymous downvoting child-renter. Feel free to give words to your disapproval of my rationale. Perhaps civil discourse can ensue.