Who Can Afford Education These Days? (Part 2)By Randell Tiongson on February 5th, 2010
So what’s the problem with the pressures of education? Well, if we put nearly all our resources in it, we tend to neglect other things that are important, such as retirement. Let me use myself as an example. I have four kids. If I opt to send all of them to über-expensive schools at our current income level, I will not only neglect our retirement, I will be broke. My wife and I will not have resources to be able live a quality life after our kids leave the nest. As my youngest graduates, I will be retired. The pressures of financing their education will drain us to a point that as soon as I retire, my wife and I will be dependents. The question is, dependent on whom? Our kids? Isn’t that unfair to them? With the pressures of surviving, it will be severely difficult for them to take care of us while making a life for themselves. Isn’t that very irresponsible of me and my wife, as well?
Solution? Well, priorities and common sense. Yes, education is our priority as parents, but so is preparing for our own future. Let us not sacrifice our future in the guise of education. Look for balance, there are many other practical solutions. Look for schools that offer quality education without the hefty price tag. The success of a child does not come from the school but from the home. One study proved parents, grandparents and other older members of the family are better tutors than those expensive tutors or tutorial schools.
Another practical suggestion: Home School. If done properly, home schooling can help children fare better in life compared with those who went to expensive schools. Both husband and wife need to work to make ends meet; with educational costs taking a drain, it may make more sense if the wife stays home and home- schools the kids. Most mothers I speak to will often tell me that had it not been for financial pressures, they’d rather stay home and take care of their kids. Do the math: If you spend about P300,000 on education for all your kids and the mother makes just about P300,000, it is financially feasible to just home-school the kids.
Moms can take a job from the house or start a home business, as well, while taking care of kids, including their education. Fathers can help too; there are many things husbands should be doing to help wives—taking care of the kids should be up there especially when you decide to try home schooling. There are many good Department of Education-accredited home-school programs around at a fraction of the cost of normal big-school education. I’ve met a lot of home schooled kids who are doing great – smart, grounded, has great values and strong leadership. There are many successful stories around. CCF and Victory Christian Fellowship have really good home-school programs. They also have regular interactive programs that allow home-school kids to interact with each other. Imagine the savings if you home-school your kids. . . better yet, invest the money you saved from education and see it grow. . . . You will have more than enough for your retirement, for health care—with some extra to leave for your kids. Set aside part of the savings for their college education, as well, and invest it well. I guess I’ll do a follow-up article on tips on investing for the education of our kids. You can get many practical tips from http://www.income-tacts.com/ on educational investing.
Well, I did mention that I still have two more kids, Riggs and Chino, my wife and I are now home schooling them. I am sure we will be better teachers to our own children. . . so will you. Our decision to home-school our boys will allow us time to properly take care of our daughters’ college education. . . prepare for the boys’ colleges, save for retirement and hopefully enjoy quality living. It’s not good to worry, but it’s great to plan.