Henry Ford Speaks to Homeschoolers

On October 1, 1908 Henry Ford introduced his Model T Ford to the world. The model T made the automobile accessible to nearly anyone who was seriously interested in owning an automobile. Initially priced at $850 the Model T had come down to only $440 by 1915 in a world where competing vehicles cost $3000-$5000. That means the Model T Ford cost about $9000 in today’s dollars in 1915, compared to $50,000-$75,000 of most other automobieles (in today’s dollars).

Education has become more and more expensive in classrooms. Public and private school options run anywhere from $5000 to $25,000 per year per student in elementary schools. Far more of course at the college level.

But for any family who truly wants a quality education for their children homeschooling is an affordable option- just like the Model T Ford introduced 101 years ago today.

Now you’ll note that even at the 1915 price of $440 a Model T Ford was certainly not FREE! And neither is a homeschool education. In addition to curriculum you need some reference materials on hand, a computer in most cases, internet access and more. By middle-school you’ll want a quality microscope- not a $69 model from the toy store. It doesn’t have to be a $5000 microscope but a quality used scope can be had for $500 or so- one that will serve through high school for many, many children. You need manipulatives, maps, and more. Education DOES cost money, but it is accessible to most families who genuinely want a quality education for their children.

Five in a Row is one of the most affordable curricula avaialble. I’ve never added it all up, but I think if you bought every book we publish and all of the ancillary reading books you might be looking at around $1000 or so. But that will educate a dozen children or more from age 2 up to middle school. Break that down per student per year and we’re talking $50-$100. Add math and phonics and you’ve got a bargain-basement price for a quality education.

But whatever curriculum you select it WILL cost something. Just like Henry’s Model T it’s available to those who genuinely want it- but it’s never going to be free. Think of it as an investment- probably the best investment you’ll ever make.

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