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Virtual Homeschool Coop Assignment #2 – How do you handle people discouraging your homeschool?

 

Assignment #2 for home educators participating in the VHC addresses how we respond to negative folks in regards to our educational choice. DO visit the VHC and see the other responses HERE!

 

What’s not shared is lost,

Zookeeper

 

 

 

What

Virtual Homeschool Coop Introduction

I’m a month behind but, hey, I’m getting there. This is my introduction video for the Virtual Homeschool Coop. Due to incredibly slow internet (and life, in general) it has taken two weeks to edit, and four days  upload, annotate and link up! I am going to have to get up early to take advantage of that unmetered internet….which we have between midnight and 5am. Coffee is my friend…

So…here it is. Apologies for the length. I’m a newbie but I will learn to drink more coffee beforehand, be concise and talk faster. Oh, and not go off on rabbit trails.

Our homeschooling has become so eclectic..it’s an eclectic hodge podge of Charlotte Mason, Notebooking, Robinson’s Independent Learning, Unit Studies, Classical, and fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants. Throw in the catering business as a part of our “vocational curriculum,” and we have a “unique dynamic.” Buckle up and enjoy the ride!

 

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

I will send the bill….

man-paying-bills

 

I grew up with a dad who felt his primary obligation to the family was to “bring home the bacon.” Oh, and to “exact justice.” But that’s another tale. It’s the “financial” burden that has always griped me. My dad was raised that women were lesser beings and that their roles were not as “important” or arduous as men’s.  I am by no means a feminist, but when I hear the occasional comment made from a male whether in print or via a friend weary of hearing her husband’s reminders that “he’s the one paying the bills,” I want to punch the guy.  This financial worth thing has been on my mind so I decided to look into a little of my “financial worth” just for the fun of it. Let’s just pretend for a moment that I have been hired to serve….

I have given birth 12 times. The average surrogate mother’s fee ranges from $20,000 to $35,000 plus expenses. I have never received an epidural or any other type of pain reliever while in labor. That being said, I gave myself the maximum fee of $35,000. I know they charge extra for the pain relief but I have no scruples about earning for braving transition. There was also that labor that lasted seven days….I could charge extra for that one…

So…

12 x $35,000 = $450,000

That’s the minimum.

A quick search on nannies resulted in the following:  “Check your state guidelines to determine whether live-in nannies qualify for overtime above 40 hours per week. For part-time nannies, hourly nanny rates start around $12 per hour and can run as high as $20-25 per hour in affluent areas, particularly those without public transportation. You get what you pay for.”

I don’t really know how long a child “needs” a nanny so I’m just going to guess until they no longer need a babysitter. I believe in Indiana, a child must be 14 to be of “legal babysitting age” so I’m going to go with that.

So….

For 12 children receiving in-home nanny care from 0-14 without overtime:

$3,066,000

I didn’t add in overtime just to be fair to my olders who have helped tremendously with the youngers. If they were getting paid, they would have earned a pretty penny themselves.

I could stop at $3,516,000 but why would I want to do that?

We homeschool. I’m a private tutor, a proven method for superior education. (Can I just interject and say that if all these years of people asking my kids where they go to school, if my kids had answered, “Oh, I have a private tutor,” folks would be all impressed and “Oh, la-dee-da” then commend us parents for going the extra mile to provide our children with exceptional education. I think we’re going to try this. I’ll let you know how it goes.)

For a private tutor – $10-$15 per hour. Holy cow. I have no idea how much time we’ve put in. I’m going to give a low-ball estimate based on the 180 day school year, average 4 hours a day (sometimes more, sometimes less – the kids do more on their own as they get older) and include all 12 kids AND preschool though we’re far from done. I want to know the grand total!

$1,555,200

We’re at $5,071,200.

I have to include my laundry service as there has been rarely a day in the past 20-some years that I haven’t done at least one load of laundry. I’d say the average is 6 loads a day, some days more. I looked at a couple of sites and laundry services such as Laundry Locker or Lazy Bones who charge by the pound or item and charge for each additive such as detergent and softener. I have no idea how many pounds of laundry I have done! If they charged by the mountain or trash bags, I might be able to guesstimate but that’s overwhelming. I can’t NOT include it, though, because I have spent so much of my life on it! So, going with Lazy Bones’ $1.70 per pound, and I average out the fact that in the earlier years of our family, we did not have MOUNTAINS of jeans, towels, etc., I’m going to guess 25 pounds per week. (I know this week, I’m working on at least 50 pounds if you could weigh it all.) 25×52 weeks = 1,300×27 years=35,100 x $.73($1.70-$.97*-the cost to do one load at home) = $25,623.

That makes $5,096,823.

I haven’t even included my earnings from being a private chef, private chauffeur, event planner, “administrative assistant,” not to mention MAID! Nope, can’t leave that out –  I briefly peeked at what a house cleaner earns: “Professional house cleaners typically set house cleaning prices one of two ways: By hour, or by square foot. Hourly costs range from $25 to $35; square foot rates are often used for a “first clean,” as a baseline for pros to work from.” If I “just” cleaned 5 hours a week at $25/hour, and we know it’s more some weeks, less during “those” weeks, that’s an easy $175,500

Ahem…. $5,272,323

I could go on but then this post would be one of those you look at to see how long it is then pass it up because you don’t have the time. Am I right?

You pay the bills? Well, sir, pay that one. Better yet, try doing all of the above. One of the reasons a woman’s brain is spaghetti is she has to tackle all of her professions pretty much every day, keeping track of it all and mentally preparing for the next task and the next day and the next week… A man’s compartmentalized brain would implode!

Well, I must be off…I have to “earn my keep.” The first thing I’m going to do is delegate because I didn’t even get to my roles as a business-owner…which I need to do today in addition to all of the above…sigh….

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

 

*I found the cost to do a load of laundry at home in this fabulous post, “A Cost Comparison of Home Laundry and Laundromats” on “The Simple Dollar,” a resource to save to your favorites. Incidentally, in this post, the author says it will take 600 loads to recoup the price of the washer and dryer which will take 2 years if you do one load a day, compared to going to a laundromat. Yep, our appliances paid for themselves a long time ago….

(Photo Credit: http://cdn.moneycrashers.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/man-paying-bills.jpg)

My Thursday

We had a wedding cake consultation this evening so today was making cupcakes: Chocolatetown Special with Chocolate Buttercream, Sour Cream White with Buttercream and Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing. Noah was my assistant the first part of the day and after making the cream cheese icing, worked on his school. After closing, we went home, I took a power nap, then swapped Noah for Ben and went back to the kitchen to prep for the consultation. I printed out a consultation form, piped icing on the cupcakes, and worked on Cake Terms & Conditions. We’ve had Terms & Conditions for catering since the start but I haven’t had anything in print for cakes and it’s been long overdue so I’ve been researching that.

Consultations are one of the funnest parts of my job. Especially weddings. When a bride-to-be starts sharing her vision for her wedding, you get to know her very quickly in a very unique way. A wedding brings out so much of a person’s personality! I love it! Sometimes you meet a mom or future mother-in-law that’s a stick-in-the mud or a bridezilla. That wasn’t the case today.  I think it’s sweet when the mom is alongside and helping her daughter enjoy the process of planning for the big day. And this gal today is! She had a 3″ binder with divider tabs just for planning her wedding complete with pic of her and fiancée on front. She should be a bridal coordinator. Very organized.

I’m looking forward to designing this particular cake. First of all, we’re tickled that these folks chose us from the last bridal expo we participated in because they decided that our cake tasted  the best. Yay us! They were humming over their samples today, as well. This gal wants an “old,” simple reception and cake. Colors we are working with are gray, eggplant and silver. The cake itself is to be gray with eggplant ribbon around the bottom and a brooch on it. The plan is to make one with edible diamonds. The cake topper is to be a simple, silver “S.” There’s a definite Victorian flair with old-fashioned simplicity threading through her style. I don’t know if she realizes it, but this wedding could very easily go steampunk but I don’t think that’s what she wants. Ah, well, one can dream….

After the consultation, we packed up and headed home where I was greeted by meatloaf, scalloped potatoes & vegetable medley. My kids rock! (When proof-reading this I realized it almost sounded like I was greeted by the rockstar meatloaf – good thing I added the sides or I’m sure that’s what you would have thought). Right after dinner, Isaiah asked if I would give him his reading lesson. Night school? Bring it. So I reclined on the couch and he buzzed through his lesson. How many preschool teachers get to recline when giving their lessons? Ha! This evening also included my A.D.D kicking in and I shared my distraction with Lenae and Natalie as we perused websites with photos of steampunk houses, clothes and weddings.  Very cool stuff.

That’s February 16, 2012 for me.

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle