Friday, April 14, 2006

We may be raising an entrepreneur

Awhile back my wife wrote about how our daughters had turned our kitchen into Cate Cafe.

Just this week my middle daughter approached me with a proposal. She asked if she could run a concession stand the next time the family watched a movie in the living room. She started going on about having popcorn that we could make and some fruit from the kitchen. She wondered if we could hit the grocery store and get some candy. We talked about what kinds of drinks we might have.

She said that the family members could buy the snacks with pretend money.

She says she wants to be a writer, but I wonder if she’ll end up being an entrepreneur.

The other option I’ve wondered about is that maybe she just wants us to watch more movies together as a family.

Update I (20 April 2006)
I've started to answer some of Peter's questions at:

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Peter said...

Mr. Cate, there is something about this home schooling issue that really confuses me. First, I would like to say that I am not entirely against the idea of home schooling. Yet I cannot understand why so many who are advocates of home schooling show no more than utter contempt for the public school system. Yes, many public schools are unproductive, failing and wasteful. Yet it is my opinion (and many others) that what is needed is an overhaul and fixing rather than condemnation. Fixes such as;
1. More strict discipline and concise policies concerning student behavior.

2. Parental involvement (forced if necessary)

3. In the Urban areas, Better technology and curriculum (instead of "dumbing down", "smarting up" curriculum, courses and testing)

4. Restructure the administrative staff. Most administrative positions in our school system (Detroit) are "cushy" jobs with no real function other than a title and a huge salary. (also buddy-buddy appointments)

The afore mentioned are just to name a few. For all of it's problems, the public school is still a great venue for young in this country.

In Michigan, as it is in many other states, teachers must be qualified in their field to give instruction in the school. These diverse individuals offer a variety of skills and background to the students within the system. With home schooling the variety of opportunities would be limited. Opportunities to participate in extra-curricular activities such as music, art, sports are made available within the school social setting.

It is my understanding that home school requires that the child receives a certain amount of hours of educational instruction in the home. This instruction is likely given by either parent(s) or a designee of the parent(s). If there is a designee (tutor)I would assume that this person would be paid for such service. Question;

1. What is this service (full time tutor) worth?

2. Will this person be trained and knowledgeable of all aspects of his/her field. Or will you need to hire several tutors, one for each subject.

3. At the present the government spends (arbitrarily) "X" amount of dollars per student. If given to the parent, lets say as a voucher, will this amount suffice for all the material needs and expenses (books, hands on science materials, maps, computers and software, salary for the tutor, ect...).

I am married, and both my wife and I work full time jobs to support our lifestyle. With rising cost in every day expenses (insurance, home utilities, gasoline, food, health care ect..) we have had to "cut corners" in our budget just to stay afloat. As a family we survive on the bare minimum of "creature comforts" (cable tv and a night out at the movies every few months or so). We don’t have expensive automobiles or pricy clothes and jewelry, basically, we survive paycheck to paycheck.

With that being said I'd like your or someone to explain to me the feasibility of home schooling for the average urban parent. (Average being the parent or parents working full time jobs to support the household) I really don't believe that even "half" of the parents, let alone most, would be financially able to stay home with their children, even on a part time basis. There is also the question of "is the parent capable of teaching the child math or science or a foreign language".

So who is it you are suggesting home school their children, wealthier homes? If so, what does have to do with the failing inner-city public schools? (Wealthy people don't send their kids to inner-city schools). I've searched and read several web sites and numerous articles on home schooling in the U.S., and I have yet to see any one address these questions. In closing I would like to ask you; could you please give me some idea to the methods to make home schooling possible for my children.

Thank you, Peter

Henry Cate said...

I'm answering some of Peter's questions in a series of posts. The first post is at:

jdavidb said...

Be sure to have your daughter read Murray Rothbard's book on Money!