Assembly Line Education

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Steve Lambert got me thinking about assembly lines today with his post about Henry Ford and the price of education. Mr. Lambert talked about how much less expensive homeschooling is compared to public school education. And it's true: You could purchase any homeschool curriculum for your children and pay far less than the amount of tax dollars poured into public schools for a single child. What's more: You get to keep the books. I've blogged about this before. So: Right on!

But here's my question:

If public education is the "assembly line" version of school and homeschooling is the "handmade" option: Why is the Ford model failing to produce cheaper/better results?

At least part of the answer is obvious: Homeschool teachers work for free and there are no added overhead costs (such as a school building).

So this isn't a fair comparison. Sure. But I think there are several areas of life that are shifting into a new existence. We see it from time to time: Newspapers fold because people get their content online for free and no longer buy ads in the papers because they can sell their stuff more effectively online for free. Encyclopedias and dictionaries are moving online and are free (Wikipedia, anyone?). People are pouring billions of hours into these online "hobbies" that--like homeschooling--offer the world something incredibly powerful and effective for free.

And you can be part of that. Blogging certainly can be. And homeschooling certainly is. Pretty cool, eh?

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father

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  1. Jill in Kentucky

    You might like to read "A Thomas Jefferson Education" which also likens public school to an assembly line. Great reading and makes me love Sonlight even more.

  2. Luke

    Thanks for the book recommendation, Jill!


  3. Mrs. C

    With homeschooling, you're not (I hope!) even attempting to get a "standard product." So, people like me could spend a gazoodle on a good Bible curriculum, but just $20 on literature because there's this thing called "the library" down the street, and they usually have something we like there. Sometimes several things.

  4. Luke

    Mrs. C, many people are trying to get "standard product" from education. That's what all the hubbub is about standardized testing and other standardized programs and such. But, I'm with you: Customer is far better here <smile>.


  5. Anonymous

    yes. good thoughts!

  6. Luke

    Glad you agree, Anonymous! <smile>