As George Steven Swan noted in the previous issue of The Family in America, the married homemaker who focuses her attention on the children, hearth, and home has rarely been acknowledged for the economic force that she is. Paraphrasing Teddy Roosevelt who rebutted those who claimed she is a parasite, the married mother at home is the economy. Her impact on the economy is three-fold: first, she raises the future labor force; second, her at-home labor saves the family money; and third, by tending to details on the home front, she both allows and motivates her husband to be fully committed to his occupation, job, or profession. George Gilder even suggests that civilization would not be possible without the role of married women in motivating their husbands to be economically productive. So extensive is her contribution that [Nobel Prize-winning economist Gary] Becker has suggested to this writer that the married mother at home exerts a more far-reaching impact on the economy than the married father in the workplace (whose earnings would be less without the support of a wife at home). While the husband contributes to the present economy, the mother contributes to both present and future economy, but especially the future economy through the more highly productive children she raises.
The economic impact of married mothers who home-school their children is even greater. For example, the average cost of attending a private elementary or secondary school in major metropolitan areas in the United States is $10,000 to $20,000 per child per year. If a married mother has five children, and she chooses to home-school them, she would save the family as much as $100,000 per year. This is a direct, after-tax income contribution to the family. She also saves the state (and the taxpayer) at least half of that amount for not enrolling her children in the public schools. Furthermore, she will likely provide a better education on average, since home-schooled children perform at slightly higher levels than privately and publicly schooled children.
May 02, 2011
Homeschooling Moms as Economic Powerhouses
Today marks the beginning of Teacher Appreciation Week, so I'd like to express my appreciation to my wife, Susie, and all the other homeschooling moms out there. Former Heritage Foundation scholar Patrick Fagan writes: