I grew up in the mainstream education system, attending the local public primary school and later a private high school, then onto one of the ‘sandstone’ universities. I didn’t encounter any homeschoolers growing up, so the whole concept seemed rather mysterious to me.
Through my work with Money School and Maker Kids, I encounter a number of homeschool families, many of whom have become my clients – so the mystery has somewhat dissipated, but it has been replaced with respect. I find it refreshing that these families actively pursue teaching their children about entrepreneurship and money, and I was keen to learn more.
Enter Rebbecca Devitt.
We met through the wonderful interweb. Rebbecca was homeschooled, and is now a passionate advocate for homeschooling. I was keen to learn how she learned about money in her schooling, and she kindly agreed to be interviewed:
Tell us a little about yourself
“I’m a homeschool graduate, who grew up in a Christian church group. I love writing about Christian homeschooling and am especially interested in Christian homeschooling issues in Australia. Soon I’ll be publishing my first book on Australian Christian homeschooling called Why on Earth Homeschool: The Case for Australian Christian Homeschooling.
“I also enjoy advocating for homeschooling in Australia and I lobby state and federal governments on this topic. I’m married to Tristan and have an enthusiastic dog, Molly, and a cranky rabbit, Chester. We also have a baby on the way in August, 2017 (no, we’re don’t know what sex it is – and yes, it will be homeschooled!).”
How did you learn about money growing up?
“Because I was homeschooled, I spent a lot of time learning about money by watching my parents. My parents were great at saving money and ended up acquiring quite a few rental properties, even though the family was on a single income for the vast majority of the time.
“As a subject, Mum made us read books about rental properties. Dad also got us to trade stocks on paper. By the time my brother was 12-years-old, my Dad had my brother trade live stocks on the stock exchange.
“Also, because we moved every couple of years when we were young, we learned a lot about buying and selling properties and how to fix up properties.”
What do you think the advantages are of learning about money in a homeschool environment, versus a traditional school one?
“Learning about money in a homeschooling environment is great as you learn about money management in a real environment instead of on paper as you might do if you were studying an economics subject in school. Instead of just reading books on the subject, you can be involved as your parents go through things. My parents were super open about everything, including their finances, so we always knew what situations they were going through and how to deal with them when we got older.”
You’re launching a book this year – tell us about it?
“Yes. My book is called Why on Earth Homeschool: The Case for Australian Christian Homeschooling. The book is an apologetic for …you guessed it, Australian Christian homeschooling. It’s more of a ‘why’ book than a ‘how’ book as we talk about all the reasons people might consider homeschooling from an Australian Christian perspective. I love the book because it’s interesting and contains plenty of stories, statistics and research to back up the reasons to homeschool.”
If you could pass on only one piece of financial advice to your child, what would it be?
“Start saving early while you don’t have too many financial commitments. This will allow you to get a deposit for a property. It’s so much harder doing this later when you’re married and have other financial commitments. ”
Where can we learn more about your book and your business?
“I write for the Why on Earth Homeschool website. The website contains heaps of free homeschooling resources targeted to Australian Christian parents. If you want to know more about my book, visit my book page on the website and grab yourself a copy!”
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Lacey Filipich is the co-founder and director of Money School. She helps parents raise financially savvy kids and helps adults get on top of their finances. Connect with her on LinkedIn and follow the Money School Facebook page to learn more.