I remember years ago reading about a traditionally large family (four or five kids) and how they decided early on in their marriage how many kids they would have and that they wouldn’t save a single penny for their post-secondary education.
Though it sounds like it may be a little irresponsible for a well-educated couple to actively chose to have a large family, demand post-secondary from their kids, but have no system in place to help them with a post-secondary education, but they had good reason.
Spending on Experience
They chose very early on to spend their money on experiences rather than save. Their main idea was to live a very simple farm life, homeschool the children (more freedom) and spend their money with the kids on varying travel and other experiences.
The parents worked from home and mom homeschooled the kids. Rather than just watching a movie, they would travel all over North American experiencing things they read about in their studies allowing them to gain a much better perspective on topics. They would spend time visiting university campuses too in different regions, even when their kids were young as they felt it was important for the kids to picture themselves (and give them motivation) at such an institution.
Whatever they did seemed to work as their oldest was accepted to post-secondary on a scholarship with the younger siblings close behind.
While I don’t think it is a parenting requirement (to pay for post-secondary) I am intrigued by this method.
College Education or World Experience?
There is something to be said for actually experiencing the world beyond your little bubble. When I got into dental hygiene and we studied anatomy on actual cadavers, I remember distinctly my mind being blown when I saw the aorta for the first time. At this point I had studied anatomy in text books during my undergrad, saw many pictures of the heart and all surrounding strictures but until I actually saw one it didn’t occur to me how large it actually was. The gross anatomy class I took that year was without a doubt the most challenging class I’ve ever taken, but one of my best grades because of the lab experiences we had with the class.
I’d love to be able to send my daughter on various trips for her to experience the world in a similar manner but as long we we’re stashing out extra pennies for her potential post-secondary, we can’t. Though we will travel as a family, I like the idea of her being able to capitalize on solo excursions too as she gets older and this story sits at the back of my memory. I’d rather forgo some of the things I want in life so we can save and have the resources for her to be able to if and when the opportunity arises.
I really do believe the more opportunities a child has to truly experience the world the more successful they will be in life in general. If this helps her gain scholarships and not need our savings that’s a bonus for us.