Saturday, June 29, 2013

A Frugal Education

My daughter and I attended a teen writers conference last week in Kansas. It was put on by One Year Adventure Novel and there were several excellent speakers. My daughter fell in love with author/speaker Stephanie Morrill from Go Teen Writers wrote the Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series. I enjoyed all the authors, editors, and publishers that spoke, especially Mark Wilson, who teaches writing at a college in Oregon. The whole four day conference was just amazing and the teens who attended were such hardworking, determined writers who really inspired me.

What really impressed me was the amount of education and information that you could learn in just four days. The amount of quality information shared was almost overwhelming and my daughter and I still trying to digest it even now. Many people attend school for years and never glean as much practical information as can be learned through topic-specific seminars and conferences. This is a great way to get a frugal education. For the mere price of staying in a dorm room and using the shared bathrooms, eating cafeteria food for a week, gas to get there, and a small conference fee, we were able to learn a vast amount of knowledge about writing and publishing. And, we had tons of fun besides!

My son attended the local technical college last year. His comment, after finishing the certificate coursework, was that he had learned everything he wanted to know and didn't have to take a bunch of classes that would be useless to his life goals. Such a direct and frugal approach to education works for me. Education is about learning. It's about what you learn, and how you learn, not where you learn.


  1. There is so much truth in this post. Society is now pushing kids to go to college whether it's the best thing for them or not. My 11 year old gets it. He says he wants to have a small organic farm so why would he waste his time in college? (Not that he'll ultimately decide to do that). My oldest two are now homeschooling using a free curriculum based on college level classes. Should they decide to go to college they will be able to test out of most of the general education courses saving thousands of dollars.

    1. Testing out is a great way to save money. Your 11 year old could take the money he would spend on college and use it towards buying a farm. He would be so much farther ahead. It's fun to think outside the box.