High Performance Schooling at Home: How to Give Your Child an Expensive Private Education for $3,000 per Year

Michael Strong
22 min readOct 30, 2018

Part I: Introduction

Many parents are rightly dissatisfied with their local schools, and yet they cannot afford to pay for an expensive private education. Are they therefore doomed to watch their child suffer a mediocre education year after year, foreclosing life options with each year in which their child is not encouraged to flourish?

Not at all. For many parents and many children it is not that difficult to create at home a world-class private education for less than $3,000 per year. I focus on elite college admissions as one standard metric of “world-class private education.” That said, the underlying world-class skill development is far more important than is college admissions per se. Indeed, to an increasing extent very talented young people are opting out of college.

Here I will provide a brief description of the goals of the education and the pre-requisites for success. In the next section, I’ll provide a sketch of the content up until “high school.” In the final section, I’ll describe what “high school” looks like through this approach and how to keep costs under $3,000 per year for such an education.

Goals of the Education

Academic Goals

A sixteen year old student will be a competitive candidate at the best colleges in the U.S. if she:

1. Has SAT scores above 1400 (preferably above 1500).

2. Has taken three or more Advanced Placement (AP) exams in diverse academic subjects and scored a “4” or higher.

3. Has successfully undertaken a substantial enterprise that has been recognized on its merits by the adult world — a volunteer enterprise, a business enterprise, an academic or research enterprise, has published papers, extraordinary physical or artistic achievement, etc.

School, in the usual sense, is entirely unnecessary for achieving these goals and in many cases is, in fact, a hindrance. Indeed, there are reasons why parents should actively avoid placing their child in any education environment that lacks purpose or towards which their child does not feel connected.

While other bells and whistles could be added, and although no particular resume will guarantee admissions into Harvard or other highly competitive colleges, a student that has…

Michael Strong

Founder, The Socratic Experience, socraticexperience.com, a virtual school 4 innovators and original thinkers,author The Habit of Thought and Be the Solution.