Monday, April 27, 2009

Homeschooling in Hard Times

It seems to be a daily occurance in our area now - another homeschool dad loses his job leaving the family to scramble to hold things together financially. And things don't look to bright for the future either.

General Motors just announced the closing of the Pontiac Division which means even more layoffs for the Detroit area. (Some estimate as high as 21,000 jobs.) But rather than let bad economic news defeat homeschoolers and drive moms back to work and children to the public schools, many parents seemed more determined than ever to make sure they continue to educate their children at home. That's welcome news because it shows parents are not willing to give the government the controlling interest in their child's education even when the going gets rough - unlike General Motors.

The Houston Chronicle reports that the economic downturn has caused an increased interest in homeschooling in Texas.

Holly Wallis, head of the Southeast Texas Home School Association, thinks the recession is driving a large part of the interest.

“We’re expecting an increase because the private school sector is going to be too expensive for a lot of people,” she said..

...The home-schooling gains are a surprise for the leaders of the advocacy group, which feared that the economic downturn might force home-schoolers to return to public schools. It’s cheaper to attend public school than to pay hundreds of dollars a year for the curriculum, supplies and activities needed to home-school, experts said.

Public school is cheap but the cost of putting our children in public schools is too high a price for many homeschool familes.

The economic downturn has forced our family to cut back on extras and get creative with our curriculum. We've always used the library but instead of buying curriculum we're borrowing and bartering with other homeschoolers in our area. I've also joined a homeschool co-op where the cost is minimal but the teaching has been excellent because parents are commited to making it that way. I've also used Ambleside Online for curriculum help especially with literature and history material.

What other creative ideas has your family come up in order to continue homeschooling?

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