Home-schoolers adjust to recession

NORTH BEND, Ore. - Home-school families are taking on night jobs, adjusting schedules and cutting back on expenses in tough economic times, but they are not giving up on home schooling, according to an Associated Press article aired by KCBY-TV, Oregon.

That includes the Waterman family in Southfield, Mich., the report said. Abby Waterman, a mother of eight children, said she is able to continue teaching her four younger children at home due partly to support from the older siblings, who are chipping in earnings from caddying and tutoring.

April Morris, of Auburn Hills, also continues to teach one son at home even though she is now working nights at Target, the report said. Her husband was laid off from a computer industry job, she told the Associated Press.

Before the recession, the ranks of home-school students had been growing by an estimated 8 percent annually; the latest federal figures, from 2007, calculate the total at about 1.5 million, according to The Associated Press.

While some home-school families are giving up because of a stay-at-home parent's need to get a job, the recession overall could boost home schooling as parents seek alternatives to private school tuition hikes and public school cutbacks, officials told The Associated Press.

Allendale Academy in Clearwater, Fla., has seen enrollment increases of 50 percent due to parents shifting from private schools, director Patricia Carter told the Associated Press. The academy also offers services to home-schoolers.

KCBY-TV, "Tough times force a mother to work, but home schooling remains priority," March 4, 2009

Michigan Education Report, "At Home At Delta College," Feb. 23, 2007