NILES, Mich. - Home-school students from the Niles area put together an archaeology exhibit for the Fort St. Joseph Museum recently, the Niles Daily Star reported. In related news, USA Today reported that an estimated 1.5 million children in the country are home-schooled, up from 850,000 a decade ago.

The Fort St. Joseph Museum exhibit focuses on the ongoing archaeological work at the fort, including a description of the dewatering procedures used there, the excavation process and some artifacts, the Star reported. Home-school parent Renee Kurtzweil, who was site director for the Western Michigan University archaeology field school at the fort in 1998, led the project.

The exhibit also includes information on the Chickasaw Wars, which students researched by studying transcripts translated from the original French, the Star reported. About 25 area home-school students participated.

USA Today reported that about 36 percent of parents who home-school do so to provide religious or moral instruction, according to the U.S. Department of Education. An additional 21 percent cited safety concerns and 17 percent said they were dissatisfied with academic instruction. The government report said that home schooling has grown particularly among high-income families, USA Today reported.

Niles Daily Star, "Lessons in local history," June 23, 2009

USA Today, "More higher-income families are home schooling their children," June 2, 2009

Michigan Education Report, "Fifteen years later, home-schoolers say legal battle was worth it," May 27, 2008