Monday, April 13, 2009

Families Stick to Homeschooling Despite Economy


By: Amy Tjaden News Editor

We are facing tough economic times. I was in the store recently and my jaw dropped at the price of a small can of black olives. It was well over a dollar; for the tiny can. Grocery shopping, which I've always viewed as chore, has become an anxiety inducer.

We're a family of five living off of a military income and the modest earnings of a freelance writer. We've always made it work. Now we find ourselves having to make sacrifices. The new tv, not gonna happen. The spring trip to Utah, canceled.

The one thing we won't sacrifice is our children's education. It appears that we're not alone. The homeschooling numbers continue to rise and a recession doesn't seem to have any impact on that. In fact, according to the Associated Press, the recession may actually increase homeschooling.

Private school tuition is becoming unaffordable for some and public schools face cutbacks. This only makes homeschool more appealing. There are stories all over of families who, although affected by the recession, will cut just about anything before they'd cut homeschooling.
USA Today ran an inspiring article that shows just how much homeschool families persevere in the face of economic strife. Parents are taking on second jobs, or some are going back to work part-time as they both share the duties of homeschooling.

Our family has sacrificed a much anticipated vacation. We're on a strict grocery budget. We're utilizing the library even more. The kids are limited in the amount of extracurricular activities they can sign up for. And we're fine with it. It is worth it.

I'd love to hear stories from our readers. Do you feel the impact of the recession? What have you done to continue homeschooling? Do you have any tips or tricks your family uses for homeschooling on a budget. Send your homeschooling success stories here.


  1. I did a little babysitting. It gave my toddler someone to play with during the day while we were homeschooling. She learned alot because we included her in our lessons when she could. It was like having another family member.

  2. I did daycare for 7 years while my kids were growing up. It was great for them to have playmates and it helped them with learning experiences as well.
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  3. My kids are grown now but I homeschooled them more than half their school years. The thing people did back then to save money was to use the library instead of a paid curriculum(there was a name for this and of course I can't remember it at the moment, perhaps the method is still around, it has been many years since I did this), they set their own pace and made their own curriculum for free this way. It's a lot more work for mom this way but those kids always did exceedingly well on the standardized tests. I did this just once for just History/Geography and Reading. I just bought a book of copyable works like maps and major questions. I think it cost less than $15 for the entire year for two kids two grades apart for Hist./Geog. I did not make adjustments for the grade difference and I think that was one of our most enjoyable years in those subjects. For reading they got to choose which books to read which made them more eager to do it.

  4. I confess I only have a short experience with home-schooling, and it mostly involved the use of a library and attempting to hobble together a curriculum on the spot. Though I sometimes wonder if the quality of the education itself is a good trade-off for the lost opportunity to develop better social skills.