Home-school interest grows in hard times Houston Chronicle April 27, 2009
Expense of private schools leads some to make a change
An estimated 300,000 Texas children are homeschooled, compared to the nearly 4.7 million who attend traditional public schools.
Seems like they wouldn’t have a clue how many Texas homeschoolers there are? Texas homeschoolers don’t register or notify government authorities about their education choice. Unless homeschool groups are reporting their member numbers. I would hope that the “estimated” term is used very loosely.
This piece from the article made me wonder if Texas public schools haven’t learned that fees are the new tax:
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.
When our kids attended public school, we paid hundreds of dollars a year in fees in Illinois. Extra curricular activities were cheaper via park districts, libraries, zoos and museums. The biggest benefit was educational accountability rested on us, as the parents. Their soccer practice and games did not revolve around whether the kid passed their spelling test.
Home Education Magazine’s Mary Nix did a Closer Look at homeschooling older kids and this Mark Hegener quote seems to ring true:
I picked this particular column for Closer Look because I believe the additional pressure to buy, buy, buy to make sure your child excels causes more stress to our homeschool community than it helps. Mark Hegener, HEM Publisher and homeschool Dad once said that all you need to homeschool is love and a library card. That continues to remain true as well and I hope you will read and take to heart Cafi Cohen’s sage advice in Less is More.