Saturday, August 23, 2008

Outsourcing Meets Homeschooling

The New York Times has an interesting article today called The Gilded Age of Home Schooling

I noticed it in the headlines because of the use of the expression "Gilded Age". My son got stuck on the Gilded Age when we were studying American History because he hated the robber barons and the narcissism of the upper classes and the whole "capitalism gone wild" thing of the period, and he just really didn't want to spend any time studying it. So the title did make me curious. I wondered if they had accidentally substituted "Gilded" for "Golden".

In the 70s you had the Unschoolers, in the 80s you had the Christian homeschoolers, in the late 80s and early 90s you had the whole spectrum of other religious homeschoolers - and all throughout you had the Homeschoolers for Excellence, who just believed they could do a better job with their kids' education.

Today, in an odd throwback to the days of governesses, growing numbers of, well, rich people are hiring private tutors to teach their children at home.

Rich homeschooler. Until now, an oxymoron if ever there was one.

Large numbers of homeschool families with single incomes and lots of children have given rise to websites and blogs about Thrifty Homeschoolers and Frugal Homeschoolers, and almost every online resource for homeschoolers includes a section on how to get free stuff, discounted curriculum, and other things that just don't usually include live-in tutors. I can picture these homeschooling moms rolling on the floor laughing and getting peanut butter and jelly in their hair.

I don't mean to beat up on The Rich. All they want is to enhance their family experience by providing schooling that fits their lifestyle, just like the rest of us.

"Lisa Mazzoni's family splits its time between Marina del Rey, Calif., and Delray Beach, Fla. Lisa has her algebra and history lessons delivered poolside sometimes or on her condominium's rooftop, where she and her teacher enjoy the sun and have a view of the Pacific Ocean south of Santa Monica"...

..."It makes life so much easier," Lisa continued. "I don't have to worry about missing tests and if I really wanted to, I could bring the work with me — because it's all in the computer — if I'm in Florida visiting my dad or going to a boat race."
OK, so maybe they aren't exactly like the rest of us.

This is a model that has worked for a long time for show-biz kids and children who are homebound due to illness or disability. And it would certainly be the ultimate way to "mix home business with homeschooling" by having your own business and outsourcing the homeschooling part. But the cost for such teachers is pretty steep: $70 to $110 an hour.

I wonder if my husband realizes how much I am saving him in tutoring costs?


  1. Wow, who would have thought!

    I cant imagine spending 30,000 to have someone else teach my child in my home. I wonder if this mother knows she can do it herself for "Free" lol

    Kidding aside, I am sure these children will get the very best in education.

  2. Some people think you get what you pay for. An expensive education must be the best education, but relationships cannot have a price tag.