Homeschooling In During This Recession
By Ann Zeise
Just thinking about how the economic news is going to affect our life here.
Things sure getting crazy
For the first time in the life of my website, I’m getting email from families who are turning to homeschooling because they’ve lost their homes in foreclosures. I had thought I had heard every reason to homeschool, but this is a new reason that hadn’t come up in 12 years.
What if you do lose or have lost your home in a foreclosure? One family I heard from was taking off in their car, planning on just being gypsies and doing odd jobs, educating their kids from the family car the best they could. I sent them over to theTraveling Homeschoolers page to get ideas and suggestions.
Another family sent mother and child back to Mexico where the mother had relatives and living was cheaper, but as the child did not speak Spanish, she was having a difficult time adjusting to Mexican schools. Often other Expatriates can offer good advice.
We’ve watched the value of our retirement accounts dwindle, and so we’re not putting any more in at this time… though it MIGHT be an excellent time to buy or not, depending on who you read. (Like at a fire sale!)
I’ve been stashing my extra funds in PayPal because it is paying 2.29%, which seems better than any money market bank account, as there is no minimum required. Any Money Market fund you can find over 2.2% is good right now. I think you may have to select that you want the interest earning Money Market type account in PayPal. Can’t recall how I got it. Now PayPal isn’t insured by FDIC, but then it also isn’t a bank. It is owned by eBay. Paypal has never been in the mortgage business, so I’m hoping it is safer.
I also bank at a Credit Union. By federal law, credit unions can’t file for bankruptcy.
From what I read today, there is no need to worry that we’re going to have another “Great Depression.” There are government controls and regulations that have been in place since that crisis to prevent another. There have been other recessions, and this one is likely to be a doozy.
To be safest, pay off your credit card debt, and pay cash from now on. Keep your home and your car fixed up, as you are unlikely to be able to get a loan for a new one unless you have sterling credit (because your credit cards are paid up.)
Even if you feel your working spouse has a secure job and income, now would be a good time to start a home business. It will be hard for a currently non-working spouse to find employment when so many others with recent job experience are also looking for work. To meet this need, I have started a multiuser blog where blogging homeschool parents will be allowed to sell their products or through affiliate relations sell the products of others, just so long as they follow the terms of service. If you feel you could earn money online, do consider starting a blog on A2ZHomeschool Blogs
Pay attention to the FREE STUFF I have on my site. There are both free and commercial educational resources on my site. Some of the free lists and links are just as good as the ones you could pay for. For example, you could pay for a list of good books for kids, or you could go to a list of good books on my site, print it out, and then check the books out of the library as needed. (Just be careful not to get late fines!) You can get free lesson plans and unit studies, or you could pay someone else a whole lot of money to do it for you.
Are these entirely free? Well, I’m assuming you already have a computer and internet access, and those aren’t free. But if you can still manage to pay for online services, you can homeschool for free after that.
When you homeschool for free, you also have to do your own record keeping. I also have a free Excel spreadsheet for doing that – and other types of free or low cost record keeping, too.
You ONLY need to keep records a) if your state requires it; b) you just like having a progress record; or c) you have a high schooler who will want a transcript one day.
Last time there was a recession, the state stopped funding charter schools and school districts stopped funding homeschool programs. My advice: don’t get too dependent on reimbursements for curriculum expenses through charter schools and public school programs. When legislators start looking for cutbacks in spending, the odds of charters being able to refund curriculum expenses to individual families is not exactly high on law makers’ spending lists. School districts are also likely to close their homeschool programs. Ours already has.