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Monday, June 05, 2006

Beats teaching them yourself

Librado Romero/The New York Times
Krystal Wheeler, 18, right, studying with her tutor,
Jennifer Jones, at the Wheelers' home in New York.
Krystal's sister is also home-schooled.

In Gilded Age of Home Schooling, Students Have Private Teachers

Published: June 5, 2006

In what is an elite tweak on home schooling — and a throwback to the gilded days of education by governess or tutor — growing numbers of families are choosing the ultimate in private school: hiring teachers to educate their children in their own homes.

Unlike the more familiar home-schoolers of recent years, these families are not trying to get more religion into their children's lives, or escape what some consider the tyranny of the government's hand in schools. In fact, many say they have no argument with ordinary education — it just does not fit their lifestyles.

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.

"For someone who travels a lot or has a parent who travels and wants to keep the family together, it's an excellent choice," said Lisa's mother, Trish Mazzoni, who with her husband owns a speedboat company.

The cost for such teachers generally runs $70 to $110 an hour. And depending on how many hours a teacher works, and how many teachers are involved, the price can equal or surpass tuition in the upper echelon of private schools in New York City or Los Angeles, where $30,000 a year is not unheard of.

Other parents say the model works for children who are sick, for children who are in show business or for those with learning disabilities.

"It's a hidden group of folks, but it's growing enormously," said Luis Huerta, a professor of public policy and education at Teachers College of Columbia University, whose national research includes a focus on home schooling.

posted by Steve @ 1:19:00 AM

1:19:00 AM

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