View Full Version : All SF Parents Turn to Homeschool Co-ops after Getting Shut Out of SFUSD School Lottery

09-09-2011, 07:40 AM
From WSJ.com (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904537404576554941306123886.html) by Jim Carlton:
Rebecca Dake didn't like San Francisco's public schools and thought private schools were too expensive. So the mother of three recently opted for another route for her 6-year-old daughter: a homeschool cooperative she helped start herself.

"This offers a middle choice for the middle class," says the 38-year-old Ms. Dake.

The San Francisco Schoolhouse, formed by three families including Ms. Dake and her husband, Bliss, started classes Tuesday in the Richmond district with an initial enrollment of four first-graders. It is believed to be the first such co-op in San Francisco, according to Pia Williams of the California Homeschool Network, a statewide support organization, though several homeschool co-ops have sprung up in recent years elsewhere in the state.

Unlike most homeschooling, in which a child is primarily taught by his or her own parents, students in co-ops often share teachers and sometimes are taught in shared classrooms outside the home. In the case of San Francisco Schoolhouse, the families will share the cost of paying for two teachers and parents will serve as field-trip directors.

One advantage of the co-ops, supporters say, is that families split the teaching costs while exposing their children to the social interaction that homeschooling critics say they miss out on by not attending traditional schools.

And it is less pricey than San Francisco private-school tuition. This year, Ms. Dake and other parents involved in San Francisco Schoolhouse will spend $7,000 to $9,000, compared with upward of $20,000 a year for many private schools.

Ms. Dake turned to a homeschool co-op after she and her husband tried to enroll their daughter, Moselle, in the San Francisco Unified School District for kindergarten last year. They were turned down for all seven of their top choices, including an elementary school near their home in the Richmond district. The couple put Moselle in a private-school kindergarten, but pulled her out after one year because of the expense.

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