This comes under the heading of "why didn’t I think of this". There is a business growing up around providing tutors for parents who want to home school their kids but don’t want to or can’t do the job themselves. Evidently the big guys in the tutoring industry, like Kaplan, are not getting into this particular segment but there are several local startup companies that are testing the waters. The costs run around between $20 and $50 an hour per child which the article says works out to less than the cost of a private school.

In one case it sounds like the tutoring service is setting up their own micro private school.

A few innovators are finding ways to lower tutoring costs. In 1998, Evelyn Plott, a former teacher, founded a for-profit center, now called the Campus, in Peachtree City, Ga.; it now tutors 40 students of middle- and high-school age. For $5,500 a year, teenagers can take up to five courses at a time at the Campus, mostly in typical subjects. But it is not a school: parents choose from an assortment of courses and set the pace. All Mrs. Plott provides are teachers, supplies and a comfortable place to work. Most students get all their coursework done in less than 20 hours a week, leaving time to pursue music, art, sports or travel on their own.

On second thought, I don’t think this particular business has much of future. First of all, there aren’t too many people who can afford to pay for complete private tutoring covering a full K12 education. I don’t know about the tutoring rates in the areas mentioned in this article but around here a good tutor for Calculus, Chemistry or Physics is going to run anywhere from $50 to $100 an hour. There’s also the issue of finding qualified teachers who are willing to work part-time for less than they would get at even a private school.

But completely aside from money, I would hope that any parents who decide to go this route (or anyone home schooling their children) would find some way for their kids to actively participate in art and music performance, regular physical education and foreign languages. All of those subjects are equal in importance to math, reading and science for a good education.