Home-school parents swap notes, gather resources before lessons start

The 18 women and two men stroll from table to table, pausing to flip through some of the items on display. Parents browse books titled “Playful Ways to Help Your Child Read,” “Friendly Chemistry,” and “An Easy Start in Arithmetic.”

As the start of the traditional school year approaches, parents whose children belong to the untraditional-education sector swap favorite lesson books and teaching tips. Home-schooling is a lifestyle change, they say � and at times, a lonely one.

“It’s important for me to not feel like I’m doing it by myself,” said Anne Healey, chairwoman of the Issaquah chapter of the Homeschoolers’ Support Association. The support group, based in the Puget Sound area, also has chapters in Federal Way and Renton.

Since home-schooling became legal in Washington 18 years ago, the number of home-schooled children has jumped from about 5,000 to 20,000. That number has held steady during the past five years, said Melinda Dyer with the state’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. Read more…

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