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For this family, only home school makes grade

GRESHAM — Tamra Orr thinks some kids just don’t belong in school.

“School can be a very damaging experience for a lot of kids,” the Gresham resident said. “It’s against their every nature. They want to discover, learn, move. School’s an artificial environment.”

So Orr, who moved to Oregon from Indiana two years ago, decided early on to home-school her four children.

“It was probably the best decision my parents ever made,” said Orr’s daughter, Jasmine Pettet, 19.

Orr, who had already published dozens of educational books, started writing about home schooling several years ago. Her latest book, “After Homeschool: Fifteen Homeschoolers out in the Real World,” was released by Parent’s Guide Press this year.

She couldn’t have picked a better time for the topic. The popularity of home schooling has steadily increased since the late 1980s, said Brian Ray, president of the National Home Education Research Institute, which has offices in Salem and Washington, D.C. He said there were 1.7 million to 2.1 million home-schooled students in the United States last year. Read more…

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