Homeschool Exclusion Stirs Heated Debate

LOS ALAMOS� High school freshmen Heidi Lewis and Brian Davenport have a winning speech competition routine, but it didn’t do them much good at this year’s state tournament.

The entire Jemez Mountain Homeschool Speech and Debate Team can no longer compete in tournaments because they are not members of the New Mexico Activities Association.

And, as home-schoolers, they can’t become members under the current regulations.

Team members are angry and disappointed� the team has been participating in state tournaments for seven years. Read more…

Home-schooling extension

Kristi Lisech knew she wanted to home-school her children before they were even born.

The Stafford County resident, who majored in education, said she remembered telling professors in college that one-on-one teaching was more effective than a group setting.

Parents can customize their children’s education based on their individual needs, she told her teachers.

In addition, home-schooling would allow Lisech the ability to pass along her Christian faith to her children in a school setting, she said.

So it’s no surprise that she has spent the last nine years home-schooling her four children.

But as her eldest son, Andrew, prepares to enter high school level this fall, Lisech said she realized she needs a little help. Read more…

Home schooling (or Government) can be abused

An alleged child-abuse case in Necedah has exposed what some say is a failing of state law – home-schooling rules so lax they can be easily exploited.

But home-school advocates say the case exposes only the failings of the parents and of the officials who let the girl slip through the system unnoticed. They reject calls for more oversight, saying it would give the government an opening into what is a family decision. Read more…

Reading, writing and translating from the Elvish

When people find out we homeschool our kids, they almost always ask why.

It’s a good question. Anytime someone’s doing something outside the social norm — like going vegetarian or enrolling at the University of Alabama — people naturally want to know why.

Problem is, I’m not entirely sure how to answer that question. Read more…

Young girls kid around with their business

MADISON TOWNSHIP — Erin and Abby Neese’s boer goat herd started with one animal — Dixie, their little sister Laura’s pet.

The homeschoolers thought it would be a cool project. They could raise the meat goats to sell for 4-H fair market goat projects. Other breeders could buy does.

They didn’t realize running their business, Far View Hills Boer Goats, would teach them reams about math, biology and responsibility. Read more…

Homeschooler takes Top Honors at Science Fair

The Greater Syracuse Scholastic Science Fair selected homeschooled senior Christopher Wood as one of their two finalists going to the International Science and Engineering Fair in Portland, OR this May. He will join 1200 students from over 40 countries and every state for a week of judging, awards and special events, such as a panel of Nobel laureates and Draper Award recipients.

Sponsored by mentor Dr. Thomas Amidon of State University of New York’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF), Chris designed a process to extract acetic acid (highly concentrated white vinegar) and sugars, as part of a newly-developed extraction process which could be applied to the paper industry. Read more…

Out of the home and onto the theater stage

NORWICH — School plays are a rite of passage for many students, with enthusiastic amateur productions of classics such as “Our Town” filling black-box theaters and auditoriums every year.

For students who are home-schooled, however, participating in such group activities can be difficult unless there is an organization like the Brenda Kerr Theater’s Homeschool Theater Program, which provides these kids with opportunities to produce a play. Read more…

Homeschool Speech and Debate Tournament

State Representative John Litz (D-Morristown) gave out awards to the winners of the tournament. The first place winners will advance to the national finals in Lynchburg, Va., in June, but Morristown resident Larry LaPlue, tournament director, said the purpose of the tournament was not about winning first place.

‘As the leadership team of the tournament, we relentlessly stressed this is not about winning awards. Trophies and medals aren’t the valuable thing here. We want the students to develop skills, relationships, and most of all, good character,’ LaPlue said. ‘Realistically, the tournament experience is often more valuable when the students don’t win than when they do win. Learning to cope with losing teaches a real life lesson. When kids learn to work through a loss, even when they have worked hard and done their best, they learn invaluable lessons that will take them further toward their life goals than a first place trophy can take them.’ Read more…

Balancing home school with teachers

LIVERMORE — Students at Vineyard Alternative School have learned that school doesn’t always have to include rows of desks with one teacher writing on a chalkboard at the front of the room.

They are learning on their own, with the help of a teacher they see once a week and a parent or other supervisor who works with them every day.

Some cities have a home-schooling program — Livermore has its own public school. And with two elementaries closing this year and cutbacks of class-size reduction in three grades, more Livermore families may start turning to home schooling to explore other options. Read more…

More parents decide to become children’s teacher

Tonya Davenport had difficulty finding the help she needed for her 9-year-old daughter in Prince George’s County Public Schools. Her daughter, Tashiana, was behind grade level, and instructors failed to reach the girl academically.

In September, Davenport of Kettering quit her job and decided to take matters into her own hands. Read more…

Graduates of home schooling spread their wings

Two summers ago on a promotion tour for her new book, ‘A Parent’s Guide to Home Schooling,’ Tamra Orr of Portland got two main questions from parents who were considering home schooling.

The first was ‘What about socialization?’ The second was ‘What happens later?’

Parents wanted to know if home-schoolers were happy, if they went to college, if they fit into society after they ‘graduated’ from their unorthodox K-12 educations. Read more…

Home Schooling on the Rise in Japan

For decades, Japanese schools have been famous for rigorous standards that produce well-trained children, who go on to master high-technology jobs. But increasingly, parents complain the educational system is too rigid and kills creativity, and many are taking their children out of school.

Eight-year-old Taishi Hanamoto has never gone to school. Instead, he studies at home, along with his younger sister.

“Every day, I study with my parents, using math textbooks and the Bible,” he says. “I don’t feel isolated, because I take karate lessons where I can exercise and meet friends. I am having fun studying at home.” Read more…

NY Home schools require more proof for college degree

Home-schooled students may have difficulty graduating from college if the Board of Regents passes changes to its rules involving higher education in the state.

Under the amendments, students would either need a high school diploma or proof that they’ve completed the equivalent of a four-year high school program before being awarded bachelor’s degrees.” Read more…

‘Ichthyology’ wins Bee for Homeschooler

For a moment it appeared Rose Van Ryckeghem’s dream had ended with ‘ichthyology.’

After meeting three times a week with her coach since the fall and even practicing at parties, one word floated between the tenacious eighth grader and the mark she had had her eye on for months.

However Rose had decided to win the The Tennessean regional spelling bee this year and Tuesday morning she got her way. Ichthyology, by the way, means the branch of zoology that deals with the study of fish.

“I just really wanted to make this last year count,” said Rose, a homeschool student who has been competing in spelling bees since third grade. “I’m still shaking. I’ve been working so hard.” Read more…

NY Parents feel lessons make the grade

Sarah Phippen is lucky. Because the Hoosick resident attends college in Vermont, she didn’t need her local school superintendent to sign-off on the curriculum that her home-schooling mother had put together.

Southern Vermont College in nearby Bennington admitted the 16-year-old Phippen this past year based on the strength of her application — consisting of an essay — and the college’s own placement exam, which covers academic subjects such as math and English. So far, Sarah said she has been maintaining an A average at the college and intends to pursue a nursing degree.

But had she wanted to attend college in the Empire State, there might have been a problem. Read more…

Homeschoolers Sick With Legionnaires Disease Symptoms

HOUSTON — Two hospitals in The Woodlands dealt with more than a dozen patients possibly infected with Legionnaires disease, News2Houston reported Monday.

Health department officials confirmed 13 cases of Legionella pneumophila, the bacterium that can cause Legionnaire’s disease.

Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital and St. Luke’s Hospital treated the patients.

Officials said those reporting symptoms of Legionnaires disease had recently returned to Houston from a Christian home school basketball tournament in Oklahoma City, where they all stayed in the same hotel. Read more…

Homeschoolers keep the faith

At age 7, Jared Gamble’s parents took him to a rally to protest the expansion of a greyhound racetrack in Lincoln, R.I., into a gambling casino 10 minutes from their home.

But the Gambles’ participation in the protest that day wasn’t just about their moral and civic opposition to the casino. As a homeschool family, they also considered the rally an academic field trip designed to teach their son about democracy in action. Read more…

Home-schooler will represent Monroe County NY at national competition

It would seem pretty darn difficult for any adult to spell the words thalassocrat, lepidopterology and bibelot successfully � let alone know what they mean.

But those were the words facing some of the last third- through eighth-grade contestants Sunday afternoon in the ninth annual Monroe County Spelling Bee, sponsored by the Newspapers in Education Department of the Democrat and Chronicle. Read more…

Homeschoolers get chance to learn music

GALVESTON � Laura Stone stood before 19 elementary school students, waving her arms in conductor fashion as the group sang �On Top of Spaghetti� � the lyrics projected behind her on to the church sanctuary�s wall.

Stone�s three sons were part of the choir, yet for the next 40 minutes she was not Mom, but their teacher. A nametag dangling from her neck read �Mrs. Stone� in bold letters.

Three other moms were in the room: one at the piano, one near the projector and another watched with her 4-year-old son, who mouthed the words along with the other students.

This group, officially called the elementary choir class, is part of the recently formed Galveston Homeschool Performing Arts Co-op. The co-op is one of only a few of its kind in the nation, said Jeannette Duke, founder and president. Read more…

Parents get some lessons

Julie Beaulieu ate a bug, listened in on some political discussions and got tips on how to improve her sons’ reading skills Saturday.

The Duluth mother of three sons attended the Twin Ports Home Educators’ Conference at Lake Superior College, along with about 125 other parents. Beaulieu started home schooling one of her sons about a year and a half ago. Read more…