Home-schooled spelling champion

I think there is an endless supply of “homeschooler wins spelling bee” stories. Let’s hope the last one is national.

Society may have to lighten up on the educational value of science fiction and video games: They were the secret weapons of the top finishers at Friday’s Missoula County Spelling Bee.

Home-school eighth-grader Kyle Doyle took top honors in near record time with the correct spelling of ‘jurisprudence.’ He outlasted 56 other competitors from grades five through eight. Read more…

Rules change eliminates Geographic Bee champion

This is an unfortunate but pointless rule change.

Last year’s state champ in the National Geographic Bee won’t be able to compete in this year’s contest due to a little-publicized rules change, his parents said.

Matt Savage, a home-schooled seventh-grader from Francestown, had already won a school-level Bee at Great Brook School in Antrim. But after his win, officials with the Bee called and told parents Larry and Diane Savage that he couldn’t go on to the state contest because of rules governing how home-schoolers can enter the event. Read more…

Debates – homestyle

Here’s a fun idea for a co-op.
Homeschool students are sharpening their public speaking and research skills by participating on a debate team designed for homeschool students.
The nine-member debate team, compromised of local homeschool students ranging in age from 12-18, scheduled debates for the first time this year with other homeschool teams from Peoria and St. Louis. The teams are part of the National Christian Forensics and Communications Association which facilitates the tournaments. Read more…

Home-schoolers get their sea legs

Hands on learning is on thing that makes homeschooling great.

Facility welcomes children for hands-on exhibits and the dissection of a shark

NEWPORT — There’s a lot to learn from the outside of a shark.

You can count five gill slits on each side of the head, as opposed to the one found on other fish. And there are the tiny teeth that cover the entire shark’s skin, making it feel like sandpaper when you rub it the right way.

These are among the facts that a group of home-schooled teens learned Thursday at the Oregon Coast Aquarium. Even though those facts were interesting, there were more-pressing things to see.

The students were there for a dissection, after all. Read more…

He learned his spelling lessons well–at home

Another homeschooler on to the national bee.
NORTH KINGSTOWN – Autochthonous, pococurante, and prospicience are three words.
They are words similar to those that Michael Hackett, 11, a home-schooled student, studied before he entered the Rhode Island Statewide Spelling Bee.
Hackett won the spelling bee which was recently sponsored by the Providence Journal, and Cardi’s Furniture, and in cooperation with the Rhode Island Association of School Principals.
By correctly spelling the word hibernal in the 28th and final round of the state competition, Hackett, one of five children – all home-schooled – of Karen and Scott Hackett secured a spot in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., in May. Read more…

Home-school spirit

A teen’s decision to keep homeschooling starts out this story; Also dispelling some myths about homeschooling in Minnesota.

Alex Galle-From, 15, considered attending high school this year, but ultimately decided it would be better to stay home — in home-school.

The result, though, may be that he is out and about more often than most students his age, playing viola with the UW-Superior orchestra, skiing almost daily and pulling off a challenging course load, including Latin and Algebra II. Read more…

Houses of learning

A rare homeschooling story that doesn’t start at the kitchen table.

AUBURN – While a group of older students explore the Seymour Library on a scavenger hunt learning the Dewey decimal system, 6-year-old Samantha Morse sits at a table in the children’s room.

She picks up a farm animal puzzle and dumps the pieces on the table; she then turns them upside down and begins to figure out where each piece goes without looking at the pictures.

‘She is a puzzle wiz,’ Samantha’s mother, Gail Morse, said. Gail has been teaching her three children at home for nine years, and the outing to the library is just one of the children’s many lessons.

While homeschooling programs have been largely dominated by evangelical Christians in the past, it has become more popular in recent years. In 1999 the U.S. Department of Education estimated there were 850,000 homeschooled students in the country; in 2003 that number was up to 1,096,000. Read more…

Home-schooler tops spelling bee for fourth year

This isn’t the only homeschooler in the news who is back for a repeat trip to the national bee but it’s the first I know that is back for the fourth time.

Cari Peacock is the best speller in the county. Again. For the third time in four years.

Cari, a home-schooler from Bluemont, won the spelling bee in 2002 as a fifth-grader, in 2003 as a sixth-grader, and Thursday night at Heritage High School as an eighth-grader.

She was not as confident, going into this year’s contest, she said, because she hasn’t studied as intensely. Her interests now include the Loudoun 4H Llama Lovers, horseback riding, other courses, reading and the FIRST Robotics club. Read more…

Homeschooler spelling success nets trip to Washington

Here is one homeschooler on her way to the national bee.

Most of the words were so difficult that the 78th Annual State Spelling Bee, held at the Birmingham Museum of Art, was over after seven rounds, compared to 24 rounds at last year’s competition.

State spelling champion Laura Ann Brown of Rainbow City, an eighth-grader representing Alabama’s home schools, won for the second year in a row, spelling ‘stupefacient.’ Read more…

More African-Americans turn to home schooling

African-Americans are homeschooling for many of the same reasons others homeschool. This story seems to be trying to make the point that this is somehow a separate movement.

Deirdre McClain could tell by her son Evan’s second year in school that he struggled with reading comprehension, just as she did as a child.

She had a tutor help her through her difficulties, but her son had little one-on-one help at his Woodlawn elementary school, she said, and his self-esteem plunged. McClain, who was then president of Woodlawn’s Parent Teacher Organization, pulled him out of the public school amid criticism from its staff and began home-schooling him two years ago. Read more…

Life in the past lane

Homeschooling seems to fit natuurally with a simple lifestyle.

BRUNO, Neb. – For a family of 10, the Ostrys are strangely silent as they share a lunch of soup and baked potatoes around the big table in their farmhouse.

Mouths are full, but that’s not what impedes conversation. Dad consults a small dictionary, then attempts to tell his son about a car – in Czech. Read more…

More homeschooled students enrolling in college early

It’s nice to have that option. I’m not sure I would want my kids in college at 14 even if they are educationally ready.

Students in Alisha Miiller’s Delta College French class did a double take when the 14-year-old told them her age.

‘We were going around talking and asking people how old they were, and when we got to her, whoa – people were amazed she was 14,’ said Pamela Renna, Miiller’s French professor.

Miiller is one of six children of Greg and Lori Miiller of Pinconning. The couple have homeschooled all their children.

As a result, some are as many as four academic years ahead of their peers.

That is consistent with a growing trend at community colleges, where more homeschooled high school graduates are enrolling at younger ages, said Duff Zube, director of admissions and records at Delta College.

‘We are seeing more and more of this, and that is because more and more students are being homeschooled,’ he said. Read more…

Homeschoolers dominate robotics competition

First place for the Apprentice level and first and second for the Professional level was taken by homeschools teams.

The fifth annual Wichita State University Legos Mindstorms Robotics Challenge was hosted Feb. 26 by the colleges of education and engineering at WSU.

The event was designed to give students a chance to apply math, science, programming and engineering skills, and to promote teamwork, dedication and sportsmanship.

Students in fourth through eighth grades participated. Read more…

Homeschoolers adjust to life in college

Despite the innuendo of the reporting here, it’s clear these kids are having no trouble adjusting to college life.

Jordan Beck is a senior at the University, but he will have to wait two more years to legally buy his first beer.

The 19-year-old attributes getting an undergraduate degree earlier than most students to being homeschooled before college and was able to study at his own pace.

He said his experience as a homeschooled student better prepared him for the independence involved in college studies.

But adjusting to sharing professors’ attention with other students presented a challenge. Read more…

Mom Starts Florida Homeschoolers Group

Don’t have a homeschool support group in your area? Why not start one?

When Teresa Dearinger moved to Lehigh Acres five years ago, she searched for a support group specific to parents who homeschooled their children.

The nearest group was in Fort Myers. She wanted something a little closer to home.

Last August, she started a local group, Family Treasures Homeschoolers. There are 21 members in the group, which has grown an average of two new members a month.

“I started this group because I needed advice, I needed support and I needed information,” Dearinger, 45, said. “I learned through trial and error. I figured others were looking for support and encouragement, too.” Read more…

Home-schooled roundballers win state tourney, eye bigger prizes

The struggles and triumphs of the homeschool basketball team.

DURHAM — As state champs go, they’re a ragtag bunch.

The Durham Flight, a high school and middle school basketball program composed entirely of home-schooled students, didn’t even have alternate uniforms three years ago. Players wore their ‘away’ jerseys for every game their first season.

And away games aren’t exactly nearby, either. They’ve journeyed to Lexington, Winston-Salem and Greensboro in search of other North Carolina home-schooled teams to play. Read more…

Homeschooling Woman Starts Web Site to Help Others

Looks like a nice site. Great publicicty for her.

HEN MARY ANN Kelley started home schooling five years ago, she didn’t know what resources were out there.

She joined an online group and asked around. Other home-school mothers shared some great tips about types of curriculum and where to find free samples of educational products.

But Kelley never found a single Web site that contained all the information she had gathered in a few e-mails.

So, the Stafford County woman started one–and became ‘TheHomeSchoolMom’ in the virtual world of cyberspace. Read more…

Family spends a year touring United States

This is becoming more common. For some families, this is the only reason they would homeschool.

STATE COLLEGE — After years of thinking about it, Kathleen O’Connell and Michael Goldfine finally made a decision.

Though they’d tried to keep the hectic pace of modern parenthood and childhood from overwhelming their lives and those of their two daughters, there were times when it seemed all four of them were on separate paths.

And so they would, for a whole year, take just one road. And they would do it together.

The O’Connell-Goldfine family now is more than halfway through a ramble around North America and the foursome has learned lessons it never expected: What a field of brussels sprouts looks like under the California sunshine. How grizzly bears live in frozen Alaska. How living with your family full time can all at once be the most loving and frustrating experience of your life. Read more…

Homeschool student wins Bee

One of many stories of homeschoolers winning county and regional bees across the country. Soon we will see how many homeschoolers make it to the final national bee.

A-g-g-l-u-t-i-n-a-t-e spelled winner Saturday for a 13-year-old home-schooled eighth-grader in the Odessa American�s Regional Spelling Bee.

Rachel C. Barrett, of H.E.A.R.T. Home School, took the top prize Saturday, winning a spot at the 78th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee May 31 to June 2 in Washington, D.C.

�I�ve been doing this for a long time, and this is the first time I�ve won it,� Rachel said. �It�s unbelievable. I�m very excited.� Read more…

Homeschooled girl perennial winner of County Spelling Bee

This is this girl’s third time winning the county spelling bee. On to the statewide, then maybe the national bee?

Anna Rose Wright isn’t that intrigued with spelling.

The 12-year-old would rather be looking at bee legs under a microscope, reading a science-fiction book or dreaming about her first love, horses.

‘Spelling doesn’t excite her,’ Anna’s mother, Cindy Wright, said. ‘She’s more interested in science.’

But the home-schooled Anna has a knack for spelling.

She won the Gallatin County Spelling Bee last week after 13 rounds, finishing off with ‘p-i-e-b-a-l-d.’ Read more…