Proposal to ease restrictions on home-schooling up for vote in Virgina

FOR NEARLY 2 MILLION American children, the commute to school is a walk to a special corner of the house where books, art supplies, a computer, and other learning materials abound. The home-school phenomenon, which began in the 1950s with liberal parents looking for a less-rigid learning experience for their children, has swept the nation over the last two decades. Today, more than 16,000 children in Virginia participate in home education, and what was once a somewhat shadowy, quasi-legal recourse for parents dissatisfied with the public schools has become an up-front, legal, and, by all counts, successful alternative to public education. Read more…

Homeschoolers singing together

Lauri Chupp wanted her sons to be able to sing in a choir, but she was homeschooling them and didn’t have many options.

So Chupp made one. Four and a half years ago, she started a homeschool choir that is now two choirs with about 40 singers.

“When a homeschool mom sees a need, you either plan it, organize it or hope somebody else does,” Chupp says. “Homeschooling is a cooperative thing. Read more…

Homeschoolers fight West Virginia legislation that criminalizes parents who object

West Virginia homeschooling families and others were scheduled to stage two rallies today to protest a proposed bill that would require every child in the state to have a record of compulsory immunizations.

The legislation, Senate Bill 439, stipulates ‘any parent or guardian who refuses to permit his or her child to be immunized’ would face a criminal charge. Read more…

Home-school team grabs math crown

Before sending his team out to compete in the 21st annual MATHCOUNTS competition Saturday, Rick Hamilton conducted a last-minute check.

“Everyone has a calculator?” asked Hamilton, a social studies teacher at Rohanen Junior High School in Rockingham. “OK, let’s go.”

More than 200 sixth- through eighth-graders from 33 schools in the Cape Fear region competed at R. Max Abbott Middle School. Read more…

Homeschool student wins essay contestwith old English story about Columbus

Not many high school seniors love reading classic literature. The novels are usually long and full of proper and complicated language.

But Katherine Mallory Martin of Ault devours them. She’s read Dickens and is obsessed with the “The Lord of the Rings” series. The books, not the movies.

Tuesday, Katherine was recognized at an awards ceremony for winning the Christopher Columbus Essay contest. Read more…

Homeschooling approaches mainstream

The sound of children running down to the basement and the smells of fresh-baked bread and minestrone soup simmering on the stove may sound like a weekend in any family home. But this is not a weekend; this is Wednesday at 10 a.m.

These children are not home from school because of an illness; they are being homeschooled.

Homeschooling has in the past been highly scrutinized by state governments and school officials. Today it is becoming a mainstream alternative to private or public schools. Read more…

Minnesota homeschooler wins second regional spell off

For the second year in a row, sixth grader Nathan Cornelius of Cottonwood, placed first at the Regional Spelling Bee held Tuesday at the Redwood Area Community Center.

After a brief backtrack, Cornelius correctly spelled the word ‘dissimilitude’ and took the first-place trophy. Read more…

Aid for Wisconsin home schoolers pondered

Wausau School District officials think there might be a way to share the district’s expertise, teachers and equipment with parents of home-schooled students.

Superintendent Charles Skurka and a team of other administrators have discussed forming a charter school that could offer as much or as little as parents who teach their children at home want. The concept has only been talked about in the district, with leaders wondering ‘if we can bolster or enhance the education parents are offering,’ Skurka said. Read more…

Virginia Senators deadlocked on home school issue

RICHMOND – A Senate committee deadlocked Thursday on a bill that would have lowered the educational requirements for parents who want to home school their children.

��� But the legislation may not be gone for the year. Moments after the bill effectively died on a tie vote, opponents of the measure agreed to give the bill another chance next week in deference to a lawmaker unable to vote Thursday. Read more…

NBC’s Law and Order SVU Smears Homeschooling

On February 17 NBC’s ‘Law and Order – Special Victims Unit’ – a legal drama produced by Universal TV Productions – aired a show about homeschooling.

It portrayed homeschooling as a cover for child abuse. Read more…

Indiana judge rules that homeschools are “secondary” schools

An Indiana judge reversed his earlier ruling and held that a disabled 18 year-old who is still being homeschooled is enrolled in a “secondary” school under Indiana law, making her eligible to continue receiving over $600 per month in adoption subsidies. Read more…

Idaho senator seeks to measure home-schoolers

An Idaho senator seeks comparable coursework for home-schoolers. Friday, the Senate Education Committee passed a measure that would crack down on parents who falsely claim to home school their children.

The bill would increase the state’s involvement in education for more than six-thousand kids taught at home. Lewiston Senator Joe Stegner says the bill he introduced should not impact legitimate home-schooling parents. Read more…

Homeschoolers host medieval festival

Nobles and peasants intermingled over a dinner of roast chicken and medieval bread in the court of King Edward III, as the royal jester juggled and flipped across the floor for the amusement of all.

The scene could have taken place in an English castle ages ago, but it actually took place Saturday at the First Christian Church during the Northwest Colorado Homeschool Association banquet. Read more…

Arkansas Homeschooler Earns Third Spelling Title

SPRINGDALE — Through an impressive display of his spelling powers, Levi Foster of Fayetteville earned the name Three-Time Champion of the Washington County Spelling Bee on Saturday.

Foster garnered the title after correctly spelling a relatively obscure word — “sinistral,” meaning “of or relating to the left” — before a concentrated audience at the Jones Center for Families in Springdale. Read more…

Little sis has way with words, too

PASCAGOULA – It was two years ago that Jackson County resident Joshua Hanssen spelled his way into the national Spelling Bee in the nation’s capitol.

Ever since, his little sister, Tori, has been itching to follow his lead. Monday night the sixth-grader earned her way to the state bee in Jackson when she landed ‘lackadaisical’ on the nose and polished off ‘propinquity’ in a pinch to become the new Jackson County Spelling Bee champ. Read more…

Idaho Homeschoolers say education bill is dangerous

FILER — Lyle Johnstone pays close attention to pending legislation that could alter his ability to home school his three sons.

The bill he’s interested in — and dismayed about — is Senate Bill 1233. He says it could open the door to the school system as well as law enforcement and the judiciary system forcing his kids back into public schools.

‘The last thing I want is for my children to wind up with a poor education, and that is why they are not in the public school,’ Johnstone said Thursday. Read more…

Victory In Illinois – Truancy Charges Against Homeschooler Dismissed

An Illinois prosecutor dismissed truancy charges against homeschool mom, Kathy Benson (not real name), after HSLDA attorneys demonstrated to the prosecutor that a school superintendent’s allegations were completely unfounded.

On September 4, 2003, single-mom Kathy Benson was roughhousing with her two daughters in their new home when the doorbell rang. A school official from the public school across the street asked to come in to look at her curriculum. When Kathy told the official that it wasn’t a convenient time for her because she had just moved in and hadn’t finished unpacking, the official threatened to file a report with the Division of Children and Family Services. Read more…

Their ‘Karictionary,’ 18, sets college record

Karisa Solt read Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace at age 12 and scored 1,450 on her SATs at age 14.

Late last month, she became the youngest graduate in the history of Newark’s New Jersey Institute of Technology, picking up a degree in biomedical engineering at age 18 with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.99.

It’s a rare feat: Nearly half of all college students received their bachelor’s degrees at age 22 or younger, but only 0.1 percent did so at 18 or younger, according to a study released last year by the U.S. Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics.

Solt always seemed to be an early bloomer. Read more…

Allow home-schoolers to play sports

On first consideration, we might wonder why home schoolers should be allowed to play sports on Chapel Hill-Carrboro school teams.

After all, the parents chose to pull their children out of regular schools because, presumably, public schools don�t serve their children�s needs adequately. It�s an all-or-nothing proposition. If our classrooms aren�t good enough for them, then neither are our playing fields. Read more…

Homeschoolers teach a lesson

When home-schooling parents asked the Shaler school board two months ago to allow their children to participate in extracurricular activities, some board members displayed a petulance worthy of the third-graders they serve.

‘These students, by choice, don’t come to classes; why should they have the same benefits as our students who do?,’ asked one.

‘Unfortunately, students don’t choose to be home-schooled, parents do,’ mourned another. Read more…