Reading,writing & right-wing politics

WHEN A SMALL NUMBER of parents started dragging their children out of public schools in the 1960s in order to teach them at home, critics argued that the new “homeschool movement” would impede children’s social development and create a bunch of isolated, introverted misfits.

But 30 years later, homeschooling has blossomed into a significant social movement. Figures released last month by the federal government’s National Center for Education Statistics place homeschooling numbers at around 1.1 million students, up from 850,000 in 1999 though some estimate the actual figure is closer to 2 million. And as the movement has grown, homeschooling advocates have brandished reams of studies and reports claiming their children are just as civically and politically engaged as their non-homeschool peers, perhaps even more so. Read more…

Moving out of the traditional classroom

(CNN) — Across the nation, on the Web and in the home, classrooms are evolving beyond the traditional learning environment with alternatives that are no longer bound by geography and customary modes of operation.

The majority of the approximately 54 million U.S. students still attend traditional public schools, but new educational options — such as charter schools, home schools and distance learning — are gaining ground and remain a subject of debate.

Twelve years after Minnesota opened the first one, charter schools — publicly financed schools that operate largely independent of government regulation — now count nearly 700,000 students. Recent figures put the number of children taught at home at more than a million, a 29 percent jump from 1999. And though no exact federal figures exist yet for online school enrollment, one research firm reports that 300,000 elementary and high school students logged on to a virtual learning class in the 2002-2003 school year. Read more…

Homeschoolers head back to school, too

Monday marks the first day of school for most Central Texas students which is a nervous day for some students, but for some, the day is just like any other.

The Arnold children have no worries about going to school on Monday. That’s because they don’t have to go anywhere. Their classroom isn’t at the nearby elementary or middle school; it’s right in their own living room. Read more…

School Board member home schools because he can

Darren Thompson, the newest member of the Franklin School Board, has strong credentials.

His professional background is in engineering and construction — sure to be an asset for a board that’s building a $103 million high school.

He was born and raised in Franklin, and he has lived there all of his life. He attends the chili suppers and knows the community well.

He has four children, and therein lies the one peculiarity: Thompson and his wife, Bonnie, home-school their children. Somehow, that just seems a little jarring, like seeing a Ford salesman driving a Toyota. Read more…

No place like home school

Rachel Callahan, 11, is engrossed in the Zoo Tycoon computer game with her friend, Ashley Hurst, also 11. Their brothers, 9-year-olds Sean Callahan and Jaren Hurst, are playing together in Sean’s room.

It’s one of the final days they’ll have together before the Hursts return to their Montessori school, where long days of classes will make it tough for them to come to Chandler from their home in Gilbert to visit.

Rachel and Sean, on the other hand, have plenty of time for social activities. They go to school at home, finish their day earlier than other kids and have the rest of the day for other things. Read more…

Home schooling misunderstood

A new survey indicates that 1.1 million children are home schooled. As with many deviations from the norm, the Aug. 3 Associated Press article regarding home schooling left the reader with an incomplete and somewhat misleading understanding of home schooling. Ted Feinberg, assistant director of the National Association of School Psychologists, referred to home-schooled children as lacking in interaction ‘with the rest

of the world,’ locked away in their ‘cloistered environment.’ read more…

Home schoolers pass the test

Most home-school students aren’t ducking the state assessment tests required under federal law, and many of those who aren’t required to take them do it anyway.

‘We studied it in the late 1990s, and home schoolers averaged 20-30 percentage points higher than the rest of the students,’ said Ian Slatter, spokesman for the National Center for Home Education in Purcellville, Va.

‘Not every home schooler, but a lot of home schoolers take the tests. A lot of times it’s a requirement,’ he said Monday. ‘Many states do not require it but a lot of parents choose to take it.’ Read more…

Texas public schools flounder, home schools thrive

Business as usual at the Legislature: meaning no visible activity in terms of the state�s most pressing problem � the public schools. No special session in view to deal with Robin Hood. Few if any members agitating for action on standards, excellence, etc., etc., etc. Just another quiet August in Austin. In marked contrast with The Woodlands, where next week the Texas Home School Coalition holds its annual convention.

You can take it for granted that hardly a glance there will be directed westward toward the state capital. The point of looking to Austin would be…what? So far as homeschoolers are concerned, the state already has muffed any chance it might have had to make the public schools strong and tough and proud. Read more…

Serving the home schooled

The idea of teaching children at home used to be met with skepticism, but as baby boomers age, family values are resurfacing in sometimes surprising ways. Home schooling has gained a foothold in the nation and particularly in Arizona, where liberal state laws have created a growing body of home-schooled students. About 20,000 children in Arizona are taught at home.

State law requires only that a parent file a statement of intent along with a birth certificate of each child to be home schooled. The majority of parents who home school buy a standard curriculum from an educational publishing house. These curriculum sources are scrambling to provide an ever-broader range of supplies, products and services for this booming market. Read more…

Homeschoolers gear up for the fall

Another school year is about to start and for some kids that means the dreaded ring of the school bell.

But for others, a new school year requires only that they roll out of bed and walk to a desk.

Homeschoolers, the forgotten students, are gearing up or have already started their school year.

Ambra Hawksley, a mother of seven children who range in ages between nine months and 12 years old, homeschools her children in the kitchen of their trailer home. The four Hawksley kids who are old enough started their school year last week so they can go on vacation in September. Read more…

Meet the Overmans

As a child, Marilyn Overman saw the 1965 film “The Sound of Music” and was inspired.

“I thought it seemed very normal to me and very natural that a family would have fun together and sing together. And so I always thought, ‘I want to have at least seven children!’ ”

But Marilyn and her husband, Ken Overman, went one better than the movie’s von Trapp family: Instead of seven children, they have eight.

Like the family portrayed onscreen, the Overmans also took an interest in music. Parents and children � from Franz, 4, to Karl-Friedrik, 22 � are trained musicians. And they sing. The Read more…

Homeschool students doubling in Culpeper

Teachers aren�t the only educators preparing for the hectic back-to-school season. In Culpeper County, hundreds of homeschool parents are busily preparing lesson plans and hustling to meet government deadlines.

Over the past five years, the number of homeschool families in Culpeper has more than doubled, rising from 92 in 1999 to 203 last year.

That�s a sharp contrast to the national average of 29 percent growth over the same period, as reported by the Associated Press. Read more…

Home schooling on rise in Scotland

MORE and more parents are considering taking their children out of mainstream education so that they can be taught at home, campaigners claimed yesterday.

Fears over bullying, classroom indiscipline, falling teaching standards and a lack of support for children with special needs are being blamed for the trend. Read more…

Home schooling on the rise in the Boca area

Matthew Puchferran is entering his junior year of high school. Only he doesn�t have the average high school student�s complaints about having to wake up every day at the crack of dawn or sit in a classroom full of 30 other students listening to a teacher go on and on about a subject that puts most to sleep.

At 17, Matthew has been home-schooled for the past nine years by his mother in his Boca Raton home and thinks that the benefits of being taught at home outweigh those of being taught in the public or private school system.

�Home schooling offers a lot of flexibility in scheduling and learning. Scheduling is probably the biggest benefit when it comes to home schooling. It also offers a lot of hands-on teaching and is very interactive,� he said. Read more…

Video Story: More parents deciding to homeschool

Dade City, Florida – While most kids in Pasco County returned to public schools on Monday, Kyra and Katie Rookey resumed their classes at the family kitchen table. The two girls have been homeschooled for the past 5-years. Read more…

PA requirements have homeschool parents feeling tested

The bulging binder is thicker than a phone book, and it ought to be because it’s Abi gail Eagleson’s entire 2000-01 homeschool academic year compressed into a single volume.

It’s all there. An Iowa Test score sheet, National Park maps from a science trip, cut-outs, essays.

And the dreaded ‘log book’ in which Abigail, then 9 years old, had to chart her work every day.

Abigail, who is now 13 and lives in Derry Twp. with her family, said it was drudgery. Read more…

Home schooling gains momentum across nation, High Desert

HESPERIA — Jennifer Prentiss has home-schooled her son either through a charter school program or on her own since he started kindergarten.

Her son is now 10 years old and she wouldn’t have done it any other way.

‘He works at his own pace,’ Prentiss said.

Prentiss had a bad experience during her school days and didn’t want the same for her son. She had to repeat kindergarten and second grade. Even when she didn’t understand the lessons her teachers pressed on, and she often felt stupid.

Now, the Hesperia residents knows she just didn’t learn under the methods her teachers used, Prentiss said. Read more…

Kids, parents to present homeschooling workshop

GENOA TOWNSHIP � Kristi McGregor, 13, worked her Tennessee Walking Horse, Fancy, from the ground with a �carrot stick� � a long stick with a leather loop on one end and a nonslip leather handle on the other.

Kristi used the stick to massage and instruct her horse as she had learned at a recent �natural horsemanship� seminar at Hell Ranch in Pinckney.

Kristi�s mom, Jackie McGregor, is able to reward Kristi�s weekend of horsemanship study with a homeschool credit in physical education.

McGregor and her daughter, who has been homeschooled all her life, will both be on a panel at an informational meeting to share their experiences with other parents who may be interested in homeschooling. Read more…

Guttensohn Quintuplets to be homeschooled

Montgomery’s famous quintuplets — Mason, Tanner, Hunter, Parker and Taylor Guttensohn — got a one-day jump on their 8th birthdays Saturday with a party at the Fun Zone, where dozens of their closest friends helped them celebrate.

They officially mark the special occasion today as America’s first all-male quints. A second set of male quintuplets arrived in Texas four years ago.

From the day of their births, the boys have become accustomed to stares, questions and cameras that seem to be part of the landscape.

They spent part of Saturday playing games and wondering what presents they’d get while their parents — Eric and Amy Guttensohn — looked ahead a few days to something at least one of the boys didn’t particularly welcome.

Beginning this week, the quints will be homeschooled by their mother. Read more…

Opinion – In Our View: Home & School

People are increasingly choosing to homeschool their kids. While the vast majority of the nation’s children remain in traditional schools, more than 1 million are getting their academics at home.

According to the National Center of Education Statistics, it isn’t just due to a population increase. The percentage of students being taught at home has grown 29 percent since 1999 and now makes up 2.2 percent of the school-age population in the United States. Read more…