A team of their own

John Harnisch loves basketball.

The 17-year old from Bellevue spends an average of 3 1/2 hours in the gym every day of the week, honing his skills for the season.

But you won’t find John on the court for Bellevue East or West this winter, or any other high school team.

Harnish is one of more than 5,000 kids across the state of Nebraska that is homeschooled.

Being home-schooled hasn’t kept John, or many other kids from Bellevue, from competing at the high school level. Read more…

At home with school

For the 18 families in Bedford who home-school their children, “less stress” seems to be the biggest advantage.

Sara Wright is a mother of four who currently home-schools two of her children at the first and second grade levels. The other two children are in preschool, and Wright will be home-schooling them in a couple of years as well.

“It’s less stressful for everyone, especially when they’re young,” she said. Read more…

Local Public School System Challenges Homeschoolers

CHICAGO � After looking closely at her local public school system, Carol Severson made the choice to homeschool her kids � which she has done for 18 years.

“I decided that (public schools) were not the place for my kids,” she said.

But as hard as she has tried to get away from public schools, they’re now holding Severson accountable for what she teaches her children.

The Seversons are one of nearly 150 families in a three-county area of rural, western Illinois whose homeschool curriculum has come under scrutiny by the public system this year. Read more…

Homeschool rules proposal triggers protest

They’re just a pair of four-letter words, but adding them to a state school regulation has sparked a major feud between Maryland parents who teach at home and the State Department of Education.

About 100 homeschooling parents, some with children in tow, packed a meeting of the state Board of Education yesterday to protest the department’s proposal to add “each year” to a requirement that children educated at home be listed with their local public school district. Read more…

Homeschooling Through the Holidays

The holiday season can be hectic for all families, especially homeschooling families. For many families, the holidays are a time to relax their studies and focus on family and community. Still, other families may choose to intensify studies during this period of time due to inclement weather.

Regardless of your feelings, here are some suggestions to incorporate education into your holiday plans. Read more…

Homeschooling At the Ranch – Getting Started

This is the second in a series of articles to help the individual or family through the exciting and sometimes baffling world of home schooling. Home schooling is not a new phenomenon. It is actually the original method of education. (To see a partial list of famous people who have been educated at home I recommend reading Ray E. Ballmann’s book, THE HOW AND WHY OF HOME SCHOOLING). The current form of public education didn’t come into focus until after the Industrial Revolution.

The decision to home school is born out of a real need to revisit the closeness and quiet of a forgotten era. There are so many distractions in our modern way of living that it is sometimes overwhelming to make decisions and put our lives into perspective and decipher what is the nexus between our family life and outside influences. Read more…

Challenge emerges to home-schooling

Home-schooler Roger Channell was practicing spelling with his sons last month when a truant officer showed up at his door and demanded to see what Channell was teaching.

“We can take your children away,” the truant officer said, according to Channell. His boys, 10 and 11, ran away, one crawling under a bed to hide.

Now Channell and other parents in three rural Illinois counties find themselves in the fiercest battle in decades over home-schooling – an unexpected turn of events, in one of the least restrictive states in the nation for educating children at home. Read more…

Strattons say their ideology is under siege

It’s been almost two years since Jack and Kathy Stratton’s 10 children were taken away by the Department of Social Services in January of 2001.

Today they will get another day in court, when their termination of parental rights hearing starts in Charlotte.

…”I don’t feel children can be properly taken care of by both parents working,” Kathy Stratton said Saturday.

“It is creeping toward an ideology, `You have to work. Your husband has to work. Put them in public schools.’ Is that right? This is America.” Read more…

Home-school calendars offer families maximum flexibility

There’s no such thing as an in-service day or spring break in the home school at Jim and Becky Ruberg’s house. There are occasional personal days, but just a single snow day each school year.

“They don’t miss a day,” said Jim Ruberg of Burlington, whose daughters are taught at home by their mother, Becky.

When it snows heavily enough for Burlington’s public and parochial school students to get a day off, Stephanie Ruberg, 13, and Lindsey Ruberg, 10, keep right on with their home-school routine.

Once a year, they get to have a snow day. And it’s always the day when schools open up again, and students return to class. Read more…

School comes home

…”I can do school in my pajamas,” said Alyssa Adams, a home?schooled ninth?grader from Burlington. “That’s nice sometimes.”

That wouldn’t have been possible a dozen years ago, before private and home school advocates got Iowa’s compulsory attendance law changed in 1991. Before the revision, staying home from school, even to be taught by a parent, would have meant being truant. Read more…

Few parents home-school children in city

Carol Mayhew is looking for some support.

She home-schools her two children and is trying to find other Shelton residents who have made the same decision with regard to their children’s education.

The Mayhew’s eldest child, Reed, is 5, and his brother, Ben, is 3. They don’t go to kindergarten or pre-school. Instead, the boys attend school at home, taught by their parents.

State law allows parents to “home-school” their children. which many parents choose because of their religious beliefs. Read more…

Home-schooling ranks still growing

HEPPNER, OR – It’s 8 a.m. in the Unruh home and it’s time to get ready for school. Evan, a second-grader, and Dean, who is just starting kindergarten, head for the classroom. It’s a short walk.

The brothers don’t attend a local elementary school but take classes in their own home, with their mother, Kathryn, as their teacher. Read more…

This Family Sings and Lives in Harmony

The MacDonald Family Singers are the Massachusetts version of the von Trapps.

Like the real-life family that The Sound of Music featured, the MacDonalds are devoted to their faith and to each other. Their rambling home near downtown Orange has musical instruments and songbooks prominently displayed, and visitors might be treated to an acapella rendition of a favorite song. Read more…

Home-schooling and sports

The Way I See It, petitions by parents who elect to home-school aren’t going to go away. Should home-schooled youth be allowed to participate in public school extra-curricular activities within the school district in which their parents pay taxes? That is the question.

…Personally, those who find the public school system unacceptable for academics, but permissible for athletics, music and theater, confuse me. I must admit, it appears they want their cake and eat it to.

Read more…

Opinion: Homeschoolers need oversight

Parents should have the right to homeschool their children.

We believe that, as we believe generally speaking that individual rights and freedoms should not be trumped by unnecessary government rules and regulations � as long as the individual�s actions do not victimize or infringe upon the rights of another citizen. Read more…

Taking aim at Home schooling

Taking aim one last time with her political gun, outgoing Superintendent of Public Schools Delaine Eastin chose to direct her final bullets at the group she and other partisans of the education establishment love to hate — home school families.

In the waning days of the legislative session, Eastin publicly declared that in her opinion, home schooling was illegal in California. Working feverishly, she dispatched letters and drummed up news coverage, putting home school parents on notice. Read more…

Families help each other navigate paperwork

Filing through pages and pages of Arizona Academic Standards can be mind-boggling. And trying to develop a customized curriculum based off these standards and the endless amount of pre-made materials available can be close to impossible.

Even so, Coconino County Superintendent of Schools Cecilia Owen estimates that 3,000 students in Coconino County are home-schooled, and their educators have completed all of this footwork to meet their specific academic needs. Read more…

Home-schooling parents curious about compliance checks

Families see it as government overstepping its bounds, a case of “Big Brother” running amuck.

But Bruce Dennison, regional school superintendent for Henry and Stark counties, sees his office’s compliance checks on families who home-school as simply a way of making sure all children are educated.

In recent weeks, Mr. Dennison began sending a truancy officer to the homes of some home-schooling families, asking to see copies of their curriculum, attendance and even children’s vaccination records. Read more…

Homeschooling Grows with the Internet

The rise in popularity of home schooling roughly coincides with the rise of the Internet and the World Wide Web.

Home school families will tell you that one of the major problems with teaching children at home is the feeling of isolation. Whether it’s a real or imagined fear, the Internet, with its abundant sources of information and the ability of users to communicate with each other has allayed many concerns among parents who’ve decided to teach their children at home.

As a result, the Web now has many sites aimed at home schoolers, where they can gather for support and information. The sites also attract parents curious about home schooling. Read more…

Full days, expanding horizons

The Bearchell family is only one of the thousands in Flagstaff that home school their children, rather than sending them to public, private or charter schools.

Their home school adventure started nearly 17 years ago when Jennifer and Craig Bearchell read some books about home schooling and thought it “sounded wonderful.”

At the time their oldest daughter was only 1 year old. Now she’s a freshman at Northern Arizona University, the first of six children to enter into public education. Read more…