The concept of homeschooling is changing, and Local 2 found it's also becoming almost mainstream.
Just like other kids their age, Britlee and Rylee Kuhn are making the transition from summer to once again hitting the books. Most of their teaching comes from their mom, Michelle, at home. They also go to classes once a week with other homeschooled kids -- hundreds of them.
Michelle said, "In the Sugar Land area, we have 300 families just in our group."
If you ask why more families are choosing homeschooling, you'll hear everything from religious reasons, to protect children from food allergies, because of learning disabilities, behavior issues, safety concerns and even academics.
Dana Martin is also a homeschool mom. She said, "I graduated from a 5A high school, was 10th in my class and I have a masters degree. And there are things I'm learning from being a home-school mom."
These students go to classes once a week at a program called Classical Conversations. Their parents add to what the children learn in the program.
Co-ops in homeschooling are also becoming more common. That's where parents get together to help teach other people's children, giving homeschoolers a chance to be with other children and learn.
Michelle Kuhn said, "What I've found to be true is that most homeschoolers are socialized just fine because of everything there is out there."
There are also sports for homeschooled kids now. The students can play team sports like football or individual activities like ballet.
For the moms who homeschool, they say the Internet has made it easier. They can connect with other families for advice, share teaching ideas, find coops and find material.
7 Questions To Ask Before Homeschooling:
- What are your options? Be sure to look at and compare everything from public to private to charter schools to the homeschooling option. Every alternative should be explored.
- Can you afford it? Can one adult quit their job? While books and curriculums can be bought second-hand for very little, is there money for tutors or fees to join leagues or other groups?
- What resources are available in your area? Check to make sure not only that there are support systems like sports groups, co-ops or other homeschool parents, but that you share the same mission. Make sure there are resources to cover subjects the teaching parent is not versed in.
- What do you want from being a homeschool parent? Take an honest look at why you want to do it and what you hope to accomplish. Are you picturing an Ivy League education for your child? Is it about you wanting them at home? Do you want to quit working and this is a good excuse?
- Where will your children get their social interaction? Can children participate in elective classes like band, art, debate, that are offered in local school systems? Do you have a homeschool co-op or groups in your area? Can you team up with other homeschool families?
- For the teaching parent, do you want to quit your job? Is your job the outlet for your interests? Will you feel a hole in your life if you quit? Are you working for survival, financial security or a certain goal?
- For the teaching parent, do you have the right personality for homeschooling? Be aware of your own strengths and weaknesses. Can you work within a schedule? Will sticking to a rigid lesson plan stress you out or give you a sense of security? Are you in a time of transition (new baby, illness)?