Parents concerned about recent violence consider homeschooling options

Interest growing in parents looking to learn more about homeschooling

By Jennifer Bauer - Reporter

HOUSTON - Ryan Kilgore taught elementary school for five years before having children of her own and making the decision to stay home.  But she isn't only a stay-at-home mom.

She's also her kid's teacher. 

"Since I was a public school teacher I saw what was going on behind the scenes," Kilgore said. "I knew I didn't want my children in public school."

Kilgore and her husband, who is also an educator and teaches math at the college level, decided to homeschool.  She teaches 5-year-old Carli and 3-year-old Quinn for about four hours a day.  They do it mainly for religious reasons but said there are other benefits.

"They don't have to deal with peer pressure," Kilgore said. "They don't have to deal with violence."

After Friday's deadly school shooting in Connecticut, Kilgore said she has seen an increase in parents who are interested in learning more about homeschooling. 

"Yesterday I got about five emails from people, three of them I didn't even know," she said. "They said they would like more info on this because they're too scared to send their kids back to school."

Research done earlier this year shows that since 1999 homeschooling has grown 75%.

Kilgore said she wouldn't be surprised if more parents start considering it after the wave of violence, not only nationally but locally, too.

On Wednesday, police arrested a 14-year-old student for bringing a loaded gun to Sterling High School on Martindale Road in Houston.  Investigators said he told them he was carrying the weapon to protect himself from gang members.

MORE: HISD: Student arrested after bringing gun to school

That same day administrators at La Porte High School sent a letter home to parents after a threat was made that someone was going to, "shoot up the school."   

"I do see, definitely, an increase in interest for homeschooling," said Kilgore.  "Maybe those families who were on the edge, this may be the final push for them." 

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