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Report From a Homeschooling Fair

Report From a Homeschooling Fair

[box type=”2″] EDITOR’S NOTE: Despite record growth for the city of Huntsville in the past decade, the public school enrollment levels are static largely due to parents choosing alternative options. For the next couple of weeks, some of those parents will share their stories and advice for those considering making a change.
[/box] [dropcap type=”2″]R[/dropcap]ecently, I attended the Curriculum Fair held at Willowbrook Baptist Church. There were many lecturers on just about all topics related to homeschooling. For full disclosure, I mostly went there to help support my daughter’s dyslexia tutor, Lisa Spratt. She asked me to attend her lecture on dyslexia and I’m so pleased with how well my daughter has responded that I wanted to support her in any way I could. At first, that was the only reason I was going but then my husband’s job was called into question and we are seriously looking at homeschooling again.

Homeschooling is becoming a popular alternative to HCS.
Yes, again. We started homeschooling two years ago as there was no other option for my daughter Martha. When she was 3, I started to look for programs for kids that were showing advanced skills. We found a private Kindergarten program that allowed her in at the age of 2.5 years and she thrived. She loved being with the older kids. When she came home she was happy and unfrustrated. Then, the school changed directors and the new director insisted that my daughter go back to the 2-year-old room and Martha started coming home angry, and frustrated.

So I wondered what the public school systems had to offer kids like Martha. I started calling around to the local school system and was normally just passed around to some other department who didn’t answer their phone and didn’t return phone calls. I had emailed the state, and was told the same thing: Your daughter doesn’t need to start school until the given age requirements. So I dropped it for awhile. We basically did nothing the year she was 4 and it was quite evident that she was bored and I didn’t know how to help her.

I found a program for Talented and Gifted kids but it was only open to Madison City kids and we are county. The summer before she turned 5, my husband and I decided that we had to do something. We turned to homeschooling. It had its ups and downs, and the first year was spent figuring out what worked and what didn’t but it was a good experience. One I will write more about in a later post.


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Last year, with pressure from my family, we thought we were going to put her in public school. I even went and attempted to register her. We had a poor experience there and it ended with me being told that they weren’t able to deal with Martha and that I should try a private school. Well, I wasn’t going to put Martha where she wasn’t wanted, so we placed Martha in a private school. Martha has again really had a great time at the private school she attended but money is getting tight again and it may not be an option for this fall.

So, that’s how I ended up at this homeschooling fair. There were several book vendors and it was nice to be able to actually touch and feel some of the text books you can order. I was looking specifically for Math books. One math book for second grade seemed rather simple for Martha and didn’t start to get into stuff she didn’t know until the last 1/3 of the book. Another vendor’s grade 2 book seemed just right. (It did feel a bit like Goldilocks…)

There was something for everyone there. If you don’t really want to be all that involved in the teaching aspect, you can get the classes streamed to you via the internet or on CD’s. Or if you want to pick and choose single books from certain companies you have that option too. There were also lots of different schools that offer assistance to homeschooling parents. One school I stopped by, Veritas Classical School, provides everything you need as a homeschooling parent. You don’t have to grade, or prepare lesson plans or make tests and/or quizzes. They provide all that for you. They also meet weekly in an academic setting.


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I also talked with a headmistress who has an all-girls private school here in Madison County. The Ellis Academy is a Christian school where girls not only learn the normal subject they would in any school, but they also learn etiquette, sewing, and cooking: life-skills that will assist anyone after they graduate. I thought this to be an interesting concept as most of my friends do not know how to sew, and complain that they don’t know how to cook either. The Ellis Academy does offer classes to homeschooling children as well.

[box type=”blank” width=”230″ align=”left” class=”border-dashed2″] [list type=”pointerlist3″] [/list] [/box]As I was walking out, they provided a printed list of 41 homeschool cover schools and or support groups. I’ve listed a few of them at the end of this article but if you are interested in more, leave a comment and I can get a copy to you. Also, be sure to check out the homeschooling information under the Resources section of this site. If you are looking for an alternative to public school, and private school isn’t the right choice for you, perhaps homeschooling is.


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