Local group helps parents, guardians with homeschooling

FAMILIES of the Greater Albany Area helps families adjust to homeschooling

There are a variety of reasons why some parents switch to homeschooling.

"I think the economy has something to do with it right now and I think the fact that the educational system isn't really producing the results people want for their children," says Teresa Knight, a homeschooling parent of nine children. "But I think the bigger thing is most of us want to be able to give our kids an education where we can instill our values and most of us want to instill our Christian values."

FAMILIES of the Greater Albany Area is an outlet for those who are mothers, fathers and guardians and want to take their children's lessons from public schools to home.

The group helps answer questions about items like curriculum and what papers to file legally when you home school.

They say they want to provide a support system for homeschooling parents because Committee Member and Homeschooler Debby Sapp says no one ever home schools in isolation. "FAMILIES" (Fathers and Mothers Imparting Lasting Interrelated Educational Support) also holds group functions so â" unlike the stigma about homeschoolers being socially awkward â" they get to socialize with a variety of people.

Sapp says over the years, studies were done about social skills in homeschooled students.

"And low and behold, homeschoolers are very well socialized, actually better socialized than children who are in typical schools," she says. "Because they're not 'inside a box,' they're not limited to the peer group in which they interact. They're going to interact with adults of all ages and children all the way down to babies, so they learn how to handle themselves in the 'real world' instead of an isolated place called school.

Sapp says homeschooling is economically friendly; he says she once taught her son for less than $10 for the year.

"We bought paper and pencil and we used the library extensively and I had friends who loaned me their books," she says. "You can home school on very little money if you're willing to look for used curriculum and if you're willing to use Internet resources."

There are particular requirements homeschooling parents need to meet; one of those is that they must teach at least reading, language arts, math, history and science.

If you want to learn more about homeschooling your child, FAMILIES of the Greater Albany Area is having two more informational meetings: Aug. 2 from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. at the Worth County Library and Aug. 6 from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. at the Lee County Library.