Jan. 2011 RISING VOICES: Home School — What's it all about?

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In the United States, parents have many choices when it comes to their child’s education. One such choice is home schooling, which requires a commitment from both the parent and the student.

Some choose home schooling because it allows the student to work through curriculum at a pace that's customized to his or her needs and abilities.  

For the parents, it's a very hands-on approach to education. But, even though the parent is in charge of the child’s education, there are methods of homeschooling that don’t require a parent to teach. Courses on DVD and CD are available, as are online classes. Another option is a home school co-op, which allows parents to enroll their students in classes taught by teachers or qualified parents.

In any home school setting, students must balance school work and free time.

"With homeschooling you learn how to manage your own time,” said Megan Staten, a 16-year-old home-schooled student in Louisville.

Some families take advantage of field trip and internship opportunities, and many participate in volunteer activities. Not only does this allow for hands-on learning and real-world application of materials learned, it also enriches the school experience. 

"You have the freedom to have other opportunities to do things and have more experiences,” Ashley Clark, a home-schooled junior, said.

Kerry Skiff is a junior in the Christian Educational Consortium.