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    K I D S
    P A G E

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    Home Sweet Homeschool

    Parents teach their children how to walk and talk, so why not teach them how to read and write? Many homeschool parents do just that and much more.

    Kelly and Steven Maynard of New River have been homechooling their three daughters for over 12 years. They started homeschooling their eldest daughter (now graduated) after her fourth year of public school. Their two other daughters, ages 16 and 13, have been homeschooled all of their lives.

    Kelly says, "The main benefit of teaching our children at home is that we can offer the kind of education and moral character development that is best for each of our very different and unique children….We know their personalities, desires, hopes, and dreams better than anyone else. We are more determined to see their success than any other person because we love them with the heart of a mother and father."

    She continues, "An added benefit to homeschooling is that we are with our children 24/7. You become acutely aware of problem areas in your children as well as yourself [that] have to be dealt with in order to [work] together as a cohesive unit. Sometimes this is not a pleasant task and takes time, training, and perseverance. Many blessings come from dealing with problems versus the rebellion and pain that come from ignoring them."

    Kelly adds, "As a mom that teaches her children at home, I have to say I have learned more during the past 12 years than I ever learned in public school…[T]he love of learning is very contagious and learning new things together becomes fun and exciting instead of a chore. There is nothing more gratifying and rewarding to a homeschooling mom and dad than to see their children prosper under their care, guidance, sacrifice and love."

    Lisa Albillar of New River agrees. "My favorite part of homeschooling is the one-on-one time I share with my daughter. Over the years, it has been exciting to watch her learn and mature. Yes, there have been struggles as well, but these times have only proven to bring us closer….We are now in our 7th year of homeschooling and have NEVER regretted our decision."

    But how do children like having Mom or Dad as their teacher? 11-year-old Leanne Albillar of New River says it all: "I love homeschooling!... I can go at my own pace, there's no problem with peer pressure, and we can cover subjects of interest to me when we would like. In fifth grade, we studied the Civil War for 2 1/2 months!... Mom and I have school at the dining room table, accompanied by my calico cat, Annie, who is usually sleeping at the end of the table. I love staying at home with Mom and having her teach me."

    Tracy Wipplinger of Anthem said that her 8-year-old daughter Rachel likes homeschooling "because she's not rushed in the morning and worrying about getting her backpack ready and other stuff."

    There are as many reasons for homeschooling as there are families who choose to do it. Leanne's mom, Lisa, explains, "We considered a private Christian school, but after careful thought decided my time would be better spent at home than at a full-time job to earn money to pay someone else to teach our child."

    Susan, a homeschool mom in Anthem, said "I have noticed that more parents are choosing to [home]school children that are gifted or children with special needs such as learning disabilities…that were not being met in school."

    Homeschool graduate Jeralee Maynard recalls, "I was so excited when my parents told me they were going to homeschool me. That was at the end of my 4th grade year in public school. I still had that same enthusiasm and excitement about homeschooling the day I graduated from high school."

    Now a mother herself, Jeralee adds, "Having been homeschooled all those years was the best gift my parents could have given me. Now I have the chance to pass that gift on to my children, presently, my little 2-year old boy. Right now he is just learning his ABCs and 123s, but I look forward to…the day he graduates from high school….It will be a delight to watch him accept his diploma and know that I taught him all that he knows."

    Homeschooling parents gain just as many fond memories of their children's school years as the kids do. Longtime homeschool mom Joni Corby of Black Canyon City looks back on her favorite homeschool memories: "Curled up in a comforter on a trampoline outside on a cool winter morning reading aloud to my boys; watching them play roller hockey on our back porch during recess; being able to drop the regular school day when something exciting or serious came up in our family."

    Jeralee Maynard positively states, "I am grateful for the decision my parents made….They worked harder and have gone without more then a lot of other parents have. I am sure there were some days they might have thought it was all for naught [but] when it was all said and done, I am the person they raised me to be. It is the most rewarding gift you can give your children."

    Teri Ann Berg Olsen is a home educator, librarian, and author of the book "Learning for Life: Educational Words of Wisdom." She lives in New River, Arizona.

    This article may be reproduced in its entirety by non-profit homeschool associations. Please click here for details.


    These pages are a continuous work in progress.
    Copyright © 2000- by Teri Ann Berg Olsen
    All rights reserved.


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