Celebrating homeschooling as a viable option in Incline Village | SierraSun.com

Celebrating homeschooling as a viable option in Incline Village

Debra Kranz
Special to the Bonanza

According to Kranz, homeschool students have more opportunities to take part in daily community routines.

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — National School Choice Week is a great time to reflect on the many school opportunities we are afforded today.

The type of education we, as parents, choose for our children is one of the most important decisions we will make, a choice with a lifelong impact on those we love most.

One option, often overlooked, is homeschooling. Many parents do not consider homeschooling their children because they fear they lack the necessary patience or they fear their child will lack social and academic skills to prepare for life beyond school.

Although most homeschool parents have, at one time or another, experienced these feelings, many are beginning to realize the unique benefits and opportunities that exist within a homeschool environment.

At the top of a long list of benefits is the flexibility of home education. Flexibility reigns in the homeschool schedule! Parents have a choice of curriculum and a variety of alternative and hands on teaching methods to choose for their child.

With homeschool, education plans and the learning environment can be customized for each child. In addition to flexibility, homeschool offers an endless array of possibilities for social interaction.

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For example, homeschool students have more opportunities to take part in daily community routines. While it is true that homeschool children rarely spend their day in a classroom with other children their age, they are exposed to many chances to interact with a variety of people spanning all age groups.

Accompanying parents to the bank, library, grocery store and a variety of other businesses as well as the same after school activities (including sports, music, dance, and church events) in which public, private and charter school students participate provide excellent opportunities.

Academic achievement of homeschooled children is another benefit to consider. The National Home Education Research Institute has found that home-educated students typically score 15-30 percentile points above their public school peers on standardized testing.

Further, above average scores on achievement tests among homeschool students is independent of parents' level of formal education and household income. These students typically score above average on SAT and ACT tests used in consideration for college admissions.

In addition, following formal schooling, homeschooled adults tend to participate in local community service, voting and attending public meetings more frequently than the general population.

While these are just a few of the advantages of homeschooling, National School Choice Week (Jan. 24-30) is a great time to consider all the many schooling opportunities that are available and the often overlooked benefits of an age-old educational practice.

To learn more about homeschooling, how to get started, and what resources are available, there will be an information meeting at Hacienda De La Sierra, 931 Tahoe Blvd., Incline Village on Monday, Jan. 25, from 4:30-6 p.m. All are welcome to attend.

To RSVP please contact Debra Kranz, Support Representative for Classical Conversations in Northern Nevada, at dkranz@classicalconversations.com.

Debra Kranz is an Incline Village resident and homeschool parent.