Friday, August 31, 2007

Homeschool Article at Chicago Tribune

This is a positive article written about back-to-school time and how homeschoolers do things a bit differently.

When 'back-to-school' means staying home
Educator-parents treat fall in their own way.

[ . . . ]
But what does back-to-school mean for the approximately 2 million American kids educated at home?

Depending on whom you talk to, the annual rituals can be as traditional as shopping for supplies or as laissez-faire as getting out of bed in your jammy pants and heading to the dining-room table.

Even nailing down an exact start date can be a challenge. After all, these are people who chafe at convention, so anything that carries a whiff of regimentation is hard to come by.

"We don't really do back-to-school because we never stopped learning," said 16-year-old Katrina Atkin of Evanston, who has followed an alternative path since kindergarten.

On a homeschool support group leaders' networking list I'm on, one of the leaders asked what we all had planned, if anything, as far as a Not-Back-to-School event, and one of the other list members responded that they usually have an "Educational Freedom Party." I like the sound of that better than the NBTS title that hs'ers usually use.

That really describes what we're celebrating in a more accurate way. Because some of us do start more formal studies at about the same time as others do (co-ops and other classes run by homeschoolers typically follow the traditional school year, for example), while others keep going all year at a slower pace, and sometimes it changes year to year, depending on the family's plans. But educational freedom is at the heart of it.

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