That headline along with a great picture of soccer playing homeschoolers at the Y were on the front page today. And as noted in the article, the orgs and businesses who have created these options for homeschoolers get back as much as they give in fulfilling the demand with programs like Gym and Swim:
“We saw a need in the community,” said Chris Weittenhiller, associate executive director at the YMCA, referring to why the agency restarted its program for home-schooled kids.
He estimated there are about 50 weekly participants in two age groups –a significantly larger number than when the program was offered in the past. The cost is $20 a month for four weeks with a price break for more children.
“It fits perfectly with the YMCA’s mission of physical fitness and character development and values,” he said. “It’s a dynamic program. It changes as we go,” said Weittenhiller.
The list of programs available in the area was listed at the bottom of this article and they are overwhelming. We’ve used the Miller Park Zoo classes with Shannon and Kris Hall (the Education Coordinator) for several years. And we’ve been members of the Miller Park Zoo for the same length of time. It’s a wonderful experience and would have been my dream way to learn when I was a kid. The boys have moved on to the Jr. Zookeeper opportunities which is hard work with high expectations from Shannon. (For 12 year old boys, an easy inspiration for them to write is filling out an application explaining why they want to be in this program. And so it has been for earning their red belts in Tae Kwon Do as well as some 4-H activities. )
The other article notes this from a homeschool mom and I think that’s the gist of homeschooling for many families:
She said that before home schooling, she felt her family was scattered; she and her husband wanted more time with their children.
“They’ve done well with it,” she said of her children’s first year at home schooling. “I’ve heard them tell their friends they should try it.”
Time. Time with the kids is a great joy even during the times when they’re driving you or you’re driving them nuts. As they get older, that becomes less of an issue and more of being grateful that you did and you do have that time. Time to find what works for their brains in learning and maturing into responsible adults. That is; people who expect to be happy in their livelihood and in their family life, because hopefully, that’s what they know from growing up as homeschoolers. Lots of meat, very little waste.
I appreciated these articles today. I learned about some more oppportunities which we don’t have time to participate in as we’re on overflowing plate right now. But I am glad that Pantagraph readers can see the unlimited resources available for each family to pick and choose.