July 20, 2006
The home schooling movement is growing in Virginia, thanks to the help of new regulations that allow parents with only a high school diploma to teach their children.
Whether it's for religious or academic reasons, home schooling seems to be the trend lately as more and more families decide to forgo the classroom and educate on their own.
Carla Hoke loves teaching her four kids. She decided years ago to home school her children for religious reasons.
"We had planned to home school our children long before we even had children," said Hoke.
Whether her kids are falling behind or exceptionally gifted, they get to learn at their own pace.
"The one-on-one instruction that you give your child just can't be beat, as apposed to one on 20 or 25 in a classroom," said Charlotte Knighting, who owns the Home School Shop in Culpeper.
Charlotte, Carla's mother, was a school teacher herself and now in her retirement she sells books to help parents of home schooled children get the supplies they need.
"The home schooling movement is mushrooming at this point in time across the country, but we especially see it in Virginia," Knighting said.
The new state regulations make it much easier. As of July 1, all a parent needs is a high school diploma to home school their children.
However, some critics have blasted the idea of home schooling and the new laws. They feel the kids do not get the socialization skills they need to succeed in life.
"If you have been in a classroom like I have, you will find that a lot of the socialization that goes on in the classroom is not positive," said Knighting.
The latest research shows that schooled children had more behavioral problems than home schooled children. Carla believes as a parent she made the right decision.
"It's been beneficial to all of our entire family," said Hoke.
If you would like more information about home schooling, there will be a home schooling workshop on Monday, July 24 at 7 p.m. at the Culpeper County Library.