Todd, a public school English teacher, and Andrea, a former teacher, know the value of a good education. So when it came time to decide how to teach their four children, they considered several different options.
“We’ve both been in the public school system and went to public schools ourselves. We decided that we would be able to educate our own children more efficiently than the public system can,” Todd says.
As a homeschool family, Todd and Andrea can advance their children at their own pace and set expectations as high as they need to for each one. Jesse, age 11, excels at math and is already 2-3 grades ahead of her peers in traditional schools. “We are able to address the specific needs of each of our children both in terms of their educational needs and their behavioral needs,” Todd explains. He expects all of his children will be taking courses at the local community college by the time they are 15 or 16.
More than 22,500 Arizona families homeschool their children and some 2 million children are homeschooled nationwide. Each year, Arizona Families for Home Education, the state homeschool association, hosts a conference; more than 5,000 families attended in 2011. At the conference and through homeschool groups parents share best practices and learn about different teaching approaches like Charlotte Mason, which focuses on short lessons and focused reading sessions, or the Classical method, which emphasizes grammar, logic and rhetoric.
Todd says Arizona has a lot to offer homeschool families. “There are a lot of resources and homeschooling communities in Arizona,” he says, “and more opportunities than any one family could ever take full advantage of.”
Arizona Republic: Thousands of Arizona children are being homeschooled
National School Choice Week: Official Website