New Bee Homeschooler/New Beginnings Press

 

 From the Houston Chronicle  

Back to school without leaving the house

           Economy, religion among reasons more Texans turn to home schooling

By ERICKA MELLON
HOUSTON CHRONICLE

Aug. 22, 2010, 9:22PM

Michael Paulsen Chronicle

Angela Rangel reads a book to her home schooled daughter, Sophia, 3, at the family’s home on Saturday.

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The first day of school will be different for the Blane family this year. Parents Eric and Melissa won’t have to pack their children’s lunches or send them to the bus stop this morning.

The Blanes of Montgomery County have joined a growing number of Texans forgoing public and private schools, deciding to home school their 11-year-old son, Cory, and their 8-year-old daughter, Madison.

“It’s a desire we have to be the ones who are teaching them and motivating them,” said Melissa Blane, who will be the children’s primary teacher. “We’ll be starting bright and early.”

Melissa Blane plans to kick off her school year today to coincide with the return of roughly 4.5 million students to Texas public schools. Since 2007, state lawmakers have forbade school districts from holding classes before the fourth Monday in August.

‘A lifestyle’

Tina Robertson, a mom who runs New Beginnings, a support group for parents new to home schooling, lovingly chuckles when they follow the traditional start date.

“Guess how much I care about August 23rd?” she asked the parents gathered for a meeting Friday night at a bookstore in The Woodlands. Robertson doesn’t care at all. She plans to take her own three children, whom she has taught since kindergarten, to the park today. She said she teaches them year-round.

“Home schooling is a lifestyle,” Robertson said. “The line between learning and living gets blurred — and it should.”

Over the past five years, the number of Texans opting to home school has grown about 20 percent to an estimated 120,000 families and 300,000 children, according to the Texas Home School Coalition.

“The economy does have an impact on folks,” said Tim Lambert, president of the coalition. “We saw families last year who had their kids in a private school, times were tough and they couldn’t afford to do that anymore, but they didn’t want to put them in a public school.”

The most recent survey of parents by the National Center for Education Statistics found that families primarily opted to home school because they wanted to provide religious or moral lessons to their children. Other top reasons include parental concerns about safety, peer pressure and the academic instruction at traditional schools.

Parents in Texas are not required to register with any agency or to get their curriculum approved. Legal rulings have upheld that parents simply are supposed to have a curriculum that teaches reading, spelling, grammar, math and good citizenship.

The Blanes said they wanted to start home schooling several years ago, but they were worried that Melissa wouldn’t have time to teach while also helping Eric with the family light-fixture business. Finally, Melissa Blane said, they decided to “pray and rely on the Lord.”

Her home office will do double-duty as a classroom, with computers, a desk and a bulletin board on the door. The children can read in their bunk beds if they choose, but they will have to change out of their pajamas and do their hair every morning.

Their son is excited, Melissa Blane said, while their daughter is concerned about missing her classmates.

“She’ll still have time for friends,” the mother said, adding that their schedule will include field trips with other families who home school.

A trial run

The Rangel family of Houston also plans to try home schooling this year, with their 3-year-old daughter, Sophia. She’s too young for pre-kindergarten, but mom, Angela, wants to give her an early start and to test whether home schooling works well for the family.

“Since I went to private school my whole life, I really had wanted her to go to private school,” Angela Rangel said. “I have looked into it, and the one that I like, there’s a waiting list, and it’s very pricey. It kind of depends on where we are income-wise. My husband and I are leaning more toward home schooling.”

Rangel spent the weekend converting an apartment attached to their home into a classroom. One corner houses the library; posters about colors and shapes line the walls; and supply boxes with crayons and glue sit on top of a small table with two red chairs.

She doesn’t expect the school day to last more than an hour and a half, beginning with a Bible lesson and working up to learning to read. Rangel plans to begin class at 8:30 a.m. today.

ericka.mellon@chron.com

 

 From ABC 13, Houston, Texas

 

HOUSTON -- The number of students being home-schooled in Texas is on the rise, with some 300,000 children staying home as the school term started Monday.

Related Content

While roughly 4.5 million children were returning to public school in Texas this week, the approaching start of term was less important to parents who educate their offspring at home.

"Guess how much I care about Aug. 23?" Tina Robertson asked parents gathered for a meeting Friday at a bookstore in The Woodlands.

"Home schooling is a lifestyle," said Robertson, who teaches her three children year-round and runs New Beginnings, a support group for parents new to home schooling. "The line between learning and living gets blurred and it should."

According to the Texas Home School Coalition, the number of Texans opting to home school has grown about 20 percent to an estimated 120,000 families and 300,000 children in the past five years, the Houston Chronicle reported.

"The economy does have an impact on folks," said Tim Lambert, coalition president. "We saw families last year who had their kids in a private school, times were tough and they couldn't afford to do that anymore, but they didn't want to put them in a public school."

The National Center for Education Statistics reports that families primarily opted to home school because they wanted to provide religious or moral lessons to their children. Parental concerns about safety, peer pressure and the academic instruction at traditional schools were other reasons cited.

In Texas, parents who wish to home school are not required to register with any agency or to get their curriculum approved. Legal rulings have upheld that parents simply are supposed to have a curriculum that teaches reading, spelling, grammar, math and good citizenship.

Melissa Blane will be home schooling her son Cory, 11, and her 8-year-old daughter Madison.

"It's a desire we have to be the ones who are teaching them and motivating them," said Blane. "We'll be starting bright and early."

(Copyright ©2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

 

 From Beaumont, Texas

  More in Texas choose home schooling

August 23, 2010 8:41 AM

HOUSTON (AP) - The number of students being home-schooled in Texas is on the rise, with some 300,000 children staying home as the school term started Monday.

While roughly 4.5 million children were returning to public school in Texas this week, the approaching start of term was less important to parents who educate their offspring at home.

"Guess how much I care about Aug. 23?" Tina Robertson asked parents gathered for a meeting Friday at a bookstore in The Woodlands.

"Home schooling is a lifestyle," said Robertson, who teaches her three children year-round and runs New Beginnings, a support group for parents new to home schooling. "The line between learning and living gets blurred and it should."

According to the Texas Home School Coalition, the number of Texans opting to home school has grown about 20 percent to an estimated 120,000 families and 300,000 children in the past five years, the Houston Chronicle reported.

"The economy does have an impact on folks," said Tim Lambert, coalition president. "We saw families last year who had their kids in a private school, times were tough and they couldn't afford to do that anymore, but they didn't want to put them in a public school."

The National Center for Education Statistics reports that families primarily opted to home school because they wanted to provide religious or moral lessons to their children. Parental concerns about safety, peer pressure and the academic instruction at traditional schools were other reasons cited.

In Texas, parents who wish to home school are not required to register with any agency or to get their curriculum approved. Legal rulings have upheld that parents simply are supposed to have a curriculum that teaches reading, spelling, grammar, math and good citizenship.

Melissa Blane will be home schooling her son Cory, 11, and her 8-year-old daughter Madison.

"It's a desire we have to be the ones who are teaching them and motivating them," said Blane. "We'll be starting bright and early."


 

 From the Palestine, Texas Herald

August 23, 2010

More in Texas choose home schooling

Associated Press

— HOUSTON (AP) — The number of students being home-schooled in Texas is on the rise, with some 300,000 children staying home as the school term started Monday.

While roughly 4.5 million children were returning to public school in Texas this week, the approaching start of term was less important to parents who educate their offspring at home.

"Guess how much I care about Aug. 23?" Tina Robertson asked parents gathered for a meeting Friday at a bookstore in The Woodlands.

"Home schooling is a lifestyle," said Robertson, who teaches her three children year-round and runs New Beginnings, a support group for parents new to home schooling. "The line between learning and living gets blurred and it should."

According to the Texas Home School Coalition, the number of Texans opting to home school has grown about 20 percent to an estimated 120,000 families and 300,000 children in the past five years, the Houston Chronicle reported.

"The economy does have an impact on folks," said Tim Lambert, coalition president. "We saw families last year who had their kids in a private school, times were tough and they couldn't afford to do that anymore, but they didn't want to put them in a public school."

The National Center for Education Statistics reports that families primarily opted to home school because they wanted to provide religious or moral lessons to their children. Parental concerns about safety, peer pressure and the academic instruction at traditional schools were other reasons cited.

In Texas, parents who wish to home school are not required to register with any agency or to get their curriculum approved. Legal rulings have upheld that parents simply are supposed to have a curriculum that teaches reading, spelling, grammar, math and good citizenship.

Melissa Blane will be home schooling her son Cory, 11, and her 8-year-old daughter Madison.

"It's a desire we have to be the ones who are teaching them and motivating them," said Blane. "We'll be starting bright and early.

 From Lubbock, Texas - Lubbock Avalanche-Journal Online

More families in Texas are choosing home schooling

Published: Tuesday, August 24, 2010

AP

HOUSTON (AP) — The number of students being home-schooled in Texas is on the rise, with some 300,000 children staying home as the school term started Monday.

While roughly 4.5 million children were returning to public school in Texas this week, the approaching start of term was less important to parents who educate their offspring at home.

“Guess how much I care about Aug. 23?” Tina Robertson asked parents gathered for a meeting Friday at a bookstore in The Woodlands.

“Home schooling is a lifestyle,” said Robertson, who teaches her three children year-round and runs New Beginnings, a support group for parents new to home schooling. “The line between learning and living gets blurred and it should.”

According to the Texas Home School Coalition, the number of Texans opting to home school has grown about 20 percent to an estimated 120,000 families and 300,000 children in the past five years, the Houston Chronicle reported.

“The economy does have an impact on folks,” said Tim Lambert, coalition president. “We saw families last year who had their kids in a private school, times were tough and they couldn’t afford to do that anymore, but they didn’t want to put them in a public school.”

The National Center for Education Statistics reports that families primarily opted to home school because they wanted to provide religious or moral lessons to their children. Parental concerns about safety, peer pressure and the academic instruction at traditional schools were other reasons cited.

In Texas, parents who wish to home school are not required to register with any agency or to get their curriculum approved. Legal rulings have upheld that parents simply are supposed to have a curriculum that teaches reading, spelling, grammar, math and good citizenship.

Melissa Blane will be home schooling her son Cory, 11, and her 8-year-old daughter Madison.

“It’s a desire we have to be the ones who are teaching them and motivating them,” said Blane. “We’ll be starting bright and early.”

 

 From Kens 5, San Antonio,Texas

 

More Texas parents opt for home schooling

by Associated Press

Posted on August 23, 2010 at 10:40 AM

HOUSTON (AP) — The number of students being home-schooled in Texas is on the rise, with some 300,000 children staying home as the school term started Monday.

While roughly 4.5 million children were returning to public school in Texas this week, the approaching start of term was less important to parents who educate their offspring at home.

"Guess how much I care about Aug. 23?" Tina Robertson asked parents gathered for a meeting Friday at a bookstore in The Woodlands.

"Home schooling is a lifestyle," said Robertson, who teaches her three children year-round and runs New Beginnings, a support group for parents new to home schooling. "The line between learning and living gets blurred and it should."

According to the Texas Home School Coalition, the number of Texans opting to home school has grown about 20 percent to an estimated 120,000 families and 300,000 children in the past five years, the Houston Chronicle reported.

"The economy does have an impact on folks," said Tim Lambert, coalition president. "We saw families last year who had their kids in a private school, times were tough and they couldn't afford to do that anymore, but they didn't want to put them in a public school."

The National Center for Education Statistics reports that families primarily opted to home school because they wanted to provide religious or moral lessons to their children. Parental concerns about safety, peer pressure and the academic instruction at traditional schools were other reasons cited.

In Texas, parents who wish to home school are not required to register with any agency or to get their curriculum approved. Legal rulings have upheld that parents simply are supposed to have a curriculum that teaches reading, spelling, grammar, math and good citizenship.

Melissa Blane will be home schooling her son Cory, 11, and her 8-year-old daughter Madison.

"It's a desire we have to be the ones who are teaching them and motivating them," said Blane. "We'll be starting bright and early."

 

 

 

 


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