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Home schooling gains in popularity in Cape region

Friday, November 15, 2013

Andrea Roseman leads a geography lesson Thursday for her children, Grant, 10, left, and Merideth, 8, in the dinning room of the family’s Jackson home. Roseman home schools her children.
(Adam Vogler) [Order this photo]
Before she started home schooling her two children, Andrea Roseman of Jackson was "adamantly opposed" to the idea. But when her son, Grant, turned 1, she said she felt God telling her it was the right thing to do.

She fought it for about a year. "At the time, I didn't know anyone else who was home schooling. I found out there were four other ladies in my church [Lynwood Baptist] who were home schooling," Roseman said.

Her son now is 10 and her daughter, Merideth, is 8.

Her children are involved in Boy Scouts, 4-H, Upward sports, baseball. They're involved in church, they read to first-graders at Clippard and they take art classes once a month. Her daughter is involved in an American Girl Doll Club, and they take piano lessons.

Roseman teaches piano to other children as well. The American Girl Doll Club, which has 13 members this year, meets in the home of home-school mothers. The dolls are from different periods of history, and the girls learn what people ate during those times. There also is a woman who teaches crafts to the girls.

"There are so many things offered for home-schoolers, even during the day, so you have to be careful because you'd never be home," Roseman said.

The state requires home-school teachers to log 1,000 of school work a year, 600 of which have to be core -- history, science and math -- and 400 noncore, areas such as foreign language and physical education. "You have to do lesson plans" and keep work samples, Roseman said.

She first started teaching her children her home's basement. But there were no windows, so they moved upstairs. Now the dining room table and living room couch are their headquarters.

"Any kind of reading we do is on the couch. They'll go to their rooms to do individual reading," Roseman said. "Our kitchen walls have been transformed with maps and dry erase boards" and displays of her children's work.

The reasons she would not put her children back in public school are she disagrees with the emphasis on standardized tests and she dislikes Common Core standards being implemented at districts around the state and nation.

She stressed she's not a home-school parent who believes everyone should follow in her footsteps.

"It's a personal decision. Seek the Lord's guidance and pray to Him and stand firm in that decision. Don't feel like you have to defend that decision or your family's choice," Roseman said.

According to the Common Core Standards Initiative website, the initiative is a "state-led effort that established a single set of clear educational standards for kindergarten through 12th grade in English language arts and mathematics that states voluntarily adopt. The standards are designed to ensure that students graduating from high school are prepared" to move on to two- or four-year colleges or enter the workforce.

With home schooling, Roseman said she can slow or speed up her teaching, depending whether her children understand the curriculum. But the main thing she likes is they use "real books" vs. textbooks. "We use biographies and autobiographies; fiction books that are history-based. It gives them an appetite to learn about that time period," she said.

She also takes her children on field trips. For example, someone who attends her church speaks about the Civil War, so they met him at Fort D several weeks ago for a presentation. As a family, the Rosemans go on trips and look for places the children can experience learning.

"In many ways, I feel they're better prepared to interact with people of all ages," Roseman said.

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education doesn't monitor home schooling in Missouri, DESE communications coordinator Sarah Potter said. Parents who home school don't need to report to the state they are doing so, they don't need any certification to teach their children and there's no standardized testing required.

However, home-school teachers must keep records as to how many hours they teach. And according to the state law, the parent, guardian or other responsible person must file a declaration of enrollment with the recorder of deeds or chief school officer where the child legally lives.

Roseman said home-school teachers keep transcripts and issue diplomas. Students then can take college entrance exams.

Potter said it's unknown how many youngsters are home-schooled in Missouri. "It's really set up that way on purpose," she said. "It's freedom.

"It's the same way with private schools: We don't know how many private schools there are," Potter said.

Angie Laws has four children ranging in age from 2 to 9. She home schools the 8- and 9-year-olds, and the 4-year-old sits in sometimes. Her two sisters-in-law began home schooling before Laws did, and they inspired her.

"I guess I just felt that their safety and being at home with me ... I could control what they're learning," Laws said.

Laws has a teaching degree from Southeast Missouri State University. "But as they're getting older, I wanted to make sure they weren't missing anything, so I started Heart of Dakota this year," she said.

Heart of Dakota Publishing's home-school curriculum, Laws said, offers English, Bible, poetry, science, history and other subjects.

"I also take them to the River Campus [of Southeast Missouri State University]. They have art classes on Tuesday. Two days a week, we're involved with classes with other children around and we do play dates, too," Laws said.

"You can spend all day with your children and have fun and still learn. We live on a farm, so we're able to do a lot outside and incorporate it into the classes," she added.

Home-school support

Sara Moll, one of the founding board members of SEMO Homeschoolers Co-op, said her group provides support for about 65 families. The co-op, established about four years ago, has had people come from the Missouri towns of Ste. Genevieve, Perryville, Benton, Advance, Zalma and other locales.

Member families run the gamut in terms of faith and teaching styles. People in all occupations home-school their children as well. "You get the people who take it completely seriously" and then there's "unschooling," where children do whatever they enjoy, which could include taking apart the family TV, Moll said.

Not everyone in the area is a co-op member, because churches, for example, may have their own support groups. From co-op members and people she and her board members know, it's estimated there are 250 families who home school their children within a 45-minute radius of Cape Girardeau.

"I think it's very important [to] let people who are like-minded get together and share stories, share opinions about curriculum and share problems," Moll said.

Plus, she said, many people still have the idea that home-school children are unsocialized, which isn't true. From what she sees, the majority of home-school children are oversocialized. "We're out in the community doing things. It's hard to stay home and get the book work done."

For people who don't know much about home schooling, the co-op lends credibility to the practice, Moll said. Parents whose children are not school age sit in on meetings to learn and decide whether home schooling is right for them.

"I manage the website, and I get two calls a week of people who are looking into home schooling," Moll said. " ... A lot of times it is because maybe the child has more special needs than the school can deal with, or handle, or provide what the child needs. I totally get that. I think it's amazing what our teachers do."

But one-on-one, "when there's one parent to one student, they can really be looking at that child ... really tailor that child's education," Moll said.



Missouri's home school statute

Missouri Revised Statutes

Chapter 167

Pupils and Special Services

Section 167.042

Aug. 28, 2013

Home school, declaration of enrollment, contents -- filing with recorder of deeds or chief school officer -- fee.

167.042. For the purpose of minimizing unnecessary investigations due to reports of truancy, each parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the child who causes his child to attend regularly a home school may provide to the recorder of deeds of the county where the child legally resides, or to the chief school officer of the public school district where the child legally resides, a signed, written declaration of enrollment stating their intent for the child to attend a home school within 30 days after the establishment of the home school and by September first annually thereafter. The name and age of each child attending the home school, the address and telephone number of the home school, the name of each person teaching in the home school, and the name, address and signature of each person making the declaration of enrollment shall be included in said notice. A declaration of enrollment to provide a home school shall not be cause to investigate violations of section 167.031. The recorder of deeds may charge a service cost of not more than one dollar for each notice filed.

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"to log 1,000 of school work a year, 600 of which have to be core -- history, science and math -- and 400 noncore"

100,600,400 what?

"Potter said it's unknown how many youngsters are home-schooled in Missouri. "It's really set up that way on purpose," she said. "It's freedom."

"...it's estimated there are 250 families who home school their children within a 45-minute radius of Cape Girardeau."

I read nothing in this article that supports your title's statement "Home schooling gains in popularity in Cape region". Where are the facts? Who's estimate is 250? What was the previous estimate? Or whose opinion was this headline? And why choose the "Cape region"? The only township mentioned in your article was Jackson.

Do the students take proctored exams? By proctored, I mean supervised exams by someone other than a parent.

-- Posted by survivor* on Fri, Nov 15, 2013, at 4:49 AM

The main reason many of these moms homeschool is for themselves. THEY want to be the primary everything for their kids and to control any negative influences, be it what the kids are learning or who the kids are exposed to. It's more a fear and a motherly need, neither of which they will ever admit. Sure they have the right to do it, but I shake my head in amazement each time this comes up.

-- Posted by wuzthinking on Fri, Nov 15, 2013, at 8:19 AM

The kids will only be as smart as their parents. Frightening.

-- Posted by Dexterite1 on Fri, Nov 15, 2013, at 9:12 AM

I've seen kids from 3 different home schooling families and those poor kids had no sicial skills whatsoever. I felt sorry for them. And by the way each family was instructed by God to home school.

-- Posted by left turn on Fri, Nov 15, 2013, at 11:10 AM

"The kids will only be as smart as their parents. Frightening."

Very limited kids perhaps. With libraries and internet access there is no limit to how smart a motivated kid can get. Once my children are a bit older it will be a real option simply due to how SLOW public and private schools move through material and how limited that material is.

With resources like Khan Academy for high level math instruction and MIT Opencourseware for college level homework, lectures, and tests it isn't that difficult to provide the means for children to become far smarter than their parents.

I just wish Missouri would allow homeschool students who can demonstrate their academic progress access to the extracurricular programs. Homeschooling would be an ideal option for my kids if they could still compete in school sports and academic competitions without being forced to waste 6-7 hours a day sitting through all the other classes that are dumbed down to teach to the bottom third of the class.

-- Posted by Nil on Fri, Nov 15, 2013, at 11:25 AM

Nil, you will NEVER be able to give them the experiences or the skills they'll need to make it in a very public world. It's much more than just books (and extracurricular) - whether your children attend a private school or a public school, a community of people their own age is what kids need, and yes, that community will come in all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, and abilities, The sooner kids learn to get along in an arena much larger than their own little worlds, the more skills they will learn in many, many facets, and those skills will carry them far in life. No homeschool parent will acknowledge that their children are lacking in their abilities to relate to the world at large. They probably cannot see it or won't admit it if they do.

-- Posted by wuzthinking on Fri, Nov 15, 2013, at 1:19 PM

Some of the mother's I've met that homeschool don't even have college degrees themselves. I thought that was strange. Not trying to be mean, but they don't seem very smart. Maybe I'm missing something...

-- Posted by TommyStix on Fri, Nov 15, 2013, at 1:41 PM

Posted by Dexterite1 on Fri, Nov 15, 2013, at 9:12 AM

That certainly makes me feel better to know that you didn't home school anyone, Dexter.

-- Posted by G. H. on Fri, Nov 15, 2013, at 4:27 PM

Posted by left turn on Fri, Nov 15, 2013, at 11:10 AM

By no social skills, Lefty, do you mean bullying, using drugs and alcohol, and playing the odds that a schoolmate won't come in today and start shooting everyone in sight?

-- Posted by G. H. on Fri, Nov 15, 2013, at 4:31 PM

So many say negative words concerning homeschooling. When the public schools can only teach to the level of the least intelligent child and removed spelling and began teaching the standardized test instead of real teaching, homeschooled children arose above and are given 1-1 learning. My wife who has a teaching degree, gives our kids an amazing education. There is also zero discipline within the liberalized schools.

-- Posted by drklr2011 on Fri, Nov 15, 2013, at 7:27 PM

"removed spelling"

Best pay a little more attention, because spelling is still very much apart of curriculum.

"teach to the level of the least intelligent child"

Wrong again.

"zero discipline"

If you mean corporal punishment rather than discipline, I'd say that is an excellent step in the right direction. Otherwise, you are flat wrong about consequences for poor behavior choices aka discipline.

"began teaching the standardized test"

Standardized test are designed to 'test' that each child is taught what should be learned.

-- Posted by loop__hole on Fri, Nov 15, 2013, at 8:23 PM

grouch, just when I thought you couldn't get any more ignorant..there you go and prove me wrong. What kind of a d*** nut are you anyhow?

-- Posted by left turn on Fri, Nov 15, 2013, at 8:58 PM

Posted by left turn on Fri, Nov 15, 2013, at 8:58 PM

Do you deny that any of things I listed happen? If so, I couldn't even approach near to your ignorance and stupidity. I suggest you look in the mirror before calling someone else ignorant or a nut. Most of the crap you post makes you look really dumb.

-- Posted by G. H. on Fri, Nov 15, 2013, at 10:38 PM

Nil, you will NEVER be able to give them the experiences or the skills they'll need to make it in a very public world. No homeschool parent will acknowledge that their children are lacking in their abilities to relate to the world at large. They probably cannot see it or won't admit it if they do. -- Posted by wuzthinking on Fri, Nov 15, 2013, at 1:19 PM

And you know this how? Pure conjecture and BS? My kids were not homeschooled but I'd never make a ridiculous and pure opinionated statement like that. I know of MANY homeschooled children that are doing very well in life.

Leave your bias at home. So all the homeschooled kids are in mental institutions? Or on welfare? since they will NEVER be able to "make it in the very public world". Absolutely ridiculous.

-- Posted by Dug on Fri, Nov 15, 2013, at 10:43 PM

I would like to read some non religious reasons why parents have switched to home school. "The Lord said to" just doesn't cut it for me.

The article also said that we don't know how many people are homeschooled in Missouri and this offers freedom. If there aren't records of how many are homeschooled than how do we know the numbers have increased through the years. According to the title that's supposed to be the whole premise of the article. I'd like to see some statistics on the subject instead of reading about the field trips they go on.

-- Posted by livelife on Fri, Nov 15, 2013, at 11:20 PM

groucho you have proven your ignorance again, it's plain your mom home schooled you.

-- Posted by Dexterite1 on Sat, Nov 16, 2013, at 7:27 AM

The article could have included more information to support the headline. I myself have met a few homeschooled kids and they were absolutely delightful. And apparently academically successful.

-- Posted by ssnkemp on Sat, Nov 16, 2013, at 7:44 AM

Good for the homeschooling parents. Let freedom ring.

-- Posted by FreedomFadingFast on Sat, Nov 16, 2013, at 8:01 AM

I know many kids who have been (or are still) homeschooled. Their social skills are often higher than those of their public school peers. I know some that were exposed to the Classics, Latin and Greek, physics, and such before reaching high school age. Their parents were less motivated by religious reasons than by quality of education and anti-social forces within many of the public schools. Many of the objections I've read here is mere conventional wisdom and not based in fact.

-- Posted by Mark Rutledge on Mon, Nov 18, 2013, at 8:58 AM

I have read the rude comments about mothers choosing Homeschooling and all I could say is the fear of my child running into you or your offspring is what terrifies those of us thinking about homeschooling. You are bullies of the most horrible, disrespectful kind. My fear is you are the teachers I am exposing my children to at this time. God is not leading me to Homeschooling, poor educational services by my local public school. I can not afford a private school or tuition at $7-12,000 each. My experience at public school has been funny if it were not your own child. My son is removed from Science and Social Studies for a tier 3 reading class. Yes, he is behind in reading, well the teacher said "he just doesn't sound like a reader". Well, every day he gets to the science or social studies class the last 5 min or so and the same teacher assigns another classmate to take my son and teach him what took her a half hour to teach the class. Yet, records do not indicate my son does not attend these classes. No, it is recorded he is not only in attendance but making A's and B's. Of course the only test papers I have collected have D- thru F on them. My older son who has a serious learning deficit was in the 3rd grade last year and even though he could not read nor had the ability to retain short term memory still maintained an A in Science until I complained this was a slap in the face to any child who actually did the work. The teacher said she or someone assigned to read the assignments to my son then have him tell them where the answer is. I practiced this with him, had a local substitute teacher practice this with him and he was unable to follow through. With just this bit of experience with the public school thus far, how can anyone expect their children to get an education. All they want to talk about is how pleasant my children are in class, not how well they function in class. Well heck I know they are well behaved they are my kids and yes I did a good job. What I want to know is what are the teachers doing for my children. Wow, guess I am a little engaged in this , but I am seriously considering Homeschooling. No messages from God, just a good old dose of Poor teaching jobs.

-- Posted by jumpinjin on Wed, Nov 20, 2013, at 12:59 PM

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