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Homeschooling doesn't mean the child always stays at home

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
May 16th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

"I went to my high school reunion, the other day," popular comedian Zach Galifinakis says. "The problem is, was that I was homeschooled. The reunion was just me and a punch bowl listening to Kool & the Gang!" While funny, this points out a commonly held misconception about homeschooling. It's widely believed that homeschooling isolates the child from other people their own age and deprives them of many fun recreational activities offered by conventional schools.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In fact, homeschooled students don't have to go without the many positive things a public education offers, like field trips, band, club and yearbooks.

Organizations at the fourth annual Home School Fair showed parents how their children can receive education at home and still participate in social and group learning activities. The event showcased local businesses, organizations, and support groups that serve area home school families and prospective homeschoolers.

The event was to get all of the local home school groups and community agencies in one place so parents can get a picture of what would be available if they take a homeschooling route, said event coordinator Terry Andrews.

"We fill in the few things that are missing when a child is home schooled," Jen Quinn, a spokeswoman for Carolina Christian Educators said.

The group is made up of a collection of families that provide socializing chances for students and parents give advice to each other, Quinn said.

Groups like CCE provide homeschooling students with opportunities like taking field trips, participating in a science fair, joining 4-H Club, being in an art class, having a yearbook and even elect a student council.

Sean Capparuccia, a music teacher and owner of Kingsfriend Music provides home-schooled students with a chance to play an instrument in band. "We started the band two years ago," he said. "We have 13 members now and a looking to begin a new one."

In addition, Agape Leadership Development offers resources for home-schooling families, supervised teen events and group exams each spring which satisfies the state's testing requirements, Michelle Cooke, an event coordinator with the organization says.

Onslow County Partnership for Children hosts a Resource Center which provides reference books, videos and music, books and education material for children younger that 12. Membership is free with a paid upgrade.

Other agencies in attendance were Camp Lejeune Base Libraries, City of Jacksonville Recreation and Parks, Carobell, Inc., among others. The groups and organizations all provided activities and educational material.

For more information on area homeschooling organizations visit onslowcountync.gov/library or call the OCPL Youth Services Department at the Main Library in Jacksonville at 910-455-7350, ext. 6112.

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