The Duncan Banner
School is about to start back up and while the county will see several hundred children walking back into the many public schools in the area, there is a large group who staying home.
It isn’t truancy, it’s home school.
There are growing number of families who have chosen the option to keep their children home and teach them as they see fit in accordance to the state’s requirements.
Although many see this style of education as a detriment to the children, those who have gone down this path say that simply isn’t true.
“The kids had a lot of (social) opportunities, there were really no doors closed to them,” said Kathy Lovett, who home schooled all four of her children. “I have no regrets for choosing to home school and I’d do it all over again.”
Lovett’s oldest son began kindergarten in a public school and when he came home spouting incorrect historical facts, she and her husband decided to home school.
She wanted them to be taught truth.
“I wanted my children to be taught what really happened, the way it happened,” said Lovett. “We also wanted our teaching to have a Bible centered focus.”
To become a parent who home schools is fairly simple. First, the school district must be informed that you are planning to home school, then you must choose a curriculum.
Lovett said there are several curriculums and styles to choose from including satellite, online or choose your way.
“Oklahoma has the best laws for home schooling, I would just stress that you keep good records in case you ever decide to put them in school,” she said. “There is always a convention in May in Oklahoma City that presents the various curriculums.”
As far as social interactions with others goes, it is no problem to find activities for children to do outside of a school setting.
Lovett said the 4-H programs here are strong and welcome home school children. There are also numerous sports to enroll in throughout the summer months.
“We had our children volunteer a lot, which helped them learn to work,” said Lovett. “And it meant a lot to us that they learn to get along with anyone of any age.”
Having the children home schooled also allowed more freedom and time for field trips.
Even long vacations were planned for places of learning such as historic battlefields and museums.
While some families choose to school their children year round, the Lovetts did not.
However, she said that she is aware of families who do and have much success with it.
The state of Oklahoma mandates that children have 180 days of school and Lovett said her children usually had about 200 a year.
All of her children are now grown, gone or going to college and have good jobs. They have continued to be involved with organizations such as Duncan Little Theatre.
Two of her sons have children and are home schooling as well. Despite there being not much community support when she first began home schooling, she said things now have changed drastically.
“When we first started, it had never been heard of and people asked us if it was legal and wondered what we were doing,” she said. “It’s very accepted now and places like the library are very supportive of the home school group, so it’s a viable alternative.”