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Learning outside the lines: Home schooling in Kansas

Three couples share reasons for opting out of public, private schools


Isaiah Hite, 7, rearranges word tiles as his mother, April Hite, looks on. April Hite home schools Isaiah and his brother, Elijah, 5, right, using the Lawrence Virtual School and other materials.

Isaiah Hite, 7, rearranges word tiles as his mother, April Hite, looks on. April Hite home schools Isaiah and his brother, Elijah, 5, right, using the Lawrence Virtual School and other materials.

May 13, 2007

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Learning outside the lines

Here's a snapshot of three home schooling families who live in Lawrence:

Parents: Ken and April Hite

Children: Isaiah, 7; Elijah, 5.

How long they've been home schooling: Two years.

How they do it: A mix of traditional book materials and the Lawrence Virtual School, with frequent trips to museums. A typical school day starts at 1 p.m. and ends at 3 p.m. or 4 p.m.

What they do outside the home: The boys play soccer and baseball, are involved in drama classes and activities at First Baptist Church, 1330 Kasold Drive.

Why they started home schooling: "I feel like we can customize education for our children, for what they need," April Hite says. Also, it's more efficient: "Lunch breaks, recesses and bathroom breaks make the day longer than it has to be (in public or private schools)."

The future: "As I see them getting older, I hope there are opportunities for basketball and football, some of the extracurricular things," April Hite says. "I love Lawrence because it seems there's a lot of opportunities a small town might not have. I hope there's nothing they'll miss out on because we're doing this."

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Parents: Duane and Amy Goertz

Children: Alex, 11; Adam, 9; Aidan, 7.

How long they've been home schooling: Five years.

How they do it: A mix of traditional book materials and the Lawrence Virtual School.

Why they started home schooling: "It came time for preschool and it was, 'There's no way my baby can go to school away from me during the day,'" Amy Goertz says. "I don't want my kids gone all day. There are so many things I wouldn't know about them."

Adam's advantages for home schooling: 1. "It's definitely fun for me because I don't have to do homework every night." 2. "There's no confusion over where you're supposed to go on the first day of school." 3. "You're not getting bullied, unless Aidan pokes you."

Potential downfall: "Doing sports isn't the same as working on a project together," Amy Goertz says. "There's definitely an awareness there. How that's going to affect them in college, I don't know."

The future: Alex loves sports and may go back to a more traditional school for the teams, Amy Goertz says. Adam loves science and math but struggles in reading, so she's not sure a traditional school would be good for him. And she's not sure about Aidan.

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Shaun LePage

Shaun LePage

Parents: Shaun and Beth LePage

Children: Hannah, 7; Abigail, 6.

How long they've been home schooling: Two years.

How they do it: Book-based curriculum.

Why they do it: "The Bible gives parents the primary responsibility for educating their children," Shaun LePage says. "It gives them the freedom to delegate that responsibility, but the primary substance of education should be faith and building a biblical foundation for your children."

Family values: "We just believe those early years especially are so important, and there's no one that's going to love them as much as their mother, or be as patient with them as their mother," Shaun LePage says. "In that environment, they're going to learn best. No one's going to be left behind - their mother's going to make sure of it."

Home school support: Shaun LePage is pastor at Community Bible Church, 906 N. 1464 Road. The church allows Teaching Effective Academics in Christian Homes (TEACH) to have cooperative classes there. "It's not something we'd preach from the pulpit - that if you don't home school your children, it's a sin," he says. "But we do believe it (education) is a parent's responsibility."

Comments

gabbo 7 years, 7 months ago

"The Bible gives parents the primary responsibility for educating their children," Shaun LePage says. "It gives them the freedom to delegate that responsibility, but the primary substance of education should be faith and building a biblical foundation for your children."

Bein' gay is wrong, so is doin' it w/ animals. Angry god floods everything, but gives drunk a boat and two of each species. Angry god loosens up, sends hippie first born to do slight-of-hand with bread and hooch. Hippie starts a band, then is hung politically for sins of non-jews for not kicking up taxes?

There is more to life than myths and tales based on fear and lack of knowledge. Your children will resent you if hide them from LIFE.

Gabbo

Isaac McPheeters 7 years, 7 months ago

Gabbo. As a KU student who was home schooled from 2nd grade through high school and received Biblical training as part of my curriculum, I will say here and now that I do not resent my parents.

Navin_R_Johnson 7 years, 7 months ago

Aleitha,

you really shouldn't burden christophobic muldoons who've been fully indoctrinated into a state sponsored value system with reality, cuz then they'll have to actually engage their brains to make a repsonse to you. reactionary ranting is what they do, especially if they can tie something in which they are inherently opposed to Christians; facts and reality be damned!

imagine you homeschooled and made it to college...you mean your parents did that for you without State sponsored services and infrastructure? what will the freedom-haters come up with next? oh yeah...forgot...just bash Christians, even though most folks who have the basic sense a of monkey knows they ain't the only ones' whose homeschoolin.'

your parents done good, judgin by your response. they're revolutionaries by today's standards. good on ya.'

peace,

Navin

arturocunningham 7 years, 7 months ago

Gabbo...what a bigot! You wouldn't happen to have had a public school education? Don't ask me how I could tell...

shaunlepage 7 years, 5 months ago

Wow, gabbo and Navin! "christophobic muldoons"? "fully indoctrinated into a state sponsored value system"? "engage their brains"? What have you been smoking? You two sure are intolerant of my beliefs. Lighten up. My kids aren't being "hidden from LIFE". We have a great life together. There's a big difference between being "hidden" and being protected and better cared for. My kids love me and they're doing great. They very tolerant of other people, too. Go rent a funny movie and cheer up a little. :)

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