What do Benjamin Franklin, Agatha Christie, Thomas Edison, and Christopher Paolini have in common? All of these notable persons received their education at home.
In recent years, the homeschooling movement has taken off with more and more parents opting to educate their children at home. Homeschooling provides children with one-on-one instruction, giving them the opportunity to progress faster in subjects they are strong in, while also allowing them to spend needed time on those subjects with which they struggle. Receiving their education at home allows children more family time and essentially eliminates peer pressure, as children interact with children and adults across a broad age spectrum rather than a single age group. This helps children better identify their own values and encourages independent thought.
“Homeschooling is a wonderful way in which to enrich both you and your child’s lives, but don’t try to go at it alone. There are great organizations that will help support you in your decision,” says Kathy Mitchell, former homeschooling parent and Assistant Center Director for Huntington Learning Center. Locally, there are several homeschooling organizations that provide support and social activities for homeschooling families, such as BRFUN (Blue Ridge Family Unschoolers), GRHE (Greater Roanoke Home Educators), HERF (Home Educators of Rainbow Forest), and Classical Conversations.
Parents without a background in education may be hesitant to home school their children. Many parents may fear having trouble teaching their children particular subjects or finding a learning style that best suits their child. Center Coordinator Cassandra Dove and the staff at the Greenfield Center want to assist homeschooling families in filling these gaps. “We’d like to become a valuable resource to meet the diverse needs of the homeschooling community,” says Dove.
Beginning this fall, The Greenfield Center will offer several classes for homeschooling parents and children. Partnering with instructors from Huntington Learning Center, Greenfield will offer a series of classes including such topics as teaching young children, instilling a love of reading, ending homework struggles, remedial reading, beginning mathematics, and study skills—including a class on SAT exam prep.
Other classes being offered this fall include four week-long earth science classes in September for ages 8-11, an introduction to homeschooling class for parents, and a college level Spanish 101 class for high school level students interested in earning college credit. This class is identical to Spanish 101 classes offered on the Virginia Western Community College main campus. “If more interest is expressed, we will do our best to make sure other credit classes are offered at Greenfield,” says Dove.
If you have any suggestions for educational classes or general interest seminars that you would like to see offered in Botetourt County, please contact Cassandra Dove at 540-966-3984.
Article written by Katelyn Quinley of Virginia Western.
Submitted by Sarah Olson, Virginia Western Community College, Greenfield Education and Training Center Administrative Specialist.