Support Community Press

You can show your support of a vibrant and healthy free press by becoming a voluntary subscriber.

Subscribe Now

STAFF WRITER DANIEL CLIFTON

MARBLE FALLS — Homeschooling has grown into a viable educational option for families, yet some parents might pause at the idea of being their child’s teacher. Those fears, however, are unwarranted, according to homeschooling parents.

“We talk a lot about learning with your child,” said Jennifer Jones, a homeschooling parent. “With the younger children, it’s a lot about helping them learn how to learn. When you get to the high school level, they really start exploring their interests.”

Jones admitted that she can’t really help one of her teens with his trigonometry studies because she doesn’t know much about the subject, but he can tackle the work on his own with his years of learning how to learn.

Those interested in homeschooling can learn a lot at an informational meeting from 6-9 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 6, at the Homeschool on the Hill Lending Library. The meeting is free and open to veteran and new homeschoolers as well as the curious.

Parents can bring their children to the meeting. Several teenagers will be on hand to supervise the kids while parents share tips, information, and experiences related to homeschooling.

“First, we’ll talk about the legal aspects of it because a lot of people don’t know they can homeschool their children,” Jones said.

Several experienced homeschooling parents will share information on different aspects.

“We’ll have a presentation by Belynda (Bowling) Abbey. She’s been homeschooling for 20 years, and she’ll go over the different types of homeschooling,” Jones said. “She’ll talk about complete un-schooling to the more traditional with a full curriculum — and everything in between.”

Also on hand will be representatives from area programs to offer additional educational resources, including Burnet County 4-H, Classical Conversations, One Day Academy, Homeschool on the Hill Lending Library, and the Science Team.

There’s even a physical education program in which homeschoolers can participate.

“It’s not just academics,” Jones said. “There’s a lot of opportunity for electives, all kinds.”

A major benefit of homeschooling is flexibility.

Parents can chose a more traditional setting with regular schedules complete with a full curriculum or an informal setting, but they are not bound to either.

“If you try a particular curriculum, and it’s not working for you or your child, you can change it and find something that does,” Jones said.

During the Aug. 6 meeting, Amanda Atwood Preece will discuss the Homeschool on the Hill Lending Library and how parents can browse the expansive curriculum collection and check out books. Families getting started can try a curriculum through the lending library, and if it’s not quite what they want, return it and try something else.

The biggest benefit of the meeting is interacting with families who are already homeschooling.

“The thing that has helped new people (to homeschooling) the most is coming to the meeting and meeting the parents who are doing it,” Jones said.

Another plus of homeschooling is the family aspect, according to Jones.

“One of the things we stress is the family time you get,” she added. “It’s a lifestyle change. Instead of sending the kids off in different directions, you’re all together — all the different ages.

“We have families to be with them,” she said. “Homeschooling allows us to do that more.”

If parents are still hesitant about homeschooling, Jones has one more “secret.”

“There are no consequences,” she said. “You can pull your child out of public schools for homeschooling, but if it doesn’t work out for you, your child can go back to (public) school.”

The Homeschool on the Hill Lending Library is located at 540 Rocky Road in Marble Falls, but Jones pointed out that if you put the address into your GPS or maps app, it will take you to the wrong place (though still on Rocky Road). The best way to get there is to turn on Rocky Road either off U.S. 281 or RR 2147 and drive until you see a “tall, white, sheet-metal fence with balloons.” The Homeschool on the Hill Lending Library is located in a house at the above address, not a commercial property.

Call Jones at (512) 636-9780 for more information, or if you get a little bewildered while looking for the Homeschool on the Hill Lending Library.

daniel@thepicayune.com