Alexandria resident Barbara Elkins had no idea how homeschooling her children was going to work out, but she was certain that she wanted to give it a try.
She and her husband, Brian, gave it a shot. “We knew a lot of people who homeschooled, and we liked the way the children interacted with adults, how they interacted with each other as a family and that they enjoyed learning,” Elkins said. Elkins has homeschooled her children for 13 years and, she said, she hasn’t looked back.
Homeschooling is by no means easy—nor inexpensive. But while the challenges are many, Elkins said the rewards are in the close bond with her four children, the flexibility of scheduling for family activities and being able to pass on the family’s faith and values to the children.
More and more families around the country are homeschooling. According to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Household Education Surveys Program, about 1.5 million children were being homeschooled in 2007, compared to 850,000 in 1999—a 74 percent increase.
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(USA Today 08.15.09)