2012-09-14 / Community

Homeschoolers discuss curriculum

By Emily Elliott
Staff Writer

School is back in session, and the collective groan from students across the state can almost be heard.

One group of students will not be going back to school buildings, however, because they are part of a growing group of homeschoolers in the Kennebunk area.

The first Monday of every month the Kennebunk Free Library welcomes a dozen or more homeschoolers to its lower gallery.

The parents discuss different curricula and activities their family is using in their education plan. The children play together and talk about what being homeschooled is like.

The library offers special privileges for homeschoolers, including month-long book rentals and Cliff Notes versions of books.

Chris Hull of Springvale described how homeschooling works for her 6-yearold son.

“Previously my son went to preschool; this is our first year homeschooling,” she said. “We do lots of extras and fun activities. We feel really lucky to be able to do this.”

The state of Maine requires students to earn a half credit, or 40 hours of education about the topic of Maine by the time they graduate.

The homeschooling group passed around a workbook of “Maine Studies,” which would fill that requirement.

The homeschoolers group is planning a month-long student art show in the gallery where they meet and organizing the show is underway.

The group discussed common problems, like parents getting calls on the first days of school from public schools, wondering where their child is.

Becky Hebert, of Dayton, is in her sixth year of homeschooling her daughter, who is 11, and her son, who is 9.

“For our curriculum, we use a lot of work books. It’s really nice,” Hebert said. “We have a lot of fun with it. It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it.”

Melissa Baker of Kennebunk explained to the group how her 14-year-old son, Griffin, is auditing several high school classes, including one in physics.

Several parents in the group didn’t even know that was an option.

“Griffin is auditing honor physics with the lab and world history,” Baker said. “He does the class work, and then brings the lessons home for more intensive study.”

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