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Home A By Cindy Downes


s mid-summer approaches, millions of American families are making preparations for the next school year. While some are getting ready by shopping for new clothes or


figuring out before and after school arrangements, there are those writing out lesson plans for each of their children. For these families, school will take place at home.


Homeschooling 101


Homeschooling, or “parent-led, home- based education,” used to be considered “alternative,” but today, it’s bordering on “mainstream,” according to Brian D. Ray, PhD, founder of the National Home Education Research Insti- tute.


There are about 2.04 million home-educated students in the Unit- ed States, says Dr.


Ray, and this number is growing at an es- timated rate of 2 to 8 percent per year. It’s also becoming popular with minorities, Dr. Ray said. There “is a demographically wide variety of people who homeschool. These are atheists, Christians, and Mor- mons; conservatives, libertarians, and liberals; low-, middle-, and high-income families; black, Hispanic, and white; par- ents with Ph.Ds., GEDs, and no high- school diplomas.” According to the Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), home- schooling is legal in every state of the U.S., including Oklahoma. The HSLDA website says that parents in Oklahoma are not required to “use certifi ed teach- ers or state-approved curricula, initiate contact with, register with or seek ap- proval from state or local offi cials, test their students or permit public school offi cials to visit or inspect homes. If a parent is teaching his children the basic subjects for at least 180 days, the law re- quires nothing more.”


Raiden Guthery, a homeschool student, learns work skills from her father’s custom-cabinet business, Guthery Inc.


Diverse methods, diverse home- schoolers


Ryan and Amber Guthery, members of Central Rural Electric Co-op, have been homeschooling their three chil-


16 OKLAHOMA LIVING


From ‘Alternative’ to ‘Mainstream’ homeschooling grows in popularity


Photos by Bill Downes


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