Home-schoolers find options in area
By Amelia Harper
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Though some people think home-schooled students have little social interaction, the growing number of home-schoolers in the Twin Counties have many opportunities to learn and play with others.
According to data from North Carolinians for Home Education, there were 977 registered home schools in Nash and Edgecombe counties in the 2015-16 school year. NCHE estimates that each home school has an average of 2.5 students, bringing the total number of home-schoolers in the Twin Counties to roughly 2,243, compared to roughly 21,776 public school students.
The Christian HomeSchool Association of Rocky Mount — or CHARM — is the oldest home-school support group in the Rocky Mount area and offers activities and support to home-school families in the Twin Counties and surrounding regions.
“CHARM is great for people who are interested in learning more about home schooling or who are new to home schooling because they can connect with people who have been home schooling their children for years and gain information and advice from them,” said Brent Hoggard, president of CHARM.
CHARM offers different activities for elementary, middle school and teen home-schoolers. More than 80 home-school families are a part of CHARM, Hoggard said.CHARM offers a variety of activities including field trips, field day events, a teen formal, science fairs, geography bee, spelling bee, skating events and a graduation ceremony.
“We have found that experienced home-schoolers have a lot of different interests. CHARM allows them to explore those interests with others who share them. All of these parents just desire to give their children a well-balanced home-schooling experience,” Hoggard said.
Classical Conversations offers two communities of support in the Rocky Mount area. The groups meet once a week to learn and share enrichment activities. Students then complete assignments at home on the other days of the week. More than 130 students in the Rocky Mount area are now enrolled in Classical Conversations programs.
Michelle Mosley, who home-schools three children, said she is a member of both CHARM and Classical Conversations.
“Since my kids do Classical Conversations, we really end up getting a lot of their social interaction through that,” Mosely said. “The group has a lot of activities to offer and we have seasonal parties together,” Mosely said.
Mosely also has one of her children involved in the physical education program available at the Harrison Family YMCA, which offers regular activities for home-schoolers in the form of a bi-weekly home-school physical education class. The class is offered from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays and costs $20 a month for YMCA members.
The Downeast Association of Sports for Homeschoolers (DASH) also offers organized soccer and basketball programs for home-schoolers in the region including Nash and Edgecombe counties. The DASH United teams compete with other home-school and private-school sports teams from across the state.
Other enrichment opportunities also exist locally for homeschooled students. CHARM offers art classes and the Joyful Sounds Music Program offers band and instrument classes.
“With all the great programs offered in the Rocky Mount area, our kids can really experience all the activities offered in public schools except for football. I had to take one of my kids to Raleigh so that he could get involved in that,” Mosely said.
Kamden Holland has been home-schooling her 11-year-old son Colby for two years. She said she is impressed with the activities available to home-schooling families in the Rocky Mount area.
“I was surprised to discover how much we have here,” Holland said. “Home-school moms share information about field trips, activities and classes by word of mouth. I even found an etiquette class offered by a home-school mom. These home-schooled kids are not just sitting at home alone.”
Christian Homeschool Association of Rocky Mount
YMCA Homeschool P.E. Classes
Downeast Association of Sports for Homeschoolers
Classical Conversations of Rocky Mount
North Carolinians for Home Education