CONWAY, S.C. (WBTW) — Homeschooling is looking more like reality for parents feeling uncertain about sending their students back to school. A local church is helping parents navigate the decision as the new school year is approaching.
The Ekklesia Christian Church in Conway has offered a homeschool support program for years. Homeschooling is nothing new for one local mom and church volunteer.
Tina Wilson is a homeschooling mom to not one but all seven of her children. She also volunteers at the Ekklesia Christian Church and is helping several parents struggling with the decision.
“It’s not easy,” Wilson said. “It’s rewarding. It’s worth it but, it’s not easy.”
Wilson shares homeschooling hacks from her wealth of experience. She says the biggest struggle for new homeschooling parents is the “de-schooling” process. Parents don’t have to recreate the classroom.
“The reality of homeschooling is you can sit on the couch and read,” Wilson said. “You can do math at your dining room table, science in your backyard.”
Her oldest child is a senior in high school, and the youngest is a toddler. She believes they all benefit from the freedom of homeschooling. They are self-taught and the two oldest are musically talented.
“Stepping outside of the 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. structure gives her that,” Wilson said.
Homeschooling under the third option is the most popular in South Carolina, according to education experts. Wilson said there’s a large homeschooling presence in Horry County, and agreed almost all families operate under the third option law.
The third option law has the minimum amount of regulations but still requires registration with a private accountability group approved by the State Board of Education. The option gives account to the state where your kids are while they are not in school.
Additional requirements for homeschooling under an accountability group include:
- The parent must hold a high school diploma or a GED certificate
- The instructional year must last at least 180 days
- The core curriculum should include math, science, history, and reading (in 1st-6th grade) or literature (for grades 7-12) and writing (grades 1-6) or composition (grades 7-12)
- The parent-teacher must maintain records for each homeschooled student including samples of their work, a lesson plan record of subjects and topics taught, and a semiannual progress report of student attendance and progress
Along with portfolio and progress report requirements, Wilson recommends using tutors and community support groups for your student.
She and other Ekklesia Christian Church volunteers and staff offer several community connections, including specialized tutors and instructors able to coach through the new homeschooling process.
“When people look at homeschooling, the curriculum options are overwhelming but we will layout options parents will think are best so they can put their hands on them and see how they feel about it,” Wilson said.
The Ekklesia Christian Church church will hold a meeting on August 3rd to answer any homeschooling questions from parents. For more information, click here.