Kicking off the 2017 school year: A homeschooler's point of view - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Kicking off the 2017 school year: A homeschooler's point of view

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As more than 55 million students across the country head back to school over the next few weeks, there's another 2 million students that are gearing up to learn too. They're heading back to homeschool.

Parents nationwide homeschool their children for various reasons. Some do it for the extra family time, some opt to homeschool based on religious views and others for the flexible schedule that comes with it. 

One of those families in Acadiana is prepping to get back to the books, just like everyone else. 

"Our first official day of school will be the 14th," said mother and homeschool teacher Shane Winters.

Day one of the Winters family's 2017 fall semester will happen right in their living room. It's where Winters has the challenge of transforming the space from a phone-friendly lounging area, to a homeschool she'll teach five of her ten children in.
"It's rough. It's probably rougher than a public school mom, so far as they get to go, 'Oh the bus is coming. You'll be tardy!' I don't have those kind of constraints. They usually do pretty good, and I'm pretty lenient. We tried to go to bed at a decent time last night. Did it work? No, it didn't work," said Winters.

Just like any parent with a student at a public or private school, this mother-teacher hybrid has her own tricks to get her class back into the swing of things. 

"So, they'll go get their things and organize. That kind of gets them in the mood because they're playing with their school supplies that they're supposedly, not supposed to touch during the summer. That makes it fun too because it's crayons and markers and construction paper," said Winters.

Though homeschooling comes with a great deal of freedom and a relaxed structure, many of the educational values line right up with the rest of the state. The Winters family is planning to adopt a new education guideline Louisiana passed this school year too. 

"One thing, and they're just finding this out, we're going to work on this year is cursive writing. Really, really. We're going to do cursive writing," said Winters.

Most parents and teachers would agree that it doesn't matter where a student finds their classroom, as long as they're learning and growing everyday.

"It's the scariest thing to jump into, with the most reward," said Winters.

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