Local News

Home School a Stable Alternative for Military Children

Posted June 12, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— It's all in a days work. At least at the Fitzgerald's house or school-- whatever you'd like to call it. That's where they turn everything into a learning experience.

Instead of moving schools every time Laura Fitzgerald's dad moves with the national guard, she and her two siblings take their school on the road.

Laura, Jessica and Johnny have been home schooled for the last two years. Part of the reason their parents decided to do it was because as many other military families, they were always moving. Now they're turning that reality into a learning experience.

More and more families in Cumberland County are choosing to home school their children. They even have their own yearbook. But military families say home schooling helps give their kids stability instead of pulling them in and out of school.

Jane Fitzgerald knows her kid's school is going to change. Their house and friends are going to change, as well. But home school and their curriculum is always consistent, yet different everyday.

The Fitzgerald kids say that's why they like home schooling. And yes, they even like the learning.

Laura Fitzgerald says with home schooling, the teacher doesn't assume you "get it." And if you don't "get it," the teacher is right there beside you. But there's also the chance to learn as an individual-- and as part of a family.

The numbers of children home schooled continues to grow. This year more than 16,OOO are staying home to get their educations. For the 1996-97 school year, more than 570 students in Cumberland County took part in home schooling. In Wake County, that number reached 1,200. Statewide, the number of home schooled children was nearly 14,000.