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Home School a Stable Alternative for Military Children

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FAYETTEVILLE — 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 alearning experience.

Instead of moving schools every time Laura Fitzgerald's dad moves with thenational 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 othermilitary families, they were always moving. Now they're turning thatreality into a learning experience.

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

Jane Fitzgerald knows her kid's school is going to change. Their houseand friends are going to change, as well. But home school and theircurriculum 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 besideyou. But there's also the chance to learn as an individual-- and as partof a family.

The numbers of children home schooled continues to grow. This year morethan 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 homeschooling. In Wake County, that number reached 1,200. Statewide, thenumber of home schooled children was nearly 14,000.