Home schooling: a growing trend in East Texas

EAST TEXAS (KYTX) - More than 2 million children nationwide are home schooled.

300,000 of those kids live in Texas.

There's no question the number of kids being schooled at home is growing in East Texas, and while people may see home schooling as "non-traditional" others say "traditional" is exactly what it is.

Everyday the Begg's 7 children pick up their books and pencils and get to work.

And they do it in the comfort of their home.

"It's nice, we can kind of have a change, don't always have to do it exactly the same time if we need to do it at another time," says Abigail Beggs.

"If I want to, I can go outside and do school, if I concentrate better with music on, I can turn it on. It doesn't really matter," says Hannah Beggs.

"If you need to go to the bathroom, you don't have to ask," says Josiah Beggs.

While it may be a bit more relaxed on that end, it's a family affair that takes time and planning.

"I've got them scheduled, one's doing piano, one's working on math, one's reading their bible, science, whatever," says Gina Beggs, their mother.

Gina and Bill Beggs were public school teachers.

They made the switch to home schooling to make their Christian beliefs part of their children's curriculum.

"Really, more than anything, we wanted to be the main people to influence our kids," says Gina.

"People choose home schooling for a myriad of reasons," says David Rudd, the president of Tyler Area Christian Home Educators.

He says the group is 300 families strong -- and while values maybe one of the reasons parents choose home schooling for their kids.. It's not the only reason....

According to the Texas Home School Coalition, the top reasons home schooling is becoming more popular in the state: are religious values, safety, one on one instruction and being able to choose the curriculum.

"I think sometimes get disenfranchised with public school system and think they can maybe do better job at home," says Rudd.

Parents don't have to be teachers like the Beggs, but there are standards that have to be met and rules that must be followed ..

"I've chosen a curriculum where I can teach 3-4 kids in the same age range so I wasn't teaching each child a different thing," says Gina.

From spelling, to science, theBeggs kids are learning everything they would in school.

"I'm in algebra in math," says Abigail.

And staying close as a family.

"I think it kind of helps that mom and dad both know how to individually help me and each of the kids and how we can each understand things better," says Hannah.

Families are also using co-ops, groups of home schoolers that teach specific subjects, as well as university style schools that offer courses that parents might need help with to teach their kids.

It's highly customizable and all about how you want to tailor your child's education.

The National Home Education Research Institute says home schooling is growing at a 15-20 percent rate each year.


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