Christian support group forms for homeschooling families
Parents who educate their children at home now have something to fall back on.
A new support group, LIFE (Love in Family Education) in Glenwood Springs now offers activities for children and educational information for homeschoolers.
Formed two months ago, it now has about 20 family members, said group leader Donnalyne LaGiglia.
“The idea was to create a community of support,” she said, to bring children and parents together for activities.
“One of the needs we see is for socializing children,” LaGiglia said.
Activities have included art, dance and Spanish classes, potluck suppers – “so fathers can be there also” – and field trips.
For children, the learning experience is boundless.
“Their classroom can be anywhere we can go,” she said.
Homeschool parents choose to educate their children at home for a variety of reasons. In this area, LaGiglia said, it is chiefly on religious grounds.
“One of the main things we believe is that God and prayer should be in children’s lives and in everything they do,” she said.
“The only way to do that is to live it. Our nation was founded on Christianity, but our institutions are breaking that down.
“As soon as the child goes elsewhere we are turning our authority over to someone else. We try to give them the tools” to be in the larger world, she said. “We teach them everyday, day in and day out.”
Ensuring that Christianity is firmly rooted in their lives is what prompts many parents to homeschool their children, she added.
“Being a teacher and a parent is what most homeschoolers thrive on,” she said.
The support group also helps parents who are new to homeschooling.
When her son was 3, a friend planted the idea in her mind to homeschool him. She read books on homeschooling and how children learn.
“It made more and more sense,” she said.
Homeschool has taken a firmer hold in this area over the years. LaGiglia said she has seen more and more parents taking their children out of public school because they are dissatisfied.
“A lot of moms I meet as a support group leader are taking their kids out of school in middle school,” she said.
At that level teachers are dealing more with “character issues” that should be addressed by parents.
“They’re not being trained in character, they’re part of a crowd. Kids are not learning, they’re not focused because the classrooms are too big. There are too many distractions,” she said.
LaGiglia said she intends to educate her children through high school level.
She and other homeschoolers who give their children a Christian-based education, also have the backing of a state organization, Christian Home Educators of Colorado, which also sanctions the support group, LaGiglia said.
In the group, “we all lean on each other; we share information,” she said.
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