GREENSBORO - In an interview with Dr. Phil last week, Erica Parsons's adoptive mother said North Carolina has few standards for home-schooled children. But home school advocates say that's not the case. In fact there many rules families need to follow.
When Amanda Wares started home schooling her kids, she didn't intend for it to be permanent. But the results she got were too good to go back.
“We had fabulous teachers, but in a classroom of 20 kids, you can't get the same attention as you do one on one,” Wares said.
She says a lot of work goes into teaching her kids, from deciding the curriculum to the administrative duties of running her own school.
“We have to take attendance,” Wares said, “We have to test every year. We have to provide instruction 9 months of the year on a regular basis.”
And while a parent can choose not to report to the state, they have to make those records available when asked.
“The law basically says, the parent is responsible for that documentation. We believe the requirement to annually test the child with a nationally standardized assessment is a good idea because it allows the parent to get some feedback from outside the home about how their child is doing,” North Carolinians for Home Education President Kevin McClain said.
Wares said, generally, parents who home school do it because they want the best for their students' education.
“99.5 percent of the families that I know go above and beyond," Wares said, “That's why they home school. They are just so concerned with their child's education that it's just not an option. They do more than they have to.”
And she thinks the rules in place are sufficient. Even though from time to time some families take advantage of them.
“Families of kids who are going to neglect their kids' education are going to neglect their kids' education whether there's strong regulations, strict regulations or not,” Wares said.
She hopes a few bad apples won't spoil homeschooling for the bunch.