US, Florida: Homeschool Co-ops Now In Peace


…after Lib 2001-6 campaign to stop treating them as day-care agencies subject to bizarre rules.

Home schooling away from home

By PAUL CATALA | Special correspondent
Published: October 03, 2012 Updated: October 03, 2012 – 12:00 AM
LAKE MAGDALENE –On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, the academic curriculum is supervised by mom, dad or both.

But on Mondays and Wednesdays, lessons come in varied settings, where students collectively can be found building a bridge-like structure, speaking in sign language or petting a boa constrictor.

Trinity Homeschool Academy, 2905 Smitter Road in the Lake Magdalene area, is a private institution designed to enrich academics and learning for at-home, private and public school students of all grade levels.

Since opening in August 2010, the school has grown from about 40 students to nearly 200 students from some 120 families. Many of the children do most of their work at home and attend school one day a week.

On a recent Wednesday, Trinity Director Tonya Walters visited with students and a few parents while they created charcoal drawings, chatted outside or watched a menagerie of animals brought by a teacher for show-and-tell.

Walters said the academy’s science, technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) clubs have captured students’ interest and helped with their academics. The interactive clubs, divided into second- and third-grade, middle-school and high-school groups, have expanded; a physics component was added this academic year.

“It’s these hands-on activities that have helped enrollment. This is one of the better co-op learning institutes as far as science and math,” she said.

In teacher Christy Bebeau’s engineering and science STEM class, 10 sixth- to ninth-grade students made miniature cardboard bridges to see which would hold the most weight. She said the exercise taught math, engineering and basic geometry skills.


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