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When parent becomes teacher

Why more Hudson Valley Parents are choosing to homeschool

It is often the little details we notice about our decisions that can make all the difference. For Elise-Ann Konstantin of Cortlandt Manor, Westchester County, one of the little luxuries about deciding to homeschool her daughter is avoiding the early morning scramble of packing lunches and school bags and racing out the door. While they don’t lounge in bed until mid-morning, she says that for her there is a practicality to knowing they can begin a lesson at the breakfast table.

The number of parents choosing to homeschool their children is on the rise. Experts and experienced homeschoolers agree that before making a decision to homeschool, families need to assess why they want to and how they plan to go about it. Luckily for those considering homeschooling, there are plenty of resources available to guide them through

the process.

Maintaining social contacts with peers is often a large concern for parents considering homeschooling. Michael Sklaroff, a former homeschooler and current owner of the Woodstock Home Educators Yahoo Group, agrees that “socialization is usually the first thing beginning and prospective homeschooling families hear about from friends, family and others when homeschooling intentions are announced.” While Skarloff homeschooled, his wife worked outside the home.

For Sklaroff, it didn’t turn out to be a big deal, and he says that is the impression he received from most homeschooling families he knows or heard about. While he was homeschooling his two children, which he did for five years (until his son was entering third grade and his daughter was entering seventh), they were living in the Cantine’s Island cohousing community in Saugerties, which meant there were other children, as well as interested adults, around for social interaction. Sklaroff’s children also took part in an informal outdoor wilderness and art program with another teacher several times a week.


Jennifer O’Brien is a freelance writer and the mother of two young children.

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