I have said, on many occasions, that I have a heart for home school.

At Elkhart Martial Arts, we have had a Taekwondo program for home school for many years. It started with the activities director for a home school association coming to me, to see if we would be interested in having their group come in for an introduction to the martial arts. At the time, I didn’t know much about home school, but I was willing to listen. As I listened, I became caught up in the home school experience. I have always been a champion of those in need, and saw this as a cause that I could help. They told me about the unfair treatment that they had received at another community center. That other place charged them for access, but kept reducing the agreed upon access. That led them to talk with me. We soon started our Taekwondo Home School program. Looking back, over the years, I have come to some conclusions about home school.

1. Home schooling isn’t easy

Most families that decide to home school have to work with a reduced income. Usually one of the parents must stay home to educate their children. That means the loss of an income. Because of the reduced income, we made home school classes that fit in their schedule, as well as their budget. In Michigan, several public school systems have created home school programs that pay for all or part of the home school programs. It would be great if we could get Indiana to follow Michigan’s example.

Home school parents must deal with the criticism on their decision to home school. They are told that they are denying their children a quality education. On top of that, they are told that they are depriving their children of necessary social interaction skills. From my own experience, I have found home school students to be disciplined, hardworking, and with good social skills. They learn social interaction skills that set them up well for the future.

2. Home schooling is rewarding.

I see the smiles on the parents that say that they are proud of their children and glad that they took the huge step to home school. When we handed out our 2015 year end awards, two of those awards went to home school. We have had many of them test for their green belts, blue belts, brown belts, and also black belts. Looking back, over the years, working with homeschoolers has been very rewarding. I love having our home school students, and wish that we had twice as many. If you know of anyone homeschooling, let them know that we have a quality home school program that has been designed with them in mind.

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