Well, my sister is in a bit of a predicament. Her daughter is very advanced -- in 5th grade she's reading at an 8th grade level; she's doing pre-algebra; and is excelling in many other areas as well. My sister recognized that she was being dragged down by the schools, so when her daughter was in 1st grade, my sister pulled her out and began homeschooling her. (My sister is also very intelligent, and certainly capable of teaching her daughter.)
Well, now that a few years has passed, her daughter was really missing the social aspects of school. So they tried re-enrolling her. This worked for about two weeks. The teachers were on her case, not letting her read the advanced books she wanted to read, and refusing to teach her the advanced stuff she was ready for. Basically it was a disaster.
I just found this out last night, and I'm not sure if my sister is pulling her back out or not, but I suspect she will.
What she really needs is to find a group of other homeschoolers who get together so their kids can work together with other kids. This is actually quite common in the homeschooling community.
But there's a problem: The majority of such groups are Christian groups. By and large, the homeschooling community is largely Christian. In fact, it's hard to find materials that aren't of a Christian nature. My sister would tell people she's homeschooling, and people would automatically assume she must be Christian!
At this point, I'm not sure what my sister will do. But I can say that one thing is clear: The homeschooling community is mostly Christian, and it's unfortunate that people who want to raise their children as atheists and freethinkers don't have access to the benefits of combined homeschooling that the Christians do.
If anyone has any suggestions and ideas, I'm all ears!
p.s. I'm adding my blog to Planet Atheism. You should check it out; lots of great blogs there. See the link on the left.
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