Monthly events give parents info, options, resources for at-home learning
If you’ve ever wondered about homeschooling but weren’t sure where to start, Fort Leonard Wood’s School Support Services offers monthly “Homeschooling 101” sessions designed to give parents a variety of practical, “how-to” advice.
The next session is scheduled from 4 to 6 p.m. Sept. 15 in Bldg. 470, Room 1129, with future sessions scheduled for Oct. 15, Nov. 17 and Dec. 16. Each session covers state homeschooling regulations, resources, curriculum choices and more.
“I wanted parents to be well informed, have resources, and know there is a community to support them,” said Bobbie Petersen, School Liaison Officer with Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation’s Child and Youth Services Division, who created the sessions earlier this year to address a growing number of parents considering homeschooling due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Six sessions have been held so far, she said, largely resulting in positive interest and feedback.
Helping military families navigate education systems and choices is a large part of Petersen’s mission as School Liaison Officer. She noted that, in addition to the information provided during each session, participants receive resources and support to help them get started, develop and grow as homeschooling families.
“Each session is unique as we discuss (parents’) questions, fears and concerns,” she said. “We try to provide them with a ton of resources, including information about local and area homeschool groups, resources on the Internet, a lot of guides and tools to use. I also put out a monthly newsletter, which includes information on homeschooling, some tips I have used — and (participants) have a chance to make connections with folks who have been through previous sessions.”
Petersen noted that Homeschooling 101 includes helpful information for parents considering different options, from those interested in homeschooling their children permanently to those looking to homeschool only until the pandemic wanes to those who may simply want to learn more about homeschooling before making a decision.
“One thing I address in the sessions is that homeschooling is a choice; it’s situational, and it is addressed annually,” Petersen said. “Some people decide that’s what their child is going to do all the way from kindergarten through graduation, but it really depends on what your situation is and what your student is ready for. You make that choice with your family every year.”
Sessions are free to attend, but reservations are required and space is limited. Reservations can be made by calling School Support Services at 573.596.0357. Parents with questions about the program may call Petersen at School Support Services or contact her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.