Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Midcoast Maine Homeschool Center

By Pam Kenney

About 5000 Maine children in kindergarten through the twelfth grade were homeschooled during the 2009-10 school year. That's more than 2.5% of the state's school-age population and a 41% increase since 2002-03. It's likely homeschool numbers will continue to swell. Traditionally parents have chosen to teach their children at home for three primary, yet very different, reasons: a desire to provide religious instruction, concerns about the traditional school environment (safety, drugs, bullying, e.g.), and dissatisfaction with the academic instruction provided by public schools. Add to that mix educational constraints like George W. Bush's "No Child Left Behind" legislation, President Obama's "Race to the Top" incentives, and the new Common Core State Standards in Mathematics and English Language Arts, and it's clear why many families have decided to go it alone.

The good news is that Maine homeschoolers now have a place of their own where "families of all spiritual backgrounds and homeschool philosophies" can congregate within a supportive environment to learn and have fun together. The new Midcoast Maine Homeschool Center, located in the Grace Episcopal Church in Bath, is the brainchild of four local homeschool moms. It opens its doors on Wednesday, September 8th, and offers classes for elementary and middle school students in literature, computer skills, art history, sewing, and others. One-to-one and group tutoring and classes like multi-cultural literature and college writing for teens and book making will be offered on Thursdays starting in October. Fridays are set aside for field trips and other specialty classes . Plans are in the works for programs for parents and preschoolers and additional classes for teenagers.

The Midcoast Maine Homeschool Center will hold an open house:

Wednesday, September 1st, from 10 a.m. to noon
Grace Episcopal Church
1100 Washington Street
Bath, Maine 04530

At the open house you can meet director, Susan Hyde, the teachers, learn more about the center, and register for fall classes. Children are welcome to attend.

For more information about the Midcoast Maine Homeschool Center, contact Susan Hyde at MMHCDirector@homeschoolmaine.com.