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Homeschooling 101

Posted By:  Liz Goodrich
Date Posted:  8/31/2004

Deschutes Public Library is pleased to welcome Mark Quinlan and DeeDee Erhard from the High Desert ESD to the Brooks Room of the Bend Public Library on Wednesday, September 8 at 6:00 p.m. for a program titled “The ABC’s of Homeschooling.” This program is free and open to the public.

According to its mission statement, the High Desert ESD “facilitates collaboration among community agencies to provide effective services for children throughout Central and Eastern Oregon." Currently High Desert ESD oversees over 25 different educational programs throughout Deschutes and Crook Counties, including the Home Program, which began operation two years ago. Erhard, Program Supervisor, states that over 1,300 students in the area are registered with the state as being home schooled. Over 600 families have chosen to enroll their children with the EDS’s Home Program.

The Home Program provides access to services, including on site and on line classes and general support to home schooling families. According to Erhard, one of the highlights of the program is the fostering of community partnerships. “We work closely with groups in our community, like the Art Station, Bend Science Station and the High Desert Museum to bring learning opportunities to the families we serve.” Frequently, the ESD picks up the tab for the classes offered by community partners. “We are a resource center. The the home teacher chooses how to instruct, we just provide resources to support them.” With so much support to offer families, why don’t more home schoolers register with the ESD? Erhard indicates that some home schooling families are skeptical about receiving any support from an agency associated with the local school district and the state. “They are concerned that their privacy, independence and legal rights might be sacrificed by enrolling, which isn’t the case. They still are the teachers who make the choices. We just offer some support and enrichment.” During the program, Quinlan and Erhard will discuss why people choose to home school and how to get started.

For more information about this or other library programs, please call 312-1032.

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