More than 17 years ago, Pat and Danene Conditt chose to home school their kids in Pflugerville. Since then, their children, Mark, Christina, Sara and Emily, have always reported to class in their living room.
“I think that ultimately we wanted to provide the right value systems that we believed in into our children and not fight the fight everyday when our kids would come home with a different world view,” home school parent Pat Conditt said.
Danene says she found endless resources at her fingertips, both in stores and online, to cater to her kids' different learning styles.
When Pat and Danene came across subjects they couldn’t teach, they looked into co-op programs. Co-ops are organized groups of area home school parents that are savvy in a variety of subjects and can offer their expertise to other homeschooled children.
The programs also give a chance for homeschooled kids to socialize with each other.
Another popular place for interaction in the home school community is church. Most homeschooling families are of the Christian faith, including the Conditts.
Even the state agency, Texas Home School Collation, is Christian-based. The coalition issues high school diplomas and arranges graduation ceremonies.
While it isn’t required, many homeschooled students take various standardized tests to measure what they've learned.
Click here for home school education resources.
This year, Southwest Key will serve more than 300 students grades sixth through eighth in East Austin.
The charter school is a college preparatory academy that's big on fostering parent involvement.
Superintendent Dr. Joe Gonzalez says with state budget cuts to the public school system and word spreading about all that Southwest Key offers, they didn't have to recruit much for this year.
“We try to put college in their mind every time we can,” he said. “We seldom have a child leave and we want to make it such an attractive place, in terms of what they learn and they get, and what the parents feel that they get that they won’t leave.”
Click here to learn more on how to enroll your child into Southwest Key.