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To homeschool or not to homeschool? - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

To homeschool or not to homeschool?

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BARRE, Vt. -

When it comes to a child's education, parents have the choice between traditional schooling or at-home learning.

"I first started homeschooling in second grade," said Madison White.

White is a 17-year-old who has more control over her education than typical high schoolers.

"Rather than sit in a classroom for eight hours, I can go outside all day,” said the Barre teen.

"She had done well in school, she was a model student but she was really bored,” said Sarah White, Madison’s mother.

Madison starts her day at 9 a.m. -- teaching herself traditional school subjects like math, science, and writing.

"I have my own books and I teach myself different subjects and then I'll take tests myself and then my parents will go back and say, 'oh look, you missed this one,’" Madison said.

But educators say there can be drawbacks.

"It's a lot more difficult in a way to find friends," said Madison.

Madison and her mother Sarah are talking about their experience with at-home education at the Home School Conference.

"The other homeschoolers are our colleagues of sorts and we need learning and education.  We run into difficulties with our students as well, our children and we need to know what to do and how to do what we do better,” said Sarah.

68 parents attended Saturday's conference, one of the biggest homeschooling workshops in Vermont.

They had the opportunity to sit in on 25 lectures, each targeting different stages in the homeschooling process.

"I have been thinking of homeschooling for a few years,” said Tina Grant, of Barre.

"I decided that I would be here to make my final decision," said Grant.

Grant has been on the fence about whether to homeschool her 9-year-old son.

She worries she won't be able to provide an education that trained teachers offer, not to mention the workload that comes along with it. But she also sees the benefits.

"As a homeschooler, I can take his own interests and his strong areas and I can expand on those," said Grant.

Grant says kids and adults should be taught with a hands-on learning style.

"I would prefer to really know more about what he is learning and I don't feel I get that in public schools,” said Grant.

Grant says there is a good chance she will decide to homeschool her son, and if so, it will start by the end of summer.

As for Madison, she plans to take her homeschool education to college in Florida.

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