School for home-schooling

April 7, 2009 4:45:04 PM PDT
A decade ago, home schooling was considered alternative, but as the number of home schooled kids grows by the thousands, it's being considered much more mainstream. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

One of the biggest drawbacks has been the potential isolation for the kids, but that's changing.

Nearly every day, the Davis children gather around the family table for school.

"My husband and I were both home-schooled," said parent Rachelle Davis. "So it was kind of a natural thought that we would keep them with us once they got school aged."

But the home school she grew up with was different from what her three kids are experiencing.

"There just wasn't much out there, so you just stayed in your house and you did whatever was available," she said.

These days what's available for home-schoolers rivals public and private education. One day a week, the Davis children roll their backpacks and join other home-schooled kids at the Paideia School. There, they get everything from reading enrichment to recess.

"Paideia is the Greek word meaning the whole and that's our goal , is to educate the whole child," said Johnnie Seago, a mother who began homeschooling her children 20 years ago, started the program out of her home.

"Started out with eight children and then there were 14, and then there were 40 of us," she said.

Today across three campuses, Paideia serves about 150 Houston area home-schooled children.

"Our parents still are the primary educators and what we do is we write the curriculum and we evaluate," said Seago.

"We really get to discuss with other students, like who was a better artist or what is art?" said Paidiea student Teddy Seago.

At the Paideia school, students are also tested on what they're learned through national tests, like the Stanford Achievement Test, where they consistently score 32 percent above the national average.

With two million students currently receiving home school education across the country, it appears that number is growing by as much as 15 percent each year.

"One thing we really believe in is a lot of teacher training for mom and dad," said Seago.

They're helping parents educate their children at home while offering kids the advantages and experiences of a more typical education.

Learn more about the Paideia school and other home schooling resources.

      Headline check | 100 most recent local stories | News alerts
            Slideshow archive | ABC13 wireless | Help solve crimes