Watertown— Schools today are often overcrowded, if you have a 4-year-old child and you live in the Carthage area, there is a waiting list to get in to Universal Pre-K. Some families choose to homeschool, an educational approach not so common 20 years ago.
The most recent homeschooling statistic was done February 15, 2012 by the U.S. Department of Education on the amount of children in the United States homeschooled today. There are approximately 1,508,000 children homeschooled today and according to a study, those that homeschool have shown to have higher grade point averages than those that do not. This study also showed 66.7 percent of students that homeschooled graduated from college and earned more compared to the 57.5 percent that went through the traditional public school system.
Religion in most of these studies has been a big factor as to why parents choose to homeschool their children. Religious parents feel they have more freedom to teach their children moral and spiritual values that are otherwise- extracted or often prohibited by traditional public schools. Christian parents such as E.R. Doctor Robert Harryman and his wife Margaret Harryman, decided to homeschool all 6 of their children. ABC50 interviewed Margaret and her now eldest 32-year-old daughter Amanda, who is now married to Physical Therapist- Jeff Auerbach and have 5 children of their own. Amanda is a second-generation homeschooler, homeschooled herself she chose the same path for her children.
21-year-old Gabrielle Harryman, the Harryman’s middle child stated, “I was always advanced in school. My mother held me back a bit so that I was not too far ahead and having to go to college with kids 3 or 4 years older than me.” Gabrielle was so advanced; she could have graduated from College much sooner. Nonetheless, Gabrielle graduated from Roberts Weseleyan College in Rochester, New York with her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at just 20 years old. She just returned from a one-year mission trip in Ireland and works locally with children within the behavioral health field.
Margaret Harryman decided to homeschool all 6 of her children. Her eldest daughter Amanda feels blessed to have her 5 children and told ABC50, “We are not putting a limit on what God will bless us with and we believe we will probably have 12 children.” Amanda and her husband Jeff have always wanted a big family; they plan on homeschooling however many they do have.
Although it is a sacrifice and can be a big time commitment, Amanda and her mother Margaret have no regrets. They are strong advocates for parents to bond with their children and homeschool, but they also believe it is up to parents to make a decision that is best for them.