A local group is offering opportunities to families who have opted to teach their children at home.
Tiffin Homeschoolers, a group made up of 43 families, schedules various outings in the community for families of home-schooled students.
Most of the members are from Tiffin, but members also are from Green Springs, Fostoria, Clyde, Fremont, Bradner, Nevada and Bloomville. The group accepts home-schoolers from anywhere in the area, including those who take classes online, and usually schedules one or two events each month.
PHOTO BY JILL GOSCHE
Beth Diesch, education coordinator for Seneca Soil & Water Conservation District, talks to members of Tiffin Homeschoolers at Miller Conservation Farm.
"They're very supportive," said Laurie Meddles, a Fostoria resident who home-schools her daughter.
According to information from the group, Tiffin Homeschoolers is not against public schools, and most members have a great admiration for public school teachers. Home-schooling is a personal choice based on what members think is best for their families, it states.
Angela Bliss, a Green Springs resident who has home-schooled her 13-year-old son for nine years and also home-schooled her 19-year-old daughter, said there are many reasons why she has home-schooled her children.
Find out more
People interested in getting more information about the group can call Sheri Trusty at (419) 639-0662 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Participants receive notices about events they can attend. There is no cost to join the group.
"My daughter needed a different teaching style. She was in a Christian school for a while, up until the end of her fifth-grade year, so we just decided to bring her home. ... We didn't want to put (our son) in a public school," she said.
Bliss said Nicholaus, her son, is excelling in history and sciences. She said she believes the family wanted to home-school Nicholaus to teach him God's ways and be more open with their faith and beliefs.
"My husband and I don't believe that the educational system in our country is doing that," she said.
Bliss said she heard about the home-school group through a friend, and this is the family's first year participating.
"So far, it seems very well organized and put together," she said.
Bliss said the group has helped her by making available field trips and educational experiences for children of all ages. There is great flexibility with the group, she said.
"We can go if we want to. ... We don't have to attend everything," she said.
Bliss said the group plans field trips, and Nicholaus goes to church three times a week, is involved in starting a drama team at his church, is involved with a home-school physical education class in Fremont and is taking drum lessons.
"He's very well socialized," she said.
Meddles is home schooling her 12-year-old daughter, Ciara, for the second year.
"I just think it's wonderful. ... We each have different things we help her with," she said.
She said Ciara had a lot of learning disabilities and was bullied at school but is doing a lot better now that she is being home-schooled. She said her daughter now is reading well and can do addition, subtraction and some multiplication.
Meddles, who likes spending time with her daughter one-on-one for lessons, said her daughter can tell her what she learned from a field trip, but it is too difficult for her daughter to learn by reading a book.
"We can plan our day, what we need to do each day. ... We do a lot of fair trips and things like that," she said.