Here’s an interview with Karen Harmon of Irving Home Schoolers, a home school organization in Irving, TX. For anyone who is interested in home schooling, Karen is a great resource of information.
Karen, what were your perceptions of home schooling before you entered the home school arena yourself?
I thought I would be the only person in Irving who was homeschooling. I was overjoyed to find so many homeschooling families.
What was the main reason you felt home schooling was the correct way to proceed with your child?
I was and am still not happy with the public school system. I also want to be more aware of who my child socializes with. Homeschoolers really are very social!
What did family and friends think about your decision to home school?
Honestly? It really didn’t matter to me. My husband and I feel this is the best choice for us.
As leader of a local home school organization, you know many home schooling families. What are the biggest home schooling joys families experience?
Lots of time together. Of course, it’s up to each family to make this quality time.
In that same vein, what are the biggest home schooling disappointments families face?
I think some families come into this thinking it will be easy. It’s not. There are always challenges. It’s real life!
You helped create Irving Home Schoolers. What inspired you to start a new home schooling group?
I truly felt that there was a need in our community for a secular type group. My feeling is that all homeschoolers should feel they have a place to turn to for support. Our group is open to ALL homeschooling families. Our common bond is – well – homeschooling!
What differentiates I.H.S. from other home school organizations?
I think the fact that we have such a wonderful group of families from all walks of life. We welcome all families regardless of sex, age, religion or homeschool program philosophy. And – I must say, we very well organized! Lots of fun field trip, social events, and of course – support. We are also a non-profit which many homeschool groups are not.
What does I.H.S. offer local home schooling families throughout the school year?
We offer monthly support meetings with guest speakers, field trips, special events, parties, and park days. Many of our field trips are funded by our group.
Do you find Irving to be a friendly home school city? If so, why?
Yes. It is estimated that there are over 100,000 homeschoolers in N. Texas. Irving knows that we exist and offers programs at the recreation centers just for us. They also sponsor an annual Homeschool Fair – taking place this year on March 26th.
Home schooling is all about learning, for students and for the teachers. Can you tell us what home schooling has taught you about yourself?
It has taught me patience. It has also taught me to really and I mean – really – listen to my child. It has also taught me to take care of myself. Take time for me. Just because we are with are kiddo’s 24/7, doesn’t mean we can’t make it, say 24/6!
Thanks Karen for the interview!