by Jessica Frierson, June 2022

Do your children know where their food comes from?  If their answer to that question is the name of a grocery store, then it may be a good time to head to your local farmer’s market or, even better, an area farm. Why is this an important concept for them to understand? Giving a child a better understanding of the source of their food helps them to eat smarter, eat healthier, enjoy the food they eat, and develop an appreciation for what they eat.

We gain a greater appreciation for things when we understand their worth. When a child sees a bag of potatoes or a cluster of grapes on their table at home, they cannot begin to comprehend all that went on behind the scenes in order for that to be produced. Seeing fields being prepared for planting, intricate irrigation systems set up to keep the crops watered, and learning about the effort that goes into harvesting crops will help children value their food more. 

This in turn will help our children become more conscious consumers who understand the importance of supporting our local and regional economies. According to Michigan State University Extension office, in 2012 only ten cents out of every dollar that was spent on food made it back to the farmer who grew it. One way we can help our local farmers get a greater return on the investment of their time, cost, and labor is to shop at a farmer’s market as often as possible. Although summer is the season where you can find a greater variety of fresh produce, don’t forget to visit in the off-season as well. Many communities now offer year-round farmers markets that carry seasonal produce, honey, hand-made soaps, fresh baked goods, and farm-raised meat and dairy products. Many farmers markets now accept EBT/SNAP and even double the value of it, further helping out many families. 

Shopping at the farmer’s market not only helps our local farmers, it also gives our families the chance to eat healthier.  The fresher our food is, the healthier it will be. Purchasing directly from the person who grew your food gives you the opportunity to be more informed about it. You can ask what, if any, chemicals were used for pest control or as fertilizers. You can get recipe ideas and cooking suggestions. When I was purchasing a cantaloupe last week from a local vendor, they asked me if I was planning to eat it that day or needed one that would keep a little longer. You may also find varieties of fruits and vegetables that are not available at the supermarket, such as the golden zucchini I also found that day. 

Many farmers markets now include far more than just the produce of their fields and orchards. As the advantages of free-range eggs, farm-raised meats, and fresh milk have become more recognized, consumer access to these products has improved. Family farms often welcome visitors to explore their facilities where they can see firsthand the cows grazing in the pastures or their milk parlors. Local butchers are also a good source of fresh meat as well as a great learning experience. Many will be pleased to show you where the various cuts of meat are taken from on the animal and offer advice on how to best cook different types of cuts. 

As you shop with your child, you can discuss what vitamins and minerals your body needs and which foods are good sources of those. When children have a part in selecting their food, they are more likely to eat it. The colorful artistry of a vegetable display may inspire your picky eater to try a food they would normally reject. Knowing that their body needs vitamin A to build a healthy immune system, fight cancerous cells, see better, and prevent acne may make a child more likely to eat some carrots, sweet potatoes, or red peppers. Teach them to “eat a rainbow,” then let them help to plan out a rainbow-inspired menu. 

Meeting the people who grow the food they eat helps a child to be more connected to their community. They learn to see the interconnectedness of the world around them. Integrating them in the process of choosing and acquiring their food transforms them from a passive consumer into someone who uses critical thinking skills, values relationships, and understands healthy farming means. 

I have written before about how much a child can learn from growing their own garden, whether it is a large plot in the backyard or a few containers on your patio. This is another way you can help your child understand where their food comes from. Just starting one tomato plant from seed and watching its growth until they are able to pick a juicy red tomato ready to slice can give them an idea of the hard work and dedication it takes from the farmers of our nation in order for us to enjoy the vast array of food available to us. 

Teaching our children to value our food supply and food sources is an important lesson. Like many lessons they learn while homeschooling, it can be very hands-on and enjoyable. So check your local listings for a farmers market, pick-your-own farm, or produce stand near your home and be ready to plan a delicious menu from your purchases!

 

Jessica Frierson is a homeschool graduate and has been homeschooling her ten children since 2000. She serves as the secretary for NCHE, writes for GREENHOUSE, and is the lead blogger for the NCHE blog.

by Jessica Frierson, June 2022

“Mom, when are we going to start school again?”, asked my daughter, looking up from the school work I had given her to do one day this spring.

“You’re doing your school work right now,” I replied with a laugh.

“No, Mom, I mean our REAL school work!” she answered back before filling in the rest of the chart she was making to show the difference in germination times for the various seeds she had planted that day.

Score another point for homeschooling! That moment was one of many that I consider homeschool victory moments. My children were having so much fun learning that they didn’t even realize that was what they were doing.

We put our schoolbooks away for several weeks each spring and learn in other ways. We often take a family trip to a new destination. We get a head start on our garden by sowing seeds indoors. Summer projects get planned. New crafts or hobbies are explored. But most of all, as the world awakens from its winter nap, we spend every moment we can watching the new life spring forth.

All of these activities encompass a host of learning opportunities. Wherever our travels may take us, I research the area as well as the route to get there ahead of time. I look for historical points of interest, museums, and unique landmarks that we can include in our visit. We look at maps to see what new places we will travel through. My children each keep a running list of the states where they’ve been. As they add a new state, they look up some facts about it, including its capital, neighboring states, chief resources, and events of key historical significance that have occurred there. We have even driven an hour out of our way simply to give them a new state to add to their list!

Planning home improvement (or self improvement) projects hones important life skills, involves higher level thinking skills, and helps a child see that they have a role to play in family life. Learning to coordinate projects with other events on the calendar and working within the family budget helps young people learn to prioritize, distinguish between needs and wants, and make decisions that are for the best interest of all. We may WANT to pressure wash the fence, paint the front porch, build a treehouse, and put in a backyard pond, but time and money may only let us choose a couple of these projects to complete this year. Including the children in the decision-making process for this has many benefits, not the least of which is preparing them to be wise and conscientious adults one day.

Enough could not be said about all of the ways a garden enhances a child’s education. Even a young child can start some seeds in a homemade greenhouse made from recycled produce containers and be enthralled with seeing the cloud formation that takes place inside it each day when the sun’s rays shine on it. The excitement on their faces when they discover the first tips of green poking through the soil is all the reward I need to know the value of gardening for a child. And then there’s all the math and science they can do—without even realizing that they are doing math and science, as my daughter demonstrated. Pollination, germination, soil ph, evaporation, condensation, seed preservation, bed preparation, the needs of each plant for soil drainage, direct or indirect sunlight, pruning…the list is virtually endless of all the hands-on learning they get as they plan, plant, tend, and (hopefully) harvest their fruits, flowers, herbs, and vegetables. 

The transition from spring to summer is a season of new life and growth. The world around us is full of the business of creating. This often has the effect of inspiring us to create as well. Whether we use watercolor paints, oil pastels, or a basket of broken crayons to capture them, we find a plethora of ready models beckoning to us outdoors. The birds returning to last year’s nesting place under our eaves, bees buzzing around the blossoming apple tree, squirrels scampering up and down the oak tree, and drifting pillows of clouds floating across the azure sky summon us to join them in the celebration of life. 

The spirit of industriousness is contagious, and we soon find ourselves trying a new recipe or searching for the perfect crochet pattern. My sunroom table is quickly covered with paper clay castings of animal prints discovered in the woods, special rocks, a butterfly wing, and many other wonders of nature that are the newest treasures brought to me. One child wants to know how the bees will help bring about a harvest of apples. Another is looking through a field guide to identify a new kind of bird she spotted on the fencepost. She uses an app on my phone to listen to bird calls to confirm that she has properly pinpointed it. Oh, the learning that is taking place is so great, and yet not what is typically considered “school.” 

Spring is rapidly disappearing in our rearview mirror now. As the hot summer days arrive, our textbooks and workbooks will make a reappearance on the dining room table. We will time our outdoor activities for the cool of the day and read our way through the heat. We will take a lighter load through the summer months, balanced with lots of board games, puzzles, and some fun indoor projects. The dolls have been promised a new wardrobe so our sewing skills will be put to the test. Watching a series of baking shows has generated a list of tasty culinary experiments to eat our way through. The nature of homeschooling allows us to gift our children a love for learning about the world around us and an insatiable desire to add something beautiful and useful to that world. 

I anticipate many more homeschool victory moments ahead, whether we are in a season of book learning or have shelved the books for a while. “School never really stops, does it?” my daughter so aptly determined after I explained to her that we had been doing school for the past few weeks even as we traveled, painted, hiked, and planted. My wish for her is that it never does. That would be the ultimate homeschool victory for me.

 

 

 

 

 

Jessica Frierson is a homeschool graduate and has been homeschooling her ten children since 2000. She serves as the secretary for NCHE, writes for GREENHOUSE, and is the lead blogger for the NCHE blog.

by Evelyn Bickley, June 2022

2022 NCHE Scholarship Winners!

Since 1998, NCHE has awarded scholarships to deserving North Carolina homeschooled high school seniors. In that time, we have been blessed with support and donations from homeschool families and organizations and have been able to award more than $170,000. This year, the judges selected six amazing students.

 

The 2022 recipient of the Molly Nichols Memorial Academic Scholarship is Andrew Esther, son of Julie and Charles Esther of Chapel Hill.  Andrew has been active in his church’s worship band as a musician and as a leader in organizing Christmas toy drives for children.  He has won several awards through Science Olympiad competitions and has been an active member of the National Homeschool Honor Society.  He plans to attend Chapel Hill with an ultimate goal of becoming a cardiologist.

 

The NCHE Academic Scholarship goes to John Clay, son of Debbie and Mark Clay of Fuquay Varina.  John has earned the President’s Gold Service Award for three years.  His major focus in community services has been with Food Pantries where he has worked weekly for five years.  He plans to continue food pantry volunteering while a student at Western Carolina where he will be studying Electrical Engineering. He hopes to one day use his education and life experiences to serve with Baptists on Mission or Engineers without Borders. 

 

The 2022 Ernie Hodges Scholar Athlete Award goes to Calleigh Wilson, daughter of Jeana and Andrew Wilson of Winston Salem.  Calleigh has been an active member of Forsyth Home Educators sports programs including swimming, softball and most notably volleyball where she has received 11 awards.  She has been active in her 4-H chapter, Operation Christmas Child and Project Linus.  Calleigh plans to attend Liberty for a degree in social work and hopes to one day work with children in the foster system. 

 

The NCHE Community Service award this year is going to Sam Pasquale, son of Sam and Theresa Pasquale of Apex.  Sam has been active in Civil Air Patrol where he and his CyberPatriot team placed 6th in a nationwide competition.  He has trained in search and rescue exercises providing disaster relief and conducting radio communications.   He has worked as a tutor at Mathnasium.  Sam plans to study computer science at NC State and wants to use his skills to protect society through cybersecurity.

 

Kara Lewis, daughter of John and Regina Lewis of Moravian Falls is the recipient of the 2022 Arts award.  She is an accomplished pianist and composer, active in American Heritage Girls, Beta Club and Uplands Reach Ministry.  She is intrigued by how music scoring can add to the story line of a film and plans to pursue a Bachelors of Music in filmscoring with a cinematic arts minor at Liberty University.

 

The Apologia Missions and Ministry Scholarship for 2022 goes to Kimberly McClain, daughter of Jareb and Amy McClain, currently of Durham.  The McClains, however, have served for many years as missionaries to Indonesia.  Kimberly is very well-rounded, participating in a variety of sports and artistic endeavors.  She is an animal lover, having served as a junior wrangler at a summer camp and as a veterinary assistant apprentice at Camp Glory Farm in NC.  Kimberly plans to study Christian Ministry/Education at Grove City with a hope to return to Indonesia and continue missionary work.  

 

Please consider helping NCHE to continue to award scholarships to North Carolina homeschool seniors by donating at https://www.nche.com/scholarship-donations/

 

 

 

After homeschooling and graduating all four of her children from birth through high school, Evelyn Bickley continues to invest in students and their families by serving as NCHE’s Activities Director and the advisor for a teen Gavel Club.  She enjoys the hobby of letterboxing and travelling to just about anywhere but especially places that have historical significance or scenic beauty. 

 

Money photo by Alexander Mils on Unsplash

by Jessica Frierson, May 2022

1 Look over the schedule ahead of time to see which sessions you want to attend most.

As much as you may want to, you can’t be in two places at once! There are so many great speakers at the Thrive! Conference that it can be hard to choose. If you are coming with your husband, one option is to divide and conquer. Plan ahead of time which sessions you will each attend. Take notes and share the highlights of each session with each other over dinner that evening. You can also purchase mp3 downloads of the sessions you had to miss. 

Take note of the times for events outside of the speaker sessions. The keynote addresses are always a source of inspiration from our featured speakers. The talent showcase is a nice break from a day of taking in information. Our mentor table is staffed throughout the day with veteran homeschoolers who are available to share tips and strategies with you in a one-on-one setting. 

 

 

2 Dress appropriately.

You will do a lot of walking at the conference. A lot. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes. You may want to dress in layers or bring a sweater as the rooms tend to be on the cool side. Bring a small rolling cart to the vendor hall to carry your purchases. 

 

 

 

3 Use your phone camera to note items in the vendor hall that you might wish to purchase.

Hundreds of curricula options + conference specials + no shipping costs = a great opportunity to find everything you need for your upcoming school year. To avoid impulse buying and ensure that you get just the right item, take a walk through the vendor hall on your first day. Take photos of the items that catch your eye. If you have your kids along, get their ideas as well. Look over the pictures that evening and make a shopping list for the next day. 

Many of the vendors are (or were) homeschool parents themselves. Take time to talk with them about what your curriculum needs are. I have found that they truly care about helping you find the right fit for your child. 

 

 

4 Take time to recharge. 

Fit some downtime into each day. Take time to relax and have fun. Don’t skip meals. Staying hydrated is important also. Enjoy a hot bath at the end of the day, and be sure to get a good night’s sleep. 

If you have brought your children along, making sure they have time to rejuvenate is essential to a successful conference trip. If you have come alone, take advantage of what is probably a rare opportunity to be refreshed. 

 

 

 

5 Make new friends. Meet up with old ones. This is your time to connect!

Check out the time and location of your Regional Gathering, where you can meet other families from your area. If you don’t know your region, you can find it at the same link. Our Special Gatherings are another great way to connect. The special gatherings for this year will include: military, special needs, single parents, new homeschoolers, parents of preschoolers, parents of gifted children, multicultural homeschoolers, and homeschooling with a chronic illness. 

One of my favorite things about the conference is the chance to reconnect with old friends. Some go back to my early years of homeschooling in another town. Since I’ve moved, I look forward to catching up with these gals at Thrive! each year. Others are friends I have made at the conference, either while chatting at the mentor table, both grabbing for the same book in the vendor hall, or in one of the gatherings. Even my kids have formed some of their strongest friendships through encounters at the Thrive! teen programs.

 

 

 

Jessica Frierson is a homeschool graduate and has been homeschooling her ten children since 2000. She serves as the secretary for NCHE, writes for GREENHOUSE, and is the lead blogger for the NCHE blog.

 

 

Photo credits: sneakers photo by Benjamin Sow on Unsplash, schedule photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash ,pillow photo by Laura Chouette on Unsplash, coffee photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash, phone photo by Ghen Mar Cuaño on Unsplash. 

 

by Cheryl R. Carter, May 2022

I did not earn my nickname the Educational Hound Dog by accident. I can sniff out the best educational approach faster than a rabid dog can pounce on an unsuspecting turtle. I won’t flaunt my academic acumen because I recognize that my zeal for scholastic matters may be a bit excessive at times. But I do have some advice that may sound conflictual to some parents. I won’t try to sugarcoat this recommendation, so, here it is: If you have serious developing writers, you should give them time off from their academic studies for some focused writing time. I know. I know. Some of you probably think your kids put me up to that declaration. They have not. However, even if they had, it does not make my statement any less true.

Give me a bit of time to make my case. If you are raising serious writers or novelists, they need time to explore the muse seriously. It has been my experience that young writers tend to be scholastically gifted. However, their grades might not always reflect their genius. There are reasons for this phenomenon. Schools often emphasize linear thinking skills, while writers are more creative. Creative thinkers differ from linear thinkers in that they must be actively involved in their learning. Albert Einstein, by the way, was a creative thinker. He discovered the theory of relativity while doing what might be called daydreaming. Some have speculated that he mused over the thought of falling—of someone falling and not feeling their weight. Thus, daydreaming led to the discovery of the Equivalence Principle, which basically states that the way the force of gravity is felt is the same as a fictitious (not real) force felt during acceleration. 

Einstein’s brilliant discoveries essentially occurred because he had the time, space, and academic freedom to be alone with his thoughts. Writers, particularly serious writers, need such time. In my writing workshop classes, gifted writers are sometimes frustrated because their lives are so regimented that they have little time for the serious muse of writing. Lest you think “well, they are just children,” Mary Shelley was a mere nineteen years old when she penned the classic Frankenstein, having begun the novel at age seventeen. S.E. Hinton was fifteen when she finished the renowned novel, The Outsiders. Christopher Paolina wrote Eragon when he was fifteen, and Harper Collins published nine-year-old Alec Graven’s book, How to Talk to Girls. These successes do not surprise me because I see similar skills in my writing scholars and my developing authors every day.

My writing workshops, clubs, and classes create an atmosphere for writing freedom. In my workshop classes, I inspire young authors to develop their muse and to give and accept criticism from other young writers. In this environment, young authors find the freedom of expression and creativity. All great writers thrive in community. Although writing is a solitary activity, history has taught us the importance of writing communities. 

From your high school English classes, you probably remember learning about the famous and historic writing colonies, settlements, and communities. My online writing workshops and classes seek to recreate these environments.

Budding young writers need dedicated time with peer-creators to have their writing cheered and affirmed. The Internet has provided a means for young writers to connect with writers of similar genres and ages. My writing scholars tell me that they enjoy my classes because they get writing advice that is not just from the teacher. 

I hope you decide to give your child a bit of creative freedom this school year.

 

Our guest blogger today, Cheryl Carter, and her husband, Derek, are two of our featured speakers at the upcoming Thrive! Conference. Cheryl is a professor, author, homeschooling mom, and the developer of the Young Author and College Prep Writing classes where through rigor, practice, and targeted skill building, students develop their collegiate and creative writing skills. Visit www.Learn4college.com/about to learn more.

 

Cover photo by Emmanuel Ikwuegbu on Unsplash

by Jessica Frierson, May 2022

Attending a homeschool conference can be a great get-away for mom to recharge, find new materials, and get motivated for the next school year. It can serve the same purposes for the whole family, but the idea of taking everyone along may be intimidating. Here are some tips for having a great experience at the conference with the whole family.

 

Stay Onsite

The number one thing you can do to make the weekend easier on everyone is to stay at one of the onsite hotels. The two hotels at the Benton Convention Center are the Embassy Suites and the Marriot. Having a hotel room accessible by simply taking the elevator up or walking across the skywalk takes a load off your shoulders at the end of a long day. You will save time by eliminating the daily commute and finding parking each day. In case of inclement weather, you can entirely avoid going outside by using the skywalk or tunnel to go back and forth between the hotel and the convention center. In fact, each of my other tips is made simpler by staying onsite.

 

Switch Out with Another Parent

If both parents come to the conference, you can look over the schedule of speakers, highlight the ones that are the most important to each of you, and either divide up the kids or take turns attending sessions and staying with the kids in your room. An alternative is to partner up with another homeschool mom whom your children are familiar with and who has children of a similar age range. Then, you can split up the day with one mom going to the morning sessions and the other catching the afternoon sessions. Bring board games, a big puzzle that everyone can work on together, and other activities that you can do in a hotel room. Note: don’t make the mistake I did one year when I brought non-washable crayons for a child who had not yet outgrown the desire to leave their mark on the world!

 

Quiet Activities

You are welcome to bring your children into the sessions with you as long as they do not disturb others, of course. In order to make this as pleasant as possible for the children and yourself, you will want to make sure they have something to occupy themselves with while you are listening to the speakers. 

A floor blanket gives them a clean surface to sit on and helps those who tend to wander stay oriented where they need to be. Non-messy snacks go a long way in helping children pass the time. You may want to prepare a small backpack for each child that contains their activities. Or, you may find it more efficient to bring a small wagon that holds everyone’s items. 

Activities that my children have enjoyed include paper dolls, coloring books with colored pencils (don’t forget to bring a sharpener), “Barbie”-type dolls with several changes of clothes and hair accessories, a small container of Legos and a baseplate, card or board games that don’t require talking among the players, books, Matchbox cars, small toy animals, and various travel games such as this magnetic wand or Dogpile.  You can find many items that fit this list in the vendor hall. A fun way to start your conference weekend might be to walk through the vendor hall first thing. Let each child choose one item to purchase that they can enjoy right away, such as an interesting book or new card game.

 

Children’s Program

NCHE also offers a program that your children, aged 3-11, can attend while you are at the conference. The program is provided by Giant Cow Ministries and includes drama, music, Bible memorization, mentoring, and loads of fun activities such as inflatables. The pre-registration deadline is May 13. Onsite registration will be offered if there is available space. 

 

Easy Meals

Rooms tend to sell out more quickly at the Embassy Suites, at least partly due to the included breakfast. However, If you have small children or a large family, you may find it less stressful to avoid the morning crowd and eat in your room anyway to take advantage of the rooms still available at the Marriott. Cheese sticks, instant oatmeal, cereal, granola or cereal bars, and pre-cooked boiled eggs can easily make a healthy and quick breakfast without even leaving your room. 

For an easy lunch, you can purchase food from vendors on the lower level of the convention center or walk to a nearby restaurant. Or have an indoor picnic with chicken salad on croissants, ham and cheese sandwiches, or egg salad tucked into pita bread. (My children view pita pockets stuffed with any filling as a festive food–maybe yours will as well.)

Everyone will probably be tired out from the day by dinner time. Pizza delivery may be just the thing. With Door Dash now readily available, getting take-out delivered from any nearby restaurant can be a simple solution for dinner. For a more budget-conscious approach, many families bring a slow-cooker, liners for the cooking pot, and pre-prepped ingredients for a hot meal that can be started before leaving your room for the day and ready on your return. Disposable plates and plasticware will quickly fill the small trash cans in the hotel rooms, so you may want to bring an extra trash bag from home.

A frequent request by my children that makes for an easy but nutritious meal is what they call “snack dinner.” Fresh or dried fruit, roasted nuts, hummus and whole-wheat pita wedges, cheese, crackers, olives, carrot and celery sticks with dip, pickles, and slices of deli meat offer a variety of choices for even the pickiest eaters. It’s a winner since no cooking is required, and clean-up is easy. 

 

Active Time

With all of the focus on quiet activities, leaving out a crucial element of every child’s day would be a mistake. Although your children may be worn out from all of the walking they will likely do, they may still need an active period built into each day. Plan an activity into your schedule that will give them a chance to let out some energy. For example, a swim in the hotel pool, dancing to music on the television in your room, or a brisk walk around the block should help them get the wiggles out. 

 

Amazing Benefits

Bringing the whole family to the homeschool conference takes a bit more planning and preparation than if mom goes alone. However, there are many benefits to having them along with you. It will be a memorable experience that they will look forward to each year.

It is a great way for them to see how many other families are doing this crazy homeschool thing like them. The opportunity for your kids to look at curricula in the vendor hall may spark the fire of enthusiasm for their studies and give them a sense of power in having a say in their materials (something they would never get to do in a public school!). If they are interested in playing chess, they can participate in the chess tournament held on Thursday afternoon (preregistration is required). Watching the Talent Showcase may inspire them to try a new skill as they watch fellow homeschool students sing, dance, play instruments, and exhibit a variety of talents. And depending on their age and personality, they may be interested in some of the speakers as well. 

For families with teenagers, check out the special events we have planned for them. Thursday night is filled with a cotillion-styled dance that is sure to be fun. Following the Talent Showcase on Friday night is a game social for the teens. The college fair on Friday afternoon will give them an opportunity to speak with representatives from numerous colleges and to pick up some college swag. There is also a special teen track with workshops designed with teens in mind. 

It is always a blessing to walk through the convention center and observe all of the families there. My children count down the days until the next conference as soon as we get in the car to head home. It is the highlight of the year for them, and I hope it will be that for your family!

 

 

Jessica Frierson is a homeschool graduate and has been homeschooling her ten children since 2000. She serves as the secretary for NCHE, writes for GREENHOUSE, and is the lead blogger for the NCHE Blog.

by Evelyn Bickley, May 2022

When I was a public-schooled child in Pennsylvania, the best day of the year was the one day we went on a field trip. First grade was the Philadelphia Zoo. Second was Washington’s Crossing State Park.  Third was a visit to the Audubon Center. Fourth was Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. To me, those days felt like play, but they were certainly learning experiences—and obviously memorable!

As a homeschool parent, I have continued to love field trips and count them as school days. Field trips to museums and places of historical interest are easy to identify as school. Williamsburg for a week—no brainer that this fits into American history. But what about some less usual things? When we travel to the beach, I don’t count playing on the sand as school—but I do count going to an aquarium while we’re there. Going to Disney World doesn’t count—but your students participating in Disney Imagination campus workshops would. What about touring a factory like the BMW plant in South Carolina? Yes! What about something cultural like the Greek Festival in Charlotte? Yes! What about the state fair? Well—did you just ride the rides and eat funnel cake? Then, no. But if this activity broadened your child’s horizons like getting to interact with farm animals, engaging with animal exhibitors, and learning more about what they do, or even taking a first-ever train ride to get to the fair, then I’d say yes. Whenever and wherever we travel, I try to include at least one learning field trip day into the itinerary.

Summer camps are another area that you may—or may not—count as school. If the camp is more on the recreational side (think sleep-away camp featuring swimming, crafts, and games), I would not count that. But if your community offers a day camp at the local nature museum or science center, I would. Summer camps are also a great way to see if your child wants to pursue an interest for a longer term. My kids each tried week-long summer theater, robotics, culinary, equestrian, and athletic camps, and I happily recorded those on our school days calendar. What about Vacation Bible School?  Yes, the kids are learning something, but, personally, I did not count that anymore than I counted weekly church attendance. The choice, however, is up to you.

Many students, especially as they are in their teens, engage in community service work. These opportunities give the student the chance to learn about work ethic, showing up when expected, taking supervision from a “boss” other than the parent, and putting in a full-faith effort. These hours, as well as hours worked eventually at part-time jobs, do not count as “school” even though they are learning a lot. On the other hand, documenting these activities (especially the number of hours served if there has been significant commitment in some areas) should be included on transcripts and activities resumes if your child is going on to college.

What about other skills of everyday living? Laundry/cooking/yardwork/car maintenance? Time management?  Financial management? Price comparisons in the grocery store? Compassion for a sick or injured friend or relative? I categorize these into just things you pass on to your kids regardless of the kind of public/private/homeschool in which they are enrolled. Education does not stop at the edge of a textbook for all facets of life are true learning opportunities. We cannot and do not need to quantify everything we pour into our kids or encourage them to explore.  The opportunities to help them grow and learn can be boundless.

 

After homeschooling and graduating all four of her children from birth through high school, Evelyn Bickley continues to invest in students and their families by serving as NCHE’s Activities Director and the advisor for a teen Gavel Club.  She enjoys the hobby of letterboxing and traveling to just about anywhere but especially places that have historical significance or scenic beauty. 

 

photo credits: laundry photo by Sarah Brown on Unsplash, kids with parachute photo by Artem Kniaz on Unsplash, museum photo by Mihai Surdu on Unsplash

by Cheryl R. Carter/April 2022

This week I met with a mother whose daughter was transitioning from a brick-and-mortar high school to homeschooling. She wanted to make sure her daughter was adequately prepared for college. More importantly, she wanted to make sure her daughter could get into the college of her choice—a very competitive, top-tier college. 

I suggested the following:
One: It is imperative that you find out for yourself what courses are necessary for admittance to competitive colleges. Do not just speak to other parents, although other homeschool parents can be a great resource. Go directly to the college’s website, open house, table at a college fair, or a homeschool college admissions officer. For some reason, rumors abound in the homeschool community regarding college admission because the process of moving our students on to college seems a bit mysterious, we rely on other parents, who, though meaning well, may not fully understand the process themselves.

For instance, I once spoke to a mom who insisted her son should receive a scholarship. Further, she insisted he did not need to adhere to college deadlines because he was a stellar student. The fact of the matter was the family was in dire financial straits due to her husband’s health crisis and resulting unemployment. As a result of these factors, her son got a lot of need-based aid—not scholarships! Further, he was admitted to a local university that had rolling admission. The college did not have a solid deadline. Hence, there was no deadline to miss. Truly, she was blessed that he was admitted to the college so late and was provided financial aid. However, her situation was certainly not the norm. Lesson to be learned: College admission as a homeschooler can be quite an individual matter.

Two: Make sure that your son or daughter has taken all the required classes for college admission. This effort sometimes means going beyond the standard state homeschool regulations. For instance, in New York, home-educated students are not required to take a foreign language, and while there are schools that may not require a foreign language, the more competitive schools do.

Three: Become familiar with the application process. Some schools require supplementary essays and alternative admission assessments, such as videos, portfolios, and standardized testing, such as the SAT subject tests. Note that post-COVID, some colleges have altered their admission processes. You can also help your student gain what I call the homeschool advantage by knowing what your student needs to do to become a standout candidate on their admission application. 

These were just some basic tips I gave her. All homeschool parents can give their students the homeschool advantage in college admissions if they approach the college admission process with just a bit of planning.

Cheryl Carter has helped many students get into the college of their choice. Her advice is always practical and strategic. She prides herself on giving parents the homeschool advantage college admission advice. She is the author of Homeschool College Prep. Visit learn4college.com for information on her. Cheryl and her husband, Derek, are featured speakers at this year’s Thrive! Conference. 

by Jessica Frierson, April 2022

Does the very thought of testing make your heart race and your stomach sick? How do you overcome testing anxiety when the time comes to meet our state requirement for standardized assessment? 

NOT the Same as EOGs

It is important to understand the difference between the testing requirements that homeschoolers have and the end-of-grade testing that public schools do. According to DPI, “the North Carolina End-of-Grade Tests” for public school students “are designed to measure student performance on the goals, objectives, and grade-level competencies specified in the North Carolina Standard Course of Study.” The results affect both teachers and students. The standardized testing requirement for homeschooled students is entirely different.

The administrator of the homeschool is responsible for administering a nationally standardized achievement test–not an EOG–within the first twelve months of opening the homeschool and once annually thereafter. Who sees these results? What is done with them? NCDNPE mandates that the “records of the test results…be retained at the home school for at least one year and made available to DNPE when requested.” In the case that DNPE would request to view the test results, that is simply all they would do: glance at them to confirm that testing was done. The results themselves are irrelevant to DNPE. 

Purpose for Testing

What, then, is our purpose for testing our homeschooled children? The primary purpose for many families is simply to adhere to our state law. This is often difficult for those leaving the public school system to grasp. The pressure on their child throughout the school year to be prepared for the end-of-grade testing culminates in an intense week of nail-biting tension. Did they perform well enough for promotion to the next grade? 

As homeschoolers, our school structure is not based on the results of one week of testing. We, the parent-teachers, design an educational program uniquely shaped to our child’s needs. As one concept is attained, we move them on to the next one. We can move on to the next level of one subject while continuing to work on another one that they may be having more difficulty with. Promotion can be done separately between subjects rather than by the grade in general and is done entirely on a timetable that is customized for that child. 

Results Are a Tool

The most important thing to remember about the test results are that they are simply a tool for us to use to gauge what areas need to be strengthened. There is no pass or fail. With most tests, the results will only show a comparison of how the child performed compared to other children who took the test during the year that the test was normed.

Some types of tests offer reports that are more precise in revealing specific areas for improvement. The Woodcock Johnson, for example, can be done with additional subtests that can give more detailed information on specific areas that you may be concerned about. Some achievement tests can be paired with a cognitive test to help determine learning difficulties, such as dyslexia.

Whichever test you decide to use for your child, the results are for your use alone. They are a tool in your large box of resources available to enhance your child’s educational experience. They neither define your child nor restrict his or her promotion. So you can both take a deep breath, relax, and approach test day with a fresh perspective.

Make It a Fun Day

Instead of testing day being a thing to dread, make it a special day that your family can actually enjoy. You could start out with a nice breakfast. Incorporate several breaks in the testing schedule. Be sure that your child gets up and moves around or goes outside for some fresh air during their break. Have some snacks available. If the weather is nice, our family often plans a picnic lunch for testing day. If it ends up rainy, we have an afternoon tea time instead. End the day with a family movie time or play a board game. 

If your child is showing signs of fatigue or anxiety, call off testing for the day and give them a fresh start tomorrow. One way my children have turned testing into a fun event is by looking at it as something of a game in itself. I have even had them ask me if they could do it again when the test had been completed! They have guessed ahead of time which area they think they will do best in and have often surprised themselves with the outcome. However, I never permit them to compare themselves to each other. 

Limit Testing’s Impact

Our children need to share the mindset that testing can have a useful purpose but is never a weapon to use against ourselves or others. It does nothing to gauge who we are as a person or to indicate that someone is better or less than another. This means that I don’t show them the percentile rankings on the test scores. 

In fact, the only element of the test results that I ever share with my children is occasionally telling them, “we will work on multiplication facts next week,” if their test results indicated a weakness there. More often I will tell them, “you’ve really improved in your math skills,” or “you are really learning to spell well this year!”  For the most part, we schedule a day for doing the achievement tests, make a fun day of it, then move on. After printing their results, I file them in my school folder and that’s the end of testing’s impact on our lives until the next year. 

Stress-free testing is one of the many benefits of homeschooling. Test day can actually be a pleasant experience for both you and your child. Test results that are viewed in the appropriate light are a useful resource. For additional information on testing, visit NCHE’s Helps page, check out this article on selecting the best test for your child, or watch our free testing webinar.

 

Jessica Frierson is a homeschool graduate and has been homeschooling her ten children since 2000. She serves as the secretary for NCHE, writes for GREENHOUSE, and is the lead blogger for the NCHE Blog.

One of NCHE’s missions is to protect the rights of NC citizens to homeschool. Our homeschool laws are primarily affected by the NC General Assembly. The judicial system can also have a great affect on the freedom to homeschool. With the election coming up, it is important that we know what the candidates think about homeschooling and our homeschool law. In order to help us decide, NCHE asked candidates for the NC House of Representatives, the NC Senate, the NC Court of Appeals and the NC Supreme Court three questions related to home education. Click on the appropriate tab below to see the responses from the NC House of Representatives candidates, the NC Senate candidates or the judicial candidates.

To view a sample ballot, click here, launch the Voter Search, enter your voter information and click the “Search” button. Click your name in the search results. When the results show, scroll down to find the “YOUR SAMPLE BALLOT” heading. Under that heading, you will see a link to your sample ballot.

NC House of Representatives Candidates Survey

Responses are ordered by NC House of Representatives district numbers.

Follow this link to find out what districts you are in, Representation – North Carolina General Assembly (ncleg.gov).

NC House of Representatives District 5
Candidate: Bill Ward                      Political Party: Republican
Campaign Website:https://electbillward.com/

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:     All parents should have the right to determine the choice and source of their children’s education.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:     I have found that homeschooled students are better prepared for further education, i.e. college or universities and are more prepared to enter the work force than those of our public education system. Those students that I am familiar with have outscored their peers in all standardized testing that is required under the current law.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:     No, the current law is sufficient to outline the requirements for homeschooling and meets the basic requirements for establishment and operation of a homeschool.


NC House of Representatives District 6
Candidate: Kiara Johnson                      Political Party: Democrat
Campaign Website: https://Iamkiarajohnson.com

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer: In my opinion school choice is awesome. I love the fact that parents get to choose other alternatives for learning environments for their children.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:    I support home education. There are a lot of great things that comes along with home education for our children. One of the things is that you get to provide a safe haven for your children at all times. Another great thing that comes to my mind concerning home education is that parents get to have hands on in every aspect of their children’s education because it is provided by them. I had my first experience with homeschooling during the Covid and I felt it was a great experience.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:    No, I don’t think that any changes need to be made to the home school laws in North Carolina. In my opinion, the law is really simple, easy to read, understand and abide by. According to the law you must Notify the Department of Administration, Division of Non-Public Education of your intent to operate a home school, Maintain attendance and immunization records, Operate on a regular schedule, and Administer a nationally standardized test. When I read the laws my first thought was “is that it?” There’s not really a lot that comes along with homeschooling your child and it appears to be very simple to operate a home school after I read the nc homeschool laws.


NC House of Representatives District 17
Candidate: Frank Iler              Political Party: Republican
Campaign Website: http://ilerforhouse.com

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:    100% for parental and student choice. Have voted many times for charter school expansion and voucher bills.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:    It should be a viable choice and supported. Some of the smartest young people I know were home schooled.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:    Yes. They should be supported by vouchers to pay homeschool operators in an fair way compared to government schools.

NC House of Representatives District 17
Candidate: Eric Terashima              Political Party: Democrat
Campaign Website: https://terashimafornc.com/

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:    Maximum school choice to include home schooling should be allowed for parents.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:  Several of my friends have home schooled their children, and I will support their choice.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:  People who home school their children should be granted a subsidy to assist with the cost.


NC House of Representatives District 18
Candidate: John Hinnant               Political Party: Republican
Campaign Website: https://electjohnhinnant.com

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:    I support parental choice 100% and I believe the per pupil spending should follow the student. Families that hone school should receive a tax credit equal to the funding per pupil.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:    My wife and I home schooled my son for a year and half. We are big supporters of home schooling and it is evidence that we have a problem in our public school system. In New Hanover County, EOG scores for 3rd Graders in the 2020-21 academic year, 52% of all students were Not Proficient in reading. 49% were Not Proficient in Math. 81% of black students were Not Proficient in Biology. We have a crisis situation on our hands.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:    We had a good experience and don’t know of any immediate needs right now. Perhaps allow home school kids to play sports at the schools they are districted to.


NC House of Representatives District 19
Candidate: Charlie Miller               Political Party: Republican
Campaign Website: https://charliemillernc.com

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:     100% Support. If the last year of at-home learning has taught us anything, it’s that parents have a significant interest in their children’s education. Why shouldn’t parents have a say in the education choices available to their children? Education is not one-size-fits-all. School choice is all about empowering families to seek out the learning environment that leads to the greatest success in their child’s educational performance and outcomes.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:     100% Support. I would like to support home school families through legislation that encourages choice and supports families with the resources needed to educate their children. There’s no reason why a family should be paying taxes towards a school system that their children do not attend. Home school families should be able to retain these resources for the education of their own children.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:     We need to take a serious look into implementing money-follow-the-child programs, as have been implemented with great success in Kansas. This may look like a tax credit for parents that homeschool or pursue online learning programs for their students, or public funds transferred between jurisdictions of public education. Ensuring that money follows the child simply means that per-student spending moves with the student, regardless of their education outlet of choice. I also believe that home school students should have more opportunity to participate in school district athletic programs.


NC House of Representatives District 21
Candidate: Gerard Falzon             Political Party: Republican
Campaign Website: https://gerardfalzon.com

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:     LOVE IT!  It lowers cost for the state and for the family.  It raised competition, service, and quality for all.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:     It’s great for some and horrible for others.  The COVID-19 pandemic helped to identify both camps.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:     No.  It seems adequate to me at this time.

NC House of Representatives District 21
Candidate: Joshua Morris             Political Party: Libertarian
Campaign Website: https://www.joshmorris4nc.org

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:    School choice is mandatory in todays world. We need to allow parents the final say over their children and remove the government from the equation.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:    I think home education is individualized. For some kids it is a great option and for other kids it doesn’t work as well.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:    I would remove the requirement for attendance and immunization records as well as the requirement to operate during regular hours. Some children can accelerate very fast and others take more time. There shouldn’t be a requirement on these issues


NC House of Representatives District 24
Candidate: Kenneth Fontenot                 Political Party: Republican
Campaign Website: HTTPS://www.fontenotforhouse.com

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:     100% pro school choice.  I’d eventually love to see the money follow the child.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:  We homeschool!!!

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:     I don’t know the homeschool laws, but I will do whatever it takes to protect the parents right to educate their child the way they see fit with tax dollars.


NC House of Representatives District 26
Candidate: Donna MCDowell White                   Political Party: Republican
Campaign Website: https://wew.donnawhitenc26.com

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:     I am in favor of parents being able to choose the type of school that their children attend.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:     I believe that home education produces very confident and mature students.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:     No, I do not believe that changes need to be made. I have not seen any evidence that the home school model is not producing educated and qualified graduates of the secondary system.


NC House of Representatives District 28
Candidate: Wendy Ella May                     Political Party: Democratic
Campaign Website: HTTP://WWW.WENDYELLAMAY.COM

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:     I support the right of free choice. Proponents argue that school choice programs improve educational outcomes by expanding opportunity and access for historically disadvantaged students

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:     I think homeschool works for some students

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:     This law really needs to be reviewed because the wording that was added by former governor Pat McCrory, and the state house and senate restrictions , I feel that homeschooling laws does not support the right of families to teach their children as they see fit.  I think many get confused by the following words, School choice is a term for pre-college public education options that describes an array of programs offering students and their families voluntary alternatives to publicly provided schools, to which students are generally assigned by the location of their family residence.  School vouchers are certificates of government funding. It allows a student to attend a school that is chosen by their family instead of being required to go to an assigned public school.


NC House of Representatives District 30
Candidate: Guy Meilleur                Political Party: Libertarian
Campaign Website: https://www.guyfornc.org

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:    Parents have an absolute right and responsibility to choose the schooling that is best for the child. And the child’s feelings should be on the record. Annual testing and other minimal oversight by the state is all that should be required. The state should lift the cap On charter schools. The money should follow the student.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:    See above. I have seen students thrive in a home school environment while teaching them science classes. Those families can link them selves to other homeschooling families for group activities. Some children need more socialization than others, but they all benefit from interacting with their cohort. The more that different schools and their students interact, the better it is for all.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:    At first glance, the current requirements do not look too unreasonable. I don’t understand the cap on families to just two families comprising a homeschool. Why would a third family not be able to join? The rest of the requirements look reasonable to me. There seems to be a good balance between the rights of the parent and the needs of the student and keeping state control limited. But my perspective is also limited, so I’d be happy to learn more from the perspective of other parents. I have taught in homeschool groups and private and public schools. But lately I work with adult learners. As a student, transferring from Catholic school to public school (as I did in grades 4-5, 10-11) was like flunking a grade, each time. State control of education should be minimized.


NC House of Representatives District 31
Candidate: Sean Haugh                Political Party: Libertarian
Campaign Website: https://seanhaugh.com/

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:     Parents and students should have as much school choice as possible. I am for expanding school choice in every direction.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:     Home education is a choice parents should be able to make freely and without state restriction. As an educational option, home education is as legitimate as any other kind of school.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:     Many changes should be made to free parents from state restrictions that serve no purpose beyond maintaining state control of education. More than two families should be free to pool their resources to provide all the academic instruction to their children as they desire. The certification requirements for teachers should be eliminated. The recordkeeping and administrative requirements should be simply limited to informing the state of the students receiving home education. Scheduling, testing, and curriculum should be entirely up to parents. Beyond amending the Homeschool Law, state education funding should be oriented towards students, not systems.


NC House of Representatives District 32
Candidate: John Franklin Sossamon                Political Party: Republican
Campaign Website: (11) Frank Sossamon for NC House of Representatives District 32 | Facebook

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:     I think it’s a parents right to chose what school or type of educational system or style is best for their child/children. So I support school choice.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:     I certainly think it has a place and some children that would have failed in public school excelled in home school education. There should be a realistic standard for home schooling to ensure a quality education. I support Article 39 of Chapter 115C along with Senate Bill 189 modifying the definition of homeschool in the law.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:     As I understand it and from the conversations I’ve had with homeschoolers they aren’t pushing for any changes but I would be open to listening to anything that would improve what we have for the betterment of the children involved across the state.


NC House of Representatives District 36
Candidate: Kyle Ward                    Political Party: Libertarian
Campaign Website: http://wardfornc.org

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:     I believe school choice is critical to improving education outcomes in our state. I have two young boys, and school choice is one of the primary reasons I’m running. Our current system traps too many children in failing schools that are often violent. Only people with means can afford school choice. I want to extend that choice to all North Carolinians by attaching education dollars to individual students.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:     I support home education. Not only do I trust parents to educate their children, but I also do not recognize any right to tell them how to do it. Furthermore, if we are able to pass a school voucher program, I would fight to make sure homeschooling parents are able to use that cash to educate their children.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:     I’m not an expert in this area and would be thrilled to learn more, but in general, I support drastically lowering the requirements to homeschool your children. You do not owe the state an explanation. Education is important, but so is feeding your children. We would not tolerate regular reporting on nutrition and health outcomes to the state. I trust parents.


NC House of Representatives District 37
Candidate: Erin Paré                     Political Party: Republican
Campaign Website: https://Erinfornc.com

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:    I am a staunch supporter of school choice and have supported school choice legislation as a member of the NC House do Representatives.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:    Home Schools have been a God-send to children, especially during COVID. Every family has the right to educate their child the way they believe is best for them. Home education has had outstanding results. We must continue to support home education.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:    No.


NC House of Representatives District 41
Candidate: Bruce Forster                 Political Party: Republican
Campaign Website: https://www.ForsterForHouse.com

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:    It is a fundamental right.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:    Outstanding option, especially for certain kids and/or families.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:    Standardize testing should test only proficiencies in subjects such as english, math, history, etc…. Subjects that reflect preparedness for a successful career.


NC House of Representatives District 43
Candidate: Diane Wheatley                 Political Party: Republican
Campaign Website: http://www.DianeWheatleyNC.com

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:    In today’s educational environment, I believe giving parents choices as to how and where their children are educated is crucial to the survival of our society.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:    Given proper resources and motivation, the data shows that home schooled student can be highly successful.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:    Although the present regulations seem generally appropriate, I would want to do more research after having discussions with home-school families. One area I would like to consider is the limit on the number of families that can join together in a home school.


NC House of Representatives District 48
Candidate: Melissa Swarbrick                 Political Party: Republican
Campaign Website: https://www.swarbrickforhouse48.com

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:     School choice gives children the opportunity to thrive and excel in the educational setting that their parents feel is best for them. School choice also allows parents to be more involved in the curriculum.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:     Like school choice, it is one option that many parents feel is best for their child. I am all for allowing parents to make that decision. Not all children can thrive in the traditional school setting.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:     The requirements look pretty clear and comprehensive.


NC House of Representatives District 49
Candidate: Michael Oakes                        Political Party: Libertarian
Campaign Website: https://www.oakesfornc.org

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:     School choice is a fundamental right for parents. Nobody on Earth cares about a child’s education more than their parents.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:     I believe that all education options should be available. Parents should have the right to choose education methods that work best for them.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:     I believe that imposing family requirements, as well as immunization records for students, is government overreach. Homeschool law should not require these details, to allow micro-schools by trusted educators outside of the family (or families) and maintain medical privacy for children.


NC House of Representatives District 50
Candidate: Charles Lopez                        Political Party: Republican
Campaign Website: https://www.lopezfornc.com

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:     I have been a long-term advocate for school choice. I have been a Charter School Board President in Florida for an at-risk school. In North Carolina, I was elected as a Board Member at a local charter school in Hillsborough, NC before we chose to home school. As a participant in public, charter, and homeschool options,  I can attest that the best opportunity came from the parent having choices.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:     This question hits close to home. We have been homeschooling for about 2 years now. We love our homeschool community and have seen our grow exponentially in STEM projects, music and arts, and even more so enjoying learning to read about history, politics of today, and technology. This has also allowed us to be intentional about instilling the conservative values of fiscal, spiritual, and moral attributes that make us productive and empathetic citizens of society.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:     I do not believe we should add any more government regulations towards what currently exists.

NC House of Representatives District 50
Candidate: Renée Price                        Political Party: Democrat
Campaign Website: https://reneeprice4nc.com

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:    Parents and legal guardians should be able to choose the educational setting and format that they deem are best for their child or children.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:    I am fine with home education, as long as students are provided with a curriculum that aligns with the courses of study in traditional public schools. Additional topics often are taught, such as religious studies, and I am fine with that, as well.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:    Improvements should be made based on student outcomes, and that data should be collected and analyzed annually.


NC House of Representatives District 54
Candidate: Walter Petty                 Political Party: Republican
Campaign Website: HTTPS://Electpetty.com

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:     Parents should have a choice where their children attend school

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:     I believe that should be an option. I also believe that our schools should provide a quality education and a safe environment that encourages parents to feel comfortable with public education as an option.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:     I believe the tax dollars for a home schooled child should follow that child as with any school choice.


NC House of Representatives District 55
Candidate: Mark Brody                 Political Party: Republican
Campaign Website: http://markbrody.com/

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:     It is the best thing that can happen to education. Competition makes education better.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:     Home education is one of many viable options that are available to parents in determining what is the best direction for their children. I am one of the members of the GA that produced the NC Homeschool Law so I feel it is very important.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:     At this time the system is working well. One of the areas of concern is the vaccination requirement. The individual parent should determine the vaccines required for their children. I also believe the home school students should have access to extra activities that are currently provided to the traditional public schools and paid for by the tax dollars of the residents of the county where the home school ( and the students are residents of that same county ) is located such as sports or extracurricular activities not part of the regular school day. Home school parents should be required to pay the same fees charged to all students participating in those activities if a fee is required to participate.


NC House of Representatives District 59
Candidate: Jon Hardister                 Political Party: Republican
Campaign Website: https://jonhardister.com

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:    School choice enriches our education system by providing families with the ability to choose the best option for their children.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:    Families should retain the right to homeschool if they believe this is the best fit for their children.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:    I do not have any immediate ideas for changes, but I am open to hear from families as to what, if any, adjustments should be made to state law.


NC House of Representatives District 64
Candidate: Dennis Riddell                        Political Party: Republican
Campaign Website: https://www.riddell4nchouse64.com

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:     Strongly support.  Parents should at least have as much choice in where their children go to school as they do when selecting an ISP.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:     Strongly support.  My wife (and I to a lesser extent) have homeschooled all 8 of our children K-12 and up thru some online college.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:     No changes. Leave well enough alone.


NC House of Representatives District 65
Candidate: Reece Pyrtle                        Political Party: Republican
Campaign Website: https://ReeceForNC.com

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:    I support school choice 100%. Parents know what is best when it comes to educating their children.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:    I support parents’ rights to homeschool their children. This is a critical aspect of school choice and we must fight to maintain and advance this freedom in North Carolina.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:    I would like to look into policies where money follows the child, or where homeschool students can participate in sports teams of their school district. After all, the parents are paying the taxes for their child to be in school, they deserve the same benefits.


NC House of Representatives District 71
Candidate: Kanika Brown             Political Party: Democrat
Campaign Website: https://www.facebook.com/kanika.brown.984

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:     I believe school choice is an excellent opportunity for a lot of our youth. This gives our parents and students a choice in education so they can be exposed to more opportunities, safer environments, and an increase in their social skills.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:     Home education is a great opportunity for a lot of our kids. We have so much bullying and violence in our schools. It’s a challenge for a lot of our youth to learn when they are fearful for their life and their friend’s life. With home education, our youth can learn at their own pace in which they’ll see improvement in their grades, become more creative, and can volunteer for community service for organizations.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:     I believe at this time, according to research, there is no need for changes and everything is going according to the state guidelines. However, if the state changes or parents raise concerns about a particular issue we must have a conversation about how we can come up with a solution to the problem.


NC House of Representatives District 73
Candidate: Brian Echevarria                    Political Party: Republican
Campaign Website: https://brianechevarria.com/

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:     Schooling our children the way we choose is our right as parents. Above that, there is no way we should be paying for an education our children are not getting; the money must follow the student to whatever school the parent chooses. Including the cost associated with homeschooling.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:     With the wide availability of high-quality curriculum that exceeds state standards, homeschooling has proven the most effective and heart protecting way to educate a child. While all family dynamics do not permit all families to homeschool, those who do should be able to without any interference from any government.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:     Yes. Parents choosing to educate their children at home should NOT be expected to maintain or share attendance, immunization, or relocation with the state. As a student progresses, the transcript and testing will reflect all that needs to be known.


NC House of Representatives District 74
Candidate: Jeff Zenger                    Political Party: Republican
Campaign Website: https://jeffzenger.com/

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:      I think everyone show have a choice

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:      We homeschooled all 4 of our kids.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:      No, I do not think we need any changes.


NC House of Representatives District 78
Candidate: Jeff Zenger                    Political Party: Republican
Campaign Website: https://www.nealjackson4nc.org

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:    Education is one of the most important issues North Carolina faces. The key to a child’s success is access to quality education. I, therefore, support school choice for parents.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:    As a home school parent, I fully support home education.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:      No.


NC House of Representatives District 79
Candidate: Keith Kidwell                   Political Party: Republican
Campaign Website: https://keithkidwell.com/

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:  Parents should always have the choice of where and how their children are educated.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:  As a 2nd generation home school family I fully support home education.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:    No. More government control is not necessary. I have personally met hundreds of home-schoolers and home-educated children and they are some of the best-educated children in the country.


NC House of Representatives District 90
Candidate: Sarah Stevens                        Political Party: Republican
Campaign Website: Sarah Stevens (Speaker Pro Tempore) – North Carolina House Republican Caucus (nchouserepublicans.com)

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:     Parents should have options. It is the parent’s duty to get the best education according to their child’s needs

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:     Parents have a right to educate their children.  Almost all of then do it for the right reason.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:     There’s always room for improvement.  Why only two households?   Many people have the ability to share in knowledge.


NC House of Representatives District 102
Candidate: Cynthia Clementi                               Political Party: Republican
Campaign Website: https://ballotpedia.org/Cynthia_Eleanor_Clementi

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:      Whatever parents think is best for their children. Is the best choice.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:      Fabulous!!

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:      If it works for the parents it works for me.


NC House of Representatives District 103
Candidate: Bill Brawley                               Political Party: Republican
Campaign Website: https://brawleyforhouse.com

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:    Strong supporter of home schooling. Have appeared a meeting of patents and have held education sessions for home school students on the NC Legislature including a mock session with the students as legislators

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:    It is the exercise of parental school choice and has it’s roots in American education going back to colonial days.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:    No. If the home school community is satisfied leave it alone. We already know the students perform at a higher level than LEA students


NC House of Representatives District 105
Candidate: Joshua Niday             Political Party: Republican
Campaign Website: https://electniday.com

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:     I fully support school choice. I believe a child’s educational options should not be limited to their zip code, and studies show students who are allowed to partake in school choice tend to have higher exam scores.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:     I think every child learns differently, and for some children, homeschooling is best. Ultimately I believe it is up to the parents. Given the increased desire of some to indoctrinate our children and oversexualize education, I see homeschooling becoming more and more relevant.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:     At this time I am not aware of any immediate changes that need to be made. However, I can say that when elected, I will oppose any proposed legislation that would require parents to teach topics such as critical race theory, leftist or communist indoctrination, and/ or age-inappropriate discussions within the classroom, and I will also oppose legislation that imposes undue burdens on parents wishing to homeschool.


NC House of Representatives District 109
Candidate: Donnie Loftis              Political Party: Republican
Campaign Website: https://www.donniefornc.com

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:     Parents should have all educational options to provide their child high quality programs to receive a fully functioning education. Whether that may be through public school with options to move their child to a high performing school or through vouchers to assist in attending private, Christian, homeschool or Opportunity Scholarships. As a current member of the NC House, I voted to give Parents more educational choices including making masks optional.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:     The quality of home education has improved greatly over the past ten years. And because of the one-on-one attention those students receive, the critical thinking skills has also improved as reflected through national testing. Institutions of higher learning have finally realized they were missing out on some high-quality students and now have begun to open their programs to those who completed a home education.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:     Unless there are changes that have been identified by the home education network, current law is acceptable. I would be available to assisting home educators in the future if additional changes are identified.


NC House of Representatives District 114
Candidate: Everett D. Pittillo                    Political Party: Republican
Campaign Website: https://www.electeverettdpittillo.com/

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:     I believe that parents should have a choice.  I would actually like to write legislation that would have the money follow the student whether it be public education, private education, or home school.  Parents that would like to spend more time with their children due to the excess of cost when homeschooling.  So if the money follows the parent they will then have that choice.  Covid has exposed a raw nerve and parents need the ability to make the choice they want for their children.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:     I believe in home education if that suits the parents.  Many parents have college degrees and have the ability to further their childrens’ education themselves.  I believe every parent should be able to make the choice to insure their children get the education they deserve.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:     I actually think the state should support the homeschool process more.  Parents should have full participation in any extra curricular activities such as sports at no cost.  The legislation needs to pass a bill to have the money follow the child wherever they choose to receive their education.  Legislation must also distance themselves with the immunization records.  Many individuals are choosing homeschool for freedom of medical choice also (Covid has exposed this).  As far as the homeschool process, I am aquainted with this having many family members and friends choosing this route for their children.  The State must support the parents freedom of choice with programs and financial aide and must become involved with this freedom of choice.


NC House of Representatives District 116
Candidate: Mollie Rose                 Political Party: Republican
Campaign Website: https://buncombe.nc.gop/mollie_rose

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:    We need the expand school choice to end government monopoly which will improve quality of education for everyone.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:    Those who choose to educate their children at home deserve a refund of taxes they have paid for public education.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:    No, however I would like the opinion of families that home school regarding any needed changes.


NC House of Representatives District 117
Candidate: Jennifer Capps Balkcom                 Political Party: Republican
Campaign Website: https://VoteBalkcom.com

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:     I support school choice 100%.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:     If more children were homeschooled, I would not worry as much for our future.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:     I believe that the current statutory requirements are appropriate and I appreciate NCHE’s position on cooperating with the law. I would always be open to entertaining changes to the law, however, should the regulations become too onerous or outmoded.

 

NC Senate Candidates Survey

Responses are ordered by NC Senate district numbers.

Follow this link to find out what districts you are in, Representation – North Carolina General Assembly (ncleg.gov).

NC Senate District 4
Candidate: Buck Newton                 Political Party: Republican
Campaign Website: https://www.ibackbuck.com

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:    Parents have the final say and responsibility for their children’s education. School choice is essential. If parents do not have the freedom to choose what is best for their child or have no (good) options, they and their children are denied their opportunities and full potential. That is wrong.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:    My view of home education is very positive. Home education is the best choice for many children and families. Parents should have choices and not be forced to turn their children’s education over to a failing public school or circumstances where values are contradicted. My wife (primarily) and I homeschooled one of our children for a period. It was of tremendous benefit to him and to us. As I stated above, parents have the final say about their children’s education.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:    No, I don’t know of any reasons to change the law. When I was in the NC Senate before (2011-2016) I was a co-sponsor of SB 189, which became law 2013, and changed the definition of “homeschool”. I believe that with that change NC has one of if not the best homeschool laws in the country and homeschooling should continue to be regulated by DNPE. I would strongly oppose any efforts to further regulate homeschooling in NC as parents should have control of their children’s education and the positive results of homeschooling is undisputed.


NC Senate District 14
Candidate: Matthew Laszacs                   Political Party: Libertarian
Campaign Website: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100079335191181

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:     Parents, not politicians, should determine what type of schooling best meets the educational needs of their individual children. For that reason, I fully support expanding school choice options in NC through initiatives such as educational savings accounts, vouchers, and scholarships. I want to give NC parents their hard earned educational tax dollars and let them determine where to spend them, whether that’s a home school, public school, or even a micro school. Fund Students, not systems.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:     I fully support the parental right to educate children at home and I will do everything I can to block any legislation or regulation that restricts parents’ freedom to educate their children in the manner that they see fit. The COVID pandemic exposed the inflexibility of our public education system in an extremely obvious and public manner. Home schooling showed consistency of educational outcomes where our public schools failed. I will fight hard to support home schooling parents.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:     I would loosen two of the requirements and remove the two-household stipulation from the definition. First, why restrict home schooling to two households? It may be beneficial to move children between homeschools in a community for a number of reasons and this language may restrict that. Second, I see no reason for homeschooling parents to maintain immunization records. Not all parents feel that their children should receive all of the state mandated school-age immunizations and this seems to force them to even if they elect to home school.  Lastly, I see no reason for homeschooled children to be forced to operate on a nine month schedule. If the kids can pass the standardized test and meet the learning requirements, it is irrelevant how long they are “in class.”


NC Senate District 16
Candidate: James Powers                Political Party: Republican
Campaign Website: http://JamesPowers4NC.com

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:    I am definitely for school choice.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:    I think home school is an excellent program, where students are taught and are receiving a quality education without the cancel culture and critical race theory. Education is the purpose of school, not gender identity nor pronouns.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:    I would like to see some skills training, that would prepare those students not wanting to go to college with skills to enter the work for and become assets to our economy and not be a burden or receiving federal or state funds to survive.

NC Senate District 16
Candidate: Dee Watson                Political Party: Libertarian
Campaign Website: https://electdeewatson.org/

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:     I am a proponent of funding students not systems. All money State, Federal and Local money should follow the child.  In a homeschooling setting every student should be given a funded account where materials, curriculum, tutoring, classes etc. can be expensed.  If the student does not utilize all the funds, the funds should rollover to the next year in a 529 plan.  Funds that are not utilized during K-12 education should be available for collage.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:     I homeschooled 2 of my children for a year, and I wish that I had quit working when Covid began and homeschooled my youngest. It is difficult if both parents work (my situation), so I think it isn’t feasible for all families, but I know many fantastic homeschool families. I think it is a wonderful option for many people.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:     The regulations for homeschool families in NC are very reasonable.  Right now, homeschool families are required to administer a standardized test once a year.  The NC EOGs not accepted for this purpose since they are not a national test.  I would like to make them an option and make them available to all homeschool and private schooled families. I do NOT think they should be required, but I do think they should be a free option.


NC Senate District 17
Candidate: Mark Cavaliero                       Political Party: Republican
Campaign Website: https://markcavaliero.com/

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:     Providing families with the opportunity to choose the school that best meets their family’s needs is the right thing to do. I’d like to see an expansion of the current opportunity scholarships so that more families can choose the option that works best for them. School choice is also good for public education as it introduces competition into the system. Charter, private, and home schools also act as innovation laboratories to try out strategies on a small scale that could later be expanded.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:     Home education is another option for families that would like control over the curriculum and instruction of their children. I think home schools are a critical component of the educational system.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:     I’m not aware of any changes that should be made.


NC Senate District 20
Candidate: Alvin Reed                   Political Party: Republican
Campaign Website: https://alvinreed.com

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:     I have home schooled all off my children and have personal experience that it is a superior means of schooling. I am running on a platform of vouchers for all NC parents including home school parents.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:     Home education allows the parents to fine tune their children’s education to specifically what makes their children the smartest. They are not just a number in a classroom.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:     The law gives the parent the flexibility to run their school as they see fit. I do agree with the two requirements of attendance and yearly testing.


NC Senate District 22
Candidate: Larry Coleman                       Political Party: Republican
Campaign Website: https://www.colemanforncsenate.com/

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:     I believe that parents should be able to choose how to educate their children.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:     I believe that home education is a great way to educate children if you desire and have resources available.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:     No.


NC Senate District 27
Candidate: Richard (Josh) Sessoms                  Political Party: Republican

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:     I am very much for school choice which gives parents the option what school to send their children to.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:     If a parent or parents chooses to home school their children then having that option is a good thing for families. I know more than a few families that went this route to help their children during tough times to ensure that their children get a sound education.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:     No.


NC Senate District 30
Candidate: Steve Jarvis                Political Party: Republican
Campaign Website: Https://www.ElectJarvis.com

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:     It should always be the Choice of the Parent.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:     It should always be the Choice of the Parent.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:     No


NC Senate District 34
Candidate: Paul Newton               Political Party: Republican
Campaign Website: https://Newton4Senate.com

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:     I am a school choice advocate.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:     My wife and I homeschooled all 4 of our children through high school.  I have defended home educators against attacks from the state Democratic party alleging that home educators “are not educators”.  (Reference my debate with Gladys Robinson on the Senate Floor).

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:     I will defeat changes being suggested in the media by Democrats.  I am not aware that NCHE is advocating for any changes.


NC Senate District 36
Candidate: Eddie Settle                 Political Party: Republican
Campaign Website: HTTPS://Settleforsenate.com

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:     I think every American should have a choice of school whether home , public , charter .

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:     My children went to public education but with the environment today we would home educate.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:     I believe tax dollars should follow the education with home school certification getting stronger.


NC Senate District 44
Candidate: Ted Alexander                 Political Party: Republican
Campaign Website: https://Www.tedforsenate.com

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:    I am fully in favor of school choice.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:    I am fully in favor of home education.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:  I am open to considering legislation that would assist homeschoolers in NC.


NC Senate District 46
Candidate: Billy S. Martin              Political Party: Democrat

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:     I am a retired public educator.  However, I have no problem with parents choosing to educate their children at home or wherever else they feel best suits their child’s education.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:     I feel if a parent feels equipped to instruct their child at home then that their choice.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:     I don’t see any aspects of the laws I could disagree with.


NC Senate District 49
Candidate: John Anderson                        Political Party: Republican
Campaign Website: https://www.JohnAnderson4NCSenate.com

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:    Parents know what’s best for their children and should have the power to decide which school option fits their children.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:    Home education allows parents to choose the curriculum which fits their children, and at which level. A child could be in third grade math, but fifth grade English, and this flexibility allows students to grow at their own pace. Parents have told me that this school option is also about family, not just education. The home school community in North Carolina is dynamic and thriving, offering classes, sports, testing, proms, and even hybrid home schools.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:     No.


NC Senate District 50
Candidate: Karen Burnette McCracken                        Political Party: Democrat
Campaign Website: https://twitter.com/ABB4WNC

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:     Each child is unique. They have unique learning styles and abilities. Where one child thrives, another may flounder. Parents have a responsibility to decide what educational option is best for their children.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:     My sisters-in-law homeschool their children. Both are capable teachers with resources and supports. Home schooling works with their lifestyles, and the children do well academically and socially. In some situations, home education is the best option.

Question:   Do you believe any changes need to be made to the homeschool law in NC? Explain your answer.
Answer:     There is always room for improvement. I am open to advice from those directly involved in home education.

 

 

NC Judicial Candidates Survey

Responses are ordered by NC Court of Appeals seat number and NC Supreme Court seat number.

NC Court of Appeals Candidates

NC COURT OF APPEALS JUDGE SEAT 08

Candidate: Julee Tate Flood                    Political Party: Republican
Campaign Website: http://JuleeFlood.com

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:     I believe parents have a fundamental right to control the upbringing of their children, including choosing educational options best suited for their children.  School choice respects learning and social needs for each individual child.  Parents are best equipped to identify which educational option best meets their child’s needs and nurtures their child’s potential.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:     A mother of four now-adult sons who were homeschooled through high school, I unequivocally support education in which teaching and learning are entwined with family relationships and activities.  Parental responsibility, a moral compass, educational excellence, citizenship, learning how to learn, and safety are key among countless benefits of home schooling–where home is life’s center.  It was a blessing and joy to homeschool my sons; I support all who choose this path.

Question:   What beliefs or ideals guide your decisions when you adjudicate a case that comes before you?
Answer:     A Christian, constitutional conservative, I would adhere to an originalist, textualist judicial philosophy in adjudicating any case.  Having drafted hundreds of judicial opinions for appellate jurists, my approach has not wavered:  the law says what it says and means what it says and does not mean what it does not say.  Adhering to stare decisis—the doctrine of honoring legal precedent—furthers predictability and stability.  I apply analytical rigor in discerning nuanced distinctions.  I oppose judicial activism and will not use the law to advance a political agenda; rather, I respect the separation of powers and believe the role of a judge is to follow the law.  I will treat each person with dignity; for each, their case is the most important case before the Court.


NC COURT OF APPEALS JUDGE SEAT 09

Candidate: Donna Stroud             Political Party: Republican
Campaign Website: https://JudgeStroud.com

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:     I believe parents should be free to choose the educational option that works best for their family and children.  School is not one size fits all, and every parent who has more than one child knows that each child may have different needs.  Parents must also consider the schools available in their area and whether those schools will provide what their children need. My own two sons, who are now ages 26 and 29, attended private Christian schools from kindergarten through high school graduation.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:     I have known many home-schooled children and parents who home-school.  My own experience has been that these children tend to excel, and they are generally more mature and better-behaved than most children in public schools and most private schools.  For example, a few months ago, a group of home-school students visited the Court of Appeals, and those children – even the very young ones – asked such excellent questions!

Question:   What beliefs or ideals guide your decisions when you adjudicate a case that comes before you.
Answer:     I believe each case must be considered fully, fairly, and impartially and in accord with the controlling law.  Every case is important and deserves full consideration of the evidence and arguments presented.  The Court of Appeals is an error-correcting court, and it does not make law.  We must decide according to the law as it has been set out by the General Assembly or any controlling cases, particularly from the Supreme Court of North Carolina.  Next, since judges on the Court of Appeals must write opinions explaining the decision on cases presented to the Court based on an appeal of a trial court’s judgment or order, I write opinions clearly explaining the ruling and the rationale in a way that will be helpful for the parties, lawyers, and the public.


NC COURT OF APPEALS JUDGE SEAT 10
Candidate: John M. Tyson                       Political Party: Republican
Campaign Website: https://www.judgejohntyson.com/

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:    Children should have the opportunity to obtain the best education available to them, without regard to the source. Public schools do not have a monopoly over our children’s education. Charter, parochial. and private schools all provide alternative opportunities and choices. Parents have the primary right to the care custody and control of their children. Their goals and desires for their children’s futures must be protected. All children are entitled to a free, sound, and basic education.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:    My wife and I obtained a home school license and certificate and taught 2 of our four children. I taught middle school and high school English prior to law school. Our daughter is teaching her four children in a university/home school model, where they attend class 3 days per week and study at home the other 2 days. The COVID pandemic brought into glaring focus deficiencies and curriculums previously hidden from parents and forced parents to become more involved in their children’s education.

Question:   What beliefs or ideals guide your decisions when you adjudicate a case that comes before you?
Answer:    My judicial philosophy is consistent with the mission & goals of North Carolina’s Judicial Branch, which requires Judges: “To protect and preserve the rights and liberties of all the people, as guaranteed by the Constitutions and laws of the United States and North Carolina, by providing a fair, independent and accessible forum for the just, timely and economical resolution of their legal affairs.”

I believe in and have put into practice judicial accountability and efficiency, which demands a life-long commitment to continuing education, training, and experience. This philosophy has developed over many years of experience, study, and practical application of the law as a practitioner. law professor, and as a trial and appellate judge.


NC COURT OF APPEALS JUDGE SEAT 11
Candidate: Michael J. Stading                 Political Party: Republican
Campaign Website: https://www.michaelstading.com

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:    Drawing from personal experience as a parent over the years, my wife and I appreciate and value the school choice options available to us in North Carolina. We have experience with parochial, public & homeschool options. Currently, we choose to homeschool our children as this option has proven to be a wonderful fit for our family as it is for many North Carolina families. Of particular importance to our family is that the homeschool option has allowed us to individualize education for our kids.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:    As a homeschool dad of 3 children, I believe home education is an excellent way to instruct. As a child’s most important teacher, I believe that all parents should be informed and actively engaged in the education of their children. Home education allows children to work at a pace and academic level that is appropriate for their age and developmental ability. Home education gives parents the opportunity to integrate faith and values into the education of their children & shape their worldview.

Question:   What beliefs or ideals guide your decisions when you adjudicate a case that comes before you?
Answer:    A judge should always take the particularized facts of a specific case and apply the appropriate law to reach a decision. My oath as a sitting judge is to support and maintain the constitutions and laws of the United States and North Carolina. Our federal and state constitutions are enshrined with our values and should be paid the appropriate deference by a court. Accordingly, my judicial philosophy is to adhere to textualism and original intent, that is to attribute the meaning of those carefully chosen words intended at the time of ratification of the constitution or statute. Additionally, I am certainly guided daily by my worldview and faith as a Christian.

 

NC Supreme Court Candidates

NC SUPREME COURT ASSOCIATE JUSTICE SEAT 03
Candidate: Richard Dietz              Political Party: Republican
Campaign Website: https://judgedietz.com

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:     Every child is unique and students and their parents are in the best position to know what approach ensures they can enjoy the privilege of a quality education.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:     I have partnered with homeschool groups on many programs in the courts, including a “moot court” field trip program to the Court of Appeals. Justice Phil Berger, Jr. and I also created the “North Carolina Constitutional Academy,” a series of online lectures about the Bill of Rights available to students on the court website. We created the program during the pandemic but, after feedback from homeschool groups, have plans to revamp and expand it as a permanent offering going forward.

Question:   What beliefs or ideals guide your decisions when you adjudicate a case that comes before you?
Answer:     I am a judicial conservative with a splash of law & economics. In constitutional interpretation, I focus on the key idea that “We the People” ratified our fundamental rights. I reject the notion of judges rewriting what the people ratified as part of so-called living constitutionalism. With laws enacted by the legislature, I am a textualist and follow the language chosen by lawmakers. In areas of common law, where judicial decisions create the law, I focus on how common law can create incentives to keep us safe, encourage people to peacefully resolve disputes, and help our society prosper.


NC SUPREME COURT ASSOCIATE JUSTICE SEAT 05
Candidate: Sam J. Ervin, IV               Political Party: Democrat
Campaign Website: https://judgedietz.com

Question:   What is your opinion of school choice?
Answer:    North Carolina laws concerning school choice are enacted by the legislature. Judges should not decide cases based upon their own policy views. If a judge were to comment upon the merits of a law that the legislature passed and a case involving that law later came before the judge, someone might think that that judge could not fairly and impartially decide that case. As a result, I generally decline to comment upon public policy issues in my campaigns for judicial office.

Question:   What is your view of home education?
Answer:    North Carolina laws concerning home education are enacted by the legislature. Judges should not decide cases based upon their own policy views. If a judge were to comment upon the merits of a law that the legislature passed and a case involving that law later came before the judge, someone might think that that judge could not fairly and impartially decide that case. As a result, I generally decline to comment upon public policy issues in my campaigns for judicial office.

Question:   What beliefs or ideals guide your decisions when you adjudicate a case that comes before you?
Answer:      Courts exist to make sure that people receive the remedies to which they are entitled, that the rights of all people are protected, and that each branch of government, including the courts, remains within proper constitutional bounds. I believe that judges should base their decisions upon the existing law and the facts and that partisan politics has no place in our courtrooms. I also believe that everyone is entitled to be fairly heard, that no one is above the law, and that all persons should be treated equally under the law. Finally, I believe that judges should remember that each case that they decide has real impact on real people and take their responsibilities very seriously for that reason. These principles have guided every decision that I have made at the Supreme Court