BCHE group holds annual expo to promote home-school services
by JOYANNA WEBER, Banner Staff Writer
Aug 09, 2011 | 1687 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
GLUTEN-FREE OPTIONS were the topic of discussion between Maggie Fotiadis, left, and Dana Livingston, far right.  Kevin Case listened to the conversation at the BCHE expo Monday amidst displays for art classes and horseback riding. Banner photos, JOYANNA WEBER
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The Bradley County Home Educators organization held its annual expo Monday.

The two-hour event served as a place for parent educators to find out more about resources available to them. The expo featured a variety of services. Music and art lessons, horseback riding, karate and other extracurricular activities were highlighted as well as curriculum options and information from local colleges.

Cheri Cresswell of BCHE said the expo was a “reminder to everyone of what’s out there” for home-schoolers.

Organizations such as the Civil Air Patrol, Girl Scouts of America and the YMCA are open to home-schooled students and presented information at the expo. Caywood School of Karate also organizes classes specifically for home-schooled students.

Kimberly Hall, who has a master’s of education in exceptional education, gave fellow home-school parents information about her writing classes. Hall started home schooling when her oldest son was in fifth grade, and has been teaching writing to home-schoolers for more than six years. Her classes are held every Thursday from 1 to 2 p.m., starting Sept. 1, at Maddie Kertay’s studio. There is a cost to register ($8 to $12, depending on the class size).

While many parents present had been home-schooling for years, for some this year would be their first.

Such was the case for Olga Maslov, who has a kindergartner and a third-grader, and said she decided to home-school this year for a variety of reasons. She said she likes that she will be able to spend more time with her children since she will be with them during the school day.

A table about cello and violin lessons was set up by Lisa Higdon. Bethany Freesen was also offering information about violin lessons, while piano lessons were discussed by Christina Powell. Jackie Shellabarger was also providing information on music lessons.

Cleveland State Community College and Bryan College in Dayton were also present at the event.

Lindsey Wolfe of Bryan College said a third of the students at the college had graduated from a home-school group. She said many home-schoolers become interested in the college because of their connection to SUMMIT ministries. She said the application for a home-schooled student would be the same as for any other student.

Lee Cigliano of CSCC said the application for a home-schooled students is also the same, except students must prove graduation from a home-school umbrella group.

Sports opportunities were also being discussed.

Home-school students are welcome on the Tennessee Christian Preparatory School campus as athletes in middle school football and high school boys’ and girls’ basketball, according to Leslie Bennett, athletic director at the school. The school has allowed home-schooled students on these teams for at least the last five years.