Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Grace Association Offers Support to Homeschool Families

A group of high school students attended the Sallisaw City Commission last week, to see local government at work. But this group was a bit different from others. This group of students, the student council for the Grace Homeschool Association of Sallisaw, are all homeschooled students. The group’s web site explains, “GRACE is a homeschool support group for families in Sallisaw and the surrounding areas.” The association is a Christian-based homeschool group that strives to provide enrichment activities and support to homeschool families in the area, and services families in the Sallisaw area and surrounding counties. The web site adds, “We are a private group organized of like-minded Christian families that meet regularly for play dates, field trips, co-op and other family fun events. Our goal is to support one another on this wonderful journey.”

Jacque Cialone, who lives north of Vian, where she homeschools one of her two children, is president of the association. She said that as homeschooling becomes more popular and the numbers of homeschooled students increases, many of those families needed the support. Not only does the association plan and hold events and activities for the homeschooled student, it also helps identify curriculum. “We can find curriculum we believe in being taught and tailored for our kids,” Cialone said. She explained the association can and has provided additional curriculum in addition to the standard three Rs. Accomplished parents may be and have been called up on to teach classes on exercise, theater, agriculture, essay writing, career guiding and even Lego classes. The curriculum includes religious and faith studies and prayer.

Extracurricular activities include field trips to fire stations, when elementary students visited the Sallisaw Fire Department, in the photo above, and the KXMX radio station, and they have visited zoos, aquariums, Sequoyah’s Home and other area attractions. Their extra-curricular activities also include a yearbook and their own 4-H Club. The association participated in the Sallisaw Christmas Parade last year, and won first in their class. Cialone said the association is also considering offering a prom in the future for students age 14 and up, and holding graduation classes. In this way homeschooled students are also able to socialize, which is one of the criticisms of home schooling; that is that students miss out on interaction with other students. That’s not true anymore, Cialone explained. She said the moms also have a coop where they meet to discuss and plan these activities, along with play dates and moms’ night out.

The moms who teach additional classes to the students include English and biology teachers, she pointed out. Cialone said the support group eases some of the concern about teaching higher classes such as high school math and English. Although the homeschool curriculums can be found on the internet, it helps to have the support group, which includes college teachers.

“It was very important to me to create that support group,” Cialone said. The students and moms have been offered various local churches for meeting places for the larger meetings, for which she is grateful.

Cialone is hoping to attend the Oklahoma Christian Home Educators' Consociation conventions on April 24 and 25 in Tulsa and on May 1 and 2 in Oklahoma City. OCHEC is a statewide organization that provides support to homeschooling families. "They focus on support and answering our questions," Cialone pointed out.

So far the Grace Homeschool Association of Sallisaw has 25 families as members, and supports the homeschooling of 64 children. The association is nearing its first anniversary, having been established on June 2, 2014.

More information about the Grace Homeschool Association of Sallisaw is available on their web site, on their Facebook page, or by emailing Cialone at gracesallisaw@gmail.com.

Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

For more news stories stay tuned to The MIX 105.1 or visit www.kxmx.com

      Green Leaf Properties

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.