In-home schooling popularity slipping across state

We were on our way out the door to see A Christmas Carol a couple days ago, when a reporter from the local paper called to interview my wife for a story following up on a report that said home-schooled kids are scoring high on standardized tests. In the last few years, the number of home-schooled kids in our social circle has grown tremendously, so I was surprised to read that overall the number of home-schooled kids is down in Pennsylvania. The story does mention that the growth of charter schools and cyberschools has impacted the number of home-school kids, because parents who want an alternative to their local school system have more choices besides doing it themselves.

Parents said they use online resources to supplement their knowledge and try to tailor lessons based on the child’s interests.

That’s what Leigh Jerz does with her son Peter and daughter Carolyn. Peter, 11, loves science, and Carolyn, 7, is artistic.

“When they are interested in the subject matter, it is not a lesson to them,” said Jerz, 40, of Greensburg. “They go for hours on things they’re interested in, and it helps them become lifelong learners.” —Daveen Rae Kurutz, Tribune-RevieW

Siblings Peter and Carolyn Jerz of Greensburg at a homeschool class on Friday. A report shows that homeschooled students are scoring higher than public school students on standardized tests. Education experts caution that such statistics don’t flesh out the reasons behind that conclusion.

Sean Stipp/Tribune-Review