Wednesday, February 21, 2007

My Letter to the Editor

February 21, 2007

I keep forgetting to blog about my Letter to the Editor in this past Sunday's paper. For three or four years now, about this time of the year, our local newspaper includes inserts detailing "Progress" in Blount County over the past year. One of these inserts focuses entirely on education, and, as usual, home education was completely left out. So this year, instead of growling about it, I actually took action and wrote a letter--AND SENT IT! I have to admit that, if I think about it, I am slightly anxious that there will be some rebuttal letters in the paper, but so far, so good. So here it is (and the editor actually left everything intact!):

February 12, 2007
Dear Editor:

The “Progress 2007: Education” supplement to The Daily Times (Sat., Feb. 10) failed to include a major segment of Blount County’s students: those who are home educated. Blount Home Education Association (BHEA), the county’s largest homeschooling support group, has a membership of close to 200 families, representing at least 400 students in grades K-12. When combined with families who belong to smaller area support groups or who do not belong to support groups, the accurate number of homeschooled students in Blount County is likely in excess of 500.

It is interesting to note that, while Blount County, Maryville City Schools and Alcoa City Schools are reported as spending $7,140, $8,681 and $9,258 respectively per student annually, most local homeschoolers report spending an average of less than $1000 per student each year. It is truly mind-boggling to imagine what my homeschooling family of three students could do with an annual educational budget of $27,774!

The home education movement continues to grow both locally and nationally as more and more families choose this educational alternative. BHEA is dedicated to supporting and encouraging families who educate their children at home. We offer a variety of activities including weekly enrichment classes, field trips, clubs, and support for parents. Our annual Homeschooling 101 seminar will be held on Saturday, April 14 from 12-2 p.m. at the Blount County Public Library’s Dorothy Herron meeting rooms. We encourage any parents who would like to know more about homeschooling to attend this free informational session. You can find out more about homeschooling locally at or

Sarah Small

So, boy, I feel better after expressing myself in a public forum! Maybe next year they'll actually add home education to the list of worthwhile stories...


Thursday, February 22, 2007 - You GO Girl!!!

Posted by sharonkay (IP Not Logged)

Way to put that growling into action! I applaud your efforts and expertise in the writing arena to stand up for "our way of educating".
Thanks for being a voice for us!

Thursday, February 22, 2007 - sarah ...

Posted by onfire (IP Not Logged)

small you are not!
thanks for speaking up ... that was cool.

Friday, February 23, 2007 - Untitled Comment

Posted by kateyz (IP Not Logged)

Well said!

Friday, February 23, 2007 - Hooray for You!

Posted by MrsPivec (IP Not Logged)

Very well written and informative letter! I often stew for a bit myself before typing out a quick letter to our little, local paper! I loved how you mentioned the budget. Wow. Just imagine the art supplies, the science supplies, the field trips, the manipulatives, the incredible childrens publications (magazines, etc.) that we could have with that budget........ *sigh* Ugh. I really shouldn't even go there! :)

Monday, February 26, 2007 - Untitled Comment

Posted by hsmomof2 (IP Not Logged)

Yes, great letter. Very well-reasoned and stated. No snide or superior attitude which I am sad to say I see far too often when homeschoolers write to the paper.

1 comment:

  1. Good job. You made great points.

    While it would be nice to have money from the government to help with our homeschooling, I don't trust the government to give any money without strings.

    For now I'll just wistfully think about the money, and fight to keep the government completely out of homeschooling.


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