Betsy and Jason Homan want to apply the experience they've gained from homeschooling their own children for the past year to help more students. To do that, the Lafayette, Louisiana couple are planning to open a private school so they can offer the same kind of individualized learning environment to children of their neighbors and friends. But be sure to also consider some downsides of homeschooling too before committing to it.
According to Marsha Sills of The Advocate, HomanSchooling hopes to attract students from preschool through 8th grade, who will be enrolled in the school – which already has its home on the West University Avenue – on either full-time or part-time basis. The school has already attracted 10 students, not including Homans' own three kids aged 3, 5 and 7.
Last year, the couple took their children out of a small, private school in St. Landry Parish to participate in a co-op for home-schooled families where parents — like Jason — took turns teaching students. Her husband saw firsthand the academic progress of their own children, Betsy Homan said.
"He was able to see hands-on how it was working," she said.
The couple decided it was time to expand their passion for teaching by opening their own school.
Chiefly, Betsy and Jason Homan hope to help families exactly like theirs – parents who are attracted by the potential homeschooling offers, but don't have the expertise in tougher subjects such as mathematics. In addition, the school will provide socialization opportunities that homeschooled kids sometimes lack.
It's sometimes hard to believe how quickly Homans' idea went from nothing but a dream to reality. Last week, Homans held their first school open house, and the project has been attracting donations from neighbors and friends who have offered the school desks, chairs and even bookshelves to outfit the classroom.
"There's a lot of love going on," Betsy Homan said.
The school focuses on individualized instruction in small group settings — total enrollment in its day program is capped at 30 students — with a focus on learning through discovery and play, she said.
A teacher with certifications in elementary education and special education, Betsy Homan spent the past 12 years working in private and public schools, most recently in Lafayette Parish. She'll serve as the students' primary academic teacher.
Jason Homan, a musician and music teacher, and Sheila Courville, a teaching assistant, fill out the full-time staff — while certified specialists and other teachers will help the staff with lessons throughout the week.
Some lessons will also be taught by guests.