Home School Court Report
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Vol. XXIV
No. 1
Cover
January/February
2008

In This Issue

SPECIALFEATURES
REGULARCOLUMNS
ANDTHEREST
Cover Story
International Homeschooling Grows
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by Andrea Longbottom
- disclaimer -
How You Can Help

Just as banding together is important to the preservation and growth of the homeschool movement in America, rallying around our international brothers and sisters is crucial to the success of homeschooling around the world. There are many ways to do this. Perhaps you would like to financially assist families in countries where homeschooling is difficult, mentor a family, or donate books to a homeschool library.

Courtesy of the Pent Family
One-site homeschool help: The Pent Family moved from Florida to South Korea to help equip new homeschoolers with knowledge, skills and support.

The Home School Foundation

The Home School Foundation offers the opportunity to financially support international homeschoolers. HSF and HSLDA are working with over 37 countries where families are striving to homeschool. Significant financial needs accompany the goal of legalizing and growing the homeschool movement in other countries, including financing the translation of materials and helping in-country homeschool organizations work through legal challenges and handle start-up costs.

For more information on HSF’s International Homeschooling Fund, or to make a donation, go to the Foundation’s International Homeschooling Fund webpage.

Family Mission International

Family Mission International (FMI) offers unique mentorship opportunities connecting homeschooling families across the globe. Dedicated to “mobilizing and equipping churches and families to share the message of biblical family, family discipleship, and home education worldwide,” FMI is currently focused on growing the homeschool movement in South Korea. FMI offers a variety of programs your family may want to consider:

  • Adopt-a-Family—Veteran homeschooling families are connected with a new homeschooling family in South Korea. You commit to regular prayer, encouragement, and communication with the family.
  • Family Vision Trips and Homestays—Open your home to a family from South Korea and let them take part in your daily routine of home education, activities, church, etc.
  • Family Mission Teams—Move to South Korea for a short- or long-term stay in which you model the homeschooling lifestyle and mentor new homeschoolers.
Courtesy of the Pent Family
Special friendships can grow out of your family reaching out to connect with international homeschoolers.

In 2006, Timothy and Boni Pent of Orlando, Florida, relocated to South Korea along with seven of their nine children. As a Family Mission Team with Family Mission International, they lead homeschool co-ops for all ages, parent training, and introductory classes on home education, among other activities.

“South Korean parents have taken the challenge to begin to direct their children's education, a move that requires much courage when there is so little material in their own language," says Timothy.

“We have stressed that our desire in home education is to see our children strong in their affection for the Lord, not just in academics, and Korean families seem to be hungry to make this the emphasis in their homes as well,” adds Timothy. “What seems to be most helpful to the Koreans is seeing a whole family model this emphasis in the face of many odds. This seems to have been the catalyst to bring them to believe in its importance to the point of practicing it.”

Parents aren’t the only ones qualified to be mentors-—your children can also pitch in! Through Homeschool Friend, an online English training program started by Family Mission International Founder Brad Voeller, American young people can tutor South Korean homeschooled teens in English.

Forty-five South Korean students are currently enrolled in Homeschool Friend, according to tutor manager Veronica Eby. English tutors are paid and trained, and they conduct half-hour classes online for 16 weeks, teaching as many classes as their schedule permits.

“Many of these Korean homeschooling parents have never seen a successful student who has gone through the home education process,” says Veronica. “For this reason, tutors who have been home educated have something very valuable to offer as they encourage these Korean homeschooling pioneer families.”

“We are looking for dedicated high school students and young professionals who have a heart for the Lord, for missions, and for teaching,” she continues. “We are also opening up English training opportunities to Korean parents, so American parents are welcome to apply for a tutoring position.”

For more information about Homeschool Friend, or to apply as a tutor, please contact Veronica Eby at veronica@homeschoolfriend.com.

Visit FMI’s website at www.FamilyMission.org.

Lifework Forum

Learn more about Sandra Lovelace’s services to homeschooling families around the world—including workshops, seminars, and retreats—and how you can support her, by visiting www.LifeworkForum.org.

On Your Own

If finances are tight, your family can still support international homeschoolers in creative ways:

  • Connect through email, blogs, and phone calls.
  • For Christmas, have your family or homeschool group set aside a portion of your Christmas spending money to send to international homeschoolers.
  • Consider becoming pen pals with another family and involving your children in the project. Maybe your church or a missionary family overseas can point you to families who would like to correspond. This is also a great way to learn about another culture.