The benefits of home schooling
Luke Sunderland, 13, and his sister, Isabel, 9, are homeschooled by their mother, but they take guitar lessons from a musician outside the home. | J.Geil— For Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 12, 2012 1:29AM
HINSDALE — Joanna Budelman of Hinsdale chose to home school daughter Bonnie because they own a business overseas that requires a lot of travel.
Four years ago, when Bonnie was 9, she was home schooled for six months by one of Budelman’s friends.
After moving to Hinsdale in July 2011, Budelman decided to continue home schooling because the family would be in India and Mexico five months of the school year.
She found a literature-based curriculum that appealed to her and supplemented the curriculum, called Sonlight, with math instruction on compact discs.
Because she expected her daughter to enroll in Hinsdale Middle School for eighth grade, she had Bonnie attend the middle school for the morning advisory period and science class, so she could meet other students.
Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills Elementary District 181 Superintendent Renee Schuster said home schooling provides some flexibility in scheduling and curriculum that public schools cannot provide.
“Successful home schooling requires a great deal of time and effort,” she said.
But for parents who have the time, they think it is worth it.
Luke Sunderland, who will turn 14 on Sept. 16, has been home schooled his entire life by his mother, Debra Sunderland.
Sunderland, who has a bachelor’s degree in political science and international studies, and a minor in French from Miami University of Ohio, likes being able to guide her children’s instruction, because she learns new information with them.
The children have separate lessons for “skill-driven” subjects, such as math and writing, but they study science, history and the humanities together, Sunderland said.
Luke said home schooling allows him to spend more time on the subjects that interest him.
“If I like a certain topic, I could go into studying it further,” Luke said.
“I wanted them to be where it was okay to talk about God, to have a Christmas pageant. I wanted to give them a good foundation,” she said.
Luke, who has studied French since he was 3, has been to France seven times. This year, for the first time, Sunderland hired a retired high school French teacher to help all of them improve their fluency and pronunciation.
“The people who are going to lead the world are going to be home-schooled,” Sunderland said.