by Amy Tjaden News Editor


Family Home School in Bloomfield, New Mexico is a school that is operated under the Bloomfield School District. It is housed in a portable building on the Naaba Ani Elementary School campus.

The school, which has been around for 11 years now, caters to children in kindergarten through fourth grade. It is run by Kathy Harper.

The school has been making headlines among the homeschooling community because the State Education Secretary, Veronica Garcia, has ordered Harper to stop using A Beka because religious curriculums are not allowed in public schools.

 Harper says that she, along with the families that make up her class, chose the curriculum because of its convenience in a multi-age setting. She uses A Beka for math, phonics and language and states that religion is not incorporated into her classroom.

The issue is up in the air right now as the education department decides if Harper is allowed to continue use of the curriculum at least through the end of this school year.

First I have to marvel at the idea of a homeschool class falling under a public school district. I’ve never heard of such a thing. I have a ton of questions just about that. Do they fall under the same time table as the kids attending school in the building right next door? Do they eat lunch in the school? Do they have recess with the kids in the main school? Why is it called Family Home School? The kids are not at home, they are attending a public school.

Aside from all of that, I have to wonder why it took the education secretary 11 years to decide that A Beka wasn’t an appropriate curriculum. It truly sounds like Harper is using A Beka because it is a sound curriculum. I’ve never used it, but I’ve heard from many homeschooling families who love it. I do not think Harper is using the curriculum to push religion. However, she does fall under a public school district and for that reason alone she probably should have known better.

Copyright 2009

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