Nan Wallace Memoir
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University of Illinois at Springfield Norris L Brookens Library Archives/Special Collections Nan Wallace Memoir W155. Wallace, Nan b. 1949 Interview and memoir 1 tape, 67 mins., 21 pp. HOME SCHOOLING PROJECT Wallace, mother of three children, discusses home schooling, justifications, legal responsibilities, a typical day of home schooling, and the benefits of a home school support group. Interview by Linda Moore, 1990 OPEN See collateral file Archives/Special Collections LIB 144 University of Illinois at Springfield One University Plaza, MS BRK 140 Springfield IL 62703-5407 © 1990, University of Illinois Board of Trustees Preface '!his manuscript is the product of a series of tape-recorded interviews on hane schoolinj con::lucted by Lima M:lore for the Oral HistoeyOffice, 5an;Jana1 state university in the SUl'lU'I'Ier of 1990. She also transcribed the tapes an:i edited the transcripts. Nan Wallace was born in WOCXlstock, Illinois on November 10, 1949. She an:i husbarxi, larry, reside in Harrist.oo;,m, Illinois an:i have three children: Greg, Doug an:i Jill. 'Ibis was their first year home schoolil:g, in which they covered grades five, six an:i eight. In her memoirs of her first year of hare schooling, Nan recalls how' she an:i larry came to the decision to home school when the children's traditional school closed an:i the reasons that led them to take this step. She discusses the advantages of the curricultnn that she uses, the 1~responsibilities of hare schooling, an:i the benefits of belongl.l'g to a heme school support group. She closes with an encouragement to each family to investigate heme schooling for themselves. 'Ihe years since the early 1970's have seen a slow but steady growth in the number of hane-schooled students despite the availability of public schols an:i the growth in the number of private schools. Exact numbers of students are difficult to obtain, but estimates run as high as a quarter of a million students who are tooay being taught in the hane. PUblic school educators an:i their organizations have taken stands against hane schoolin;J an:i generally regard it with suspicion.Iega1 requirements vary fran state-to-state an:i courts in various areas detennine its legality. Reasons for choosii:g heme schooling over the traditional classroan setting vary greatly fran family to family. 'Ihe one basic belief all share is the desire of parents to be more deeply involved in the education an:i develcpnent. of their children. Lima Moore was born in Warrensbw:g, Missouri an:i grew up in Decatur, Illinois. She graduated from Millikin university in Decatur an:i has taught SOCial studies at various levels in Decatur PUblic SChools. She is a graduate student in the history deparbnent of 8anJamOn state university. Lima an:i husbarrl, Jack, have three sons. Readers of the oral history memoir should bear in :mini that it is a transcript of the sp:>ken word, ani that the interviewer, narrator and editor sc:ught to presm:ve the informal, conversational style that is inherent in such historical sources. San;;JamJn state university is not responsible for the factual accuracy of the memoir, nor for views expressed therein; these are for the reader to judge. '1he manuscript may be read, quoted an:i cited freely. It may not be reproduced in whole or in part by any means, electronic or mechanical,witllalt ~ionin writing fran the Oral Histoey Office, Sangam::m state Ul'liversity, Springfield, Illinois 62794-9243. Table of COntents 'lhe Family and the Decision Towams Hane SChooling • 1 0 OJ;:position • 2 0 Choosirg <llristian Libeey Academy. 4 0 Obligations and legal Responsibilities • 6 0 SUpport Groups and Field Trips • 8 0 SOlvi.ng the Problem of SOCial Balance. .10 Spelli.ng carpatition • .11 Semple IBy • .12 • Reflection and I..ook.in;J Ahead • .15 Nan Wallace, JUne 27, 1990, Harristatm, Illinois. Li.rDa Moore, Int:el:viewer. Q: Nan, I want you to start just by tellin:J us about your family, your kids, and h.ow old they are. A: My husbani's name is Larry, trr:f name is Nan, our last name is Wallace. We have three children, Greg, the oldest, Doug and then Jill. Am. presently they are fourteen, twelve, and ten-years-old. Q: 'Ihe subject of our inteJ:view is hane schoolin:J. I was wonderirgif you could tell US h.ow you got involved in home schooling1 hcJw you became interested in it. A: over the years -we had just fran afar, seen or read about, I didn't knc:M anybody personally, but I had heard speakers like Dr. James Dc:i::ISon on his program talk about bane schooling and I had seen a book sc:mewhere, too, I believe. It's been a while back. And so it was very superficial our exposure to home schooling. As you kr'lc:M', our children atten.ied a Cl'lristian school, Fast Park Baptist Academy, and it came to the position where the school would close and so then we had to make a decision about what to do with our children, what kind of an education we wanted for them. we still felt that they need to see evetything in life fran God's perspective. 'lherefore, we would not rule rut Olristian education. we would rule out p.lblic school education. we think all subjects, every1:.h.in;J should cane fran God's point of view and so we looked at different Olristian schools. Mearlfr.lhil.e we had met sane people personally 'Who home schooled. we talked to them and we prayed about it and the lord just seemed to laythe path rut clearly, and that's the direction we took. It was a bigdecision. Q: I'm sure it was. Hc::IW' did the kids feel about it? A: well, all durin:J the tiJne -we were teying to decide which would have been, well you knc::M the time ran;re, when Mr. Moore left the school [East Park Baptist Academy] and eveeything1 S0 that would be about Februaey, March, April, I think we finally decided in April,like 'blo years ago, whenever it was. we did all those things. we visited sc:ane other <llristian schools. We did sane reading and the frien:ls that we have seen them hane school and they had sane books on hane sdloolin:J. so, we're right in the middle of it ard we read nc:M, right, to fini rut mre infonnation specifically and we just weren't satisfied with the school choices that we had totally. We may not have been real objective at the time, it was East Park. You kn<:M, youIre stuck in yoL1r ways1 if thatIS what youIre used to thatIS what you look for and we didn't see that, of course. So that was all ruled . out and the haDe schoolirg was the other qti.on that we had, the onlygood one at the time. I was really scared., of course, because I would be the main teacher, l:ut just slCMly after readirg the l:x:Joks, and we made the decision that that was what we were goin:J to do and onoe we got the books, they came in like in May or sanething and I looked them over. Of course I was scared. but each little new thin;;J that you do, you feel ll'Ore oanfortable. At least I did, you know. Each little bit kim of took away a few of the anxieties. '!here just didn't seem to be any other cptions. Q: Did you feel qualified to be teacher? A: No, definitely not. I don't know. ]);) you ever feel qualified? I donIt knc:Jwo Q: What grade levels are we talking about when your kids started? A: Okay. When they started which was just this last year of school would have been fifth, sixth and eighth grades. Q: So, we're not talking about kindeJ:garten., first grade. (laughter) A: No, no. sane people that I would talk to would say, "Oh, the older grades. What are you goin:J to do?" I knew that that was different, l:ut also even if it had been the kin:lergarten or first grade, if we had started earlier with our children, there's thetea.ch:in:J of readirg and writin:] which I didn't do and phonics and I don't believe that I had phonics in school. I've never been for sure about that. I thought I didn't and my m:m said I did, but I don't remember any of the rules. So I'd have to go back and do that ani I think that would have been hard, too, so I think either way it would have been hard. Of course the hardness of first grade, that partwould have been easy, l:ut it's t:hin:Js like writing, I would have to leam methods myself which I don•t remember but I could always learn them as you go alon;;r. we were sayirg, did I see it as bein:J hard with the older kids? Yes, the hardness of the subjects did scare me a little but I did pretty well in school. Q: Did you go to college? A: Yes, I had two years of college, but I don't know if that qualifies you for anything0 (laughter) some people could go four years and still not know anything. It was just liberal art. 'Ihe first two years aren•t much oriented any way tawaJ:ds a certain goal or anything, ani I didn't have one. '!hat's why I didn't finish, I didn't have a goal in college. Q: Did you encounter people that said that you were crazy for considerirg this? A: Not really. Not any body that was extremely vocal about it. Is that what you mean, sanebody that said, "Oh that's ridiculous''? No, no, I really didn't. EveJ:ybody had a lot of questions, which I think would be normal because that's what I did, "Okay, what do you do and how do you do it?" you know. same family members weren't too crazy 3 about it. I think they feel like that we need to make our own decision for our own family so I'm thankful for that that they didn't tllrow big fits or anythin;J. My parents are both public school teachers and they've never said anyt:hin;J negative. 'lh.ey've not been real positive about it, but I can '1ll'Derstard that. Also they're not Qlristians. I think they can't see the need that I..any and I feel of a Qlristian education, that our children should be taught fran :roomin;J to evenin;J about God with eveeything in the world, the laws that He made ~in science, those cx:me frcm God not man. My ~have never interfered in our lives and I just don't feel like they're c:razyabout it. My nan k:ini of said sanet:hin;J about same other families,they're Qlristian families, too, and I think Irrf parents associate us with them. well, their kids are in public school and she said sanethin;J to me once. She said, like it wasn't, it was just kind of like, "'!hey're in p.lblic school11 kind of like that, that's all there was to it and I just said ••. Q: Implyin; that you should be [in public schools]? A: Yes, so were they makin:.J a WI'Cl'r:J decision or were we making a WJ:"'n3' decision? I just said, ''well, we feel like this is best for our family." I don't kn<::M if I harrll.ed it real well, but I think that as they've seen our kids that~' so far they've only seen one year of course. I'm not full of exper1ences but I think that they think maybeit's okay. Q: Have they watched you then this year? A: Yes, and I don't know they're not convinced that it's excellent for them, but they think maybe it's all right. 'lhat will be a question for I..any and I, too, about quality if we continue every year clear~high school. What degree of quality of education do we give our Children, and presently we've decided just to go one year at a time and watch and look and see the best we can. Q: So that if you fi.n:i one year difficult, you would serd them to a Clristian school, when you get up into eleventh and twelfth grade? A: 'Itlat's a real hard question at this point. First of all, I had that question last year with Greg. we thought about keepin:J the two younger ones at hcane, letting Greg go on, our oldest, maybe DCS (Decatur Qlrisitian SChool) or sanet:hin;J and then we said we'd tJ:y it for one year and we did. He did well, but he enjoys school. I think that's a real plus for me, as a teacher, if he enjoys school. Ani that makes it so lDllCh easier for me to help hiln through th.in:Js prettyquick. 'Ibis year it was the same k:ini of t::hin] for this next fall. Be~ his freshman year, you know, high school courses are more detailed, more deep, will I be able to handle it? so, we kini of made about the same decision. We'll see hew it goes. Q: 'lhat makes sense. Tell me about your curriculum that you use. You•ve mentioned gettin; books in the mall. What curriculum did youfinally settle upon? A: we had seen a friern•s curriculum ani it's through a school like an umbrella for us called Olristian Liberty Academy. '!hey are based in Arl~Heights, Illinois. We had seen that ani I had looked at sane other things a little but not near as ItlllCh. as this one. Of course it was easier to go with sanethi.ng you had seen, an:i what we liked about it was that we were UI'Xier a school. So we're responsible to them ani they keep the records for our children. '!hey have grades and they actually get report cards. Q: Fran them? A: Fran them. Of course it's not near the same t:bnirg an:i everyt:hin;J. You have to get so nuch paper work in am tests in and at a certain point ani then that grade will cane out like another month after that. I like the security of that as a parent and as the legalclimate of things in home schooli.n;J right now, just to be above board. As a Olristian I want to be above board, too, always bei.n;J without question now of any authority cc:anin;;J in an:i sayirq that we're not t.aJdn3" care of our children prcp:::rl¥ am of course we are. JUst beingUI'Xier a school system is hc7tl the tJni.ted states is. We have a system where we setxl our children through school we like for them all to achieve a certain point like high school graduation. Because of that I think it's just kim of a little favor for us to have our kids un:ier the other school1 Cl'lristian Liberty Academyo Q: Did you have to apply in a sense? A: Yes, yes. I know' what you mean by apply, like register. Q: 'Ib use their material? A: We registered with them like you would at any school ani we pay tuition ani then that tuition covers all the mnbrella thing of the school ani the records ani the books, too, all cane under it. '!heir fee is very reasonable. I would say they nm things bare bones like East Park did. Q: Is it oarparable to East Park's tuition? A: It's a lot less. But then we•re not there every day an:i we're not paying a teacher, so I'm sure that's all involved in that. Q: SO they mailed you the books and mail you the lesson plans? A: By lesson plans not a daily lesson plan. Q: 'Ihat was up to you? A: Yes, to me as the teacher. we get instructions on what theyshould ac:xx:rnplish in this course for the year ani they aame graded. Each child is sent one year's curriculum in all the different subjects ani then what I do is go through ani read what they require, ~Christian Liberty Academy] an:1 tey to look aver the book an:1 see what ~t is that we need to do for a whole year, so I can Jd.n:i of set it up 5 as far as quantity for each day, or if there's sanet:hinq special you want to do like a project with it. Q: Did they grade the tests? A: Yes, what they do is they grade the tests. '!he plan that we're under, ~have different t:hin:Js at Olristian L:i1Jerty Academy. '!heyhave one like I've been explai.nirg, totally un:ler their administration you knc:M, ani they keep the records of the grades. You can also justorder curriculum from them and then they wouldn•t keep the records. sane families don't want the records. So that's one that we chose. Q: So they have those two plans? A: '!his particular school does, Olristian Liberty Academy, an:l like on the family plan, recol.'d keepin;J, everythin:J is up to you. You wc:W.d keep very extensive records at heme, I think. You know like maybe atterrlance ani stuff just to make sure • • • Q: Is that done for grades what, pre-Jdn:1ergarten, they start at kinieJ:garten ani go all the way thrc:ugh twe1ve? A: Yes, they have, I know' they have Jdn:iergart.e:n, seems like theyhave sanet:hi.ng like pre-kindel:garten, I'm not sure, we didn't look at that. At least Jdn:iergart.e:n through twelve. 'Ihey're a pzetty bigschool as far as hane schoolin;J goes. 'Ihey have their own school on canpJS fran what I've read BirfW8.Y· we haven't ever been there but it's about three hl..mjred., so it's like East Park would have been. It's not a real huge <llristian school or anyth:inq but they have like 20,000 students in the hane schoolin;J. A lot of missionaries use them, too, their curriculum and they buy it and take it with them. 'Ihey've done it since 1970, I think. Q: Are there other people in the Decatur area that use them? Have you had contact with anyone? A: Yes, this one family that I know' is again next fall ani there's one family that did this year but I'm not sure whether they will next year or not. I haven't seen them this surmner, so I don't know' what they've decided to do. 'lhere are a lot of other hane school families with man as the teacher for the IOOSt part. Is that what you•ve found. that do tl1i.n:Js differently0 Q: '!hat's what I'm fin::tin;;r out. It varies so much. A: Yes. it does. Q: But one of the basic~ I have fourrl is that it's all set up when you researched them? A: Yes. An:i I think that cut of a hllrm"ed families probably ninety-eight man is at least the main teacher. A lot of dads like will do like one course or one subject and help out. I..arry hasn't really done a whole lot yet but he's been real encouragin:.J to me, you know. (laughter) He'll say, "How's the kids doing?" and then he'll 6 talk to the kids ani ''What did you do in that subject today?" just a few minutes he111 take to do it whatever. '!hat made me feel better, but he hasn•t taken over like a whole subject. I don•t kn.ow whether he will or not. He loves histo:z:y. Q: '!hat would be a good one. A: Yes, ani I wouldn't mind givin:J it up. It's not really myfavorite. (laughter) Q: let's see, what did you have to do as far as the schools in Decatur? Did you have an obligation to what, District #61 or Dr. COOprider? A: We're in Niantic-Harristc:Mn school district, but Dr. COOprider would be Macon County. Isgally, we don't have any obligation to him at all. His office has suggestions of what sane things that they'dlike to see if you're home sch.oolin:J. 'lhey make suggestions as far as how many hours a day, I was goin:J to say what subjects, but legally we are required on subjects by the state of Illinois, but not Dr. COOprider's office. Q: Do you report to saneone? A: No. In the state of Illinois it's really good climate for home sch.oolers. Of OCJUrSe, there could be sane who might abuse it, but we don't intend doin; that. As a Christian we always want to be above hoard. In the state of Illinois, you have to have En:Jlish taught in ~lish, ani you have to have the subjects of Erx]lish, math, histo:z:y, scl.ence. ~!here's four required subjects by law in the state of Illinois. 'lhose are requirements of every student, just that it be taught in E:D;rlish an:1 ccver those and that's what covered, you k:ncM. Q: Did you seek any kin:i of legal oounsel to make sure that you were dojn; a~to the state? A: No, an:1 we wanted. to make sure. We didn't go to a lawyer or anythj.rq, but through our home school support group an::i our reading we check out am see what is required. 'l1'lrcu3h the home school support group we had a paralegal person cane in and, he is well researched on the laws of Illinois, an::i [say] what we would be required to do. He came an:i spoke at our support group, september [or] October, ani we were glad to have that right away. As home sch.oolers what we've tried. to do in our family, just I..ar:cy an::i I, is to always be above boani,which I already said that, to not look like we're doin;J anythj.rq wrongwhatsoever0 Q: Do you think there ought to be DDre, I don't want to say control,1t10re accountability. I'm sure with this kin:i of easy, lack of surveilanoe, I guess is what I'm sayin;, there ImJSt be people who slip through. I don't want to obligate you to say, but you are so conscious about dojn; things right, that I'm sure there must be some people who are do~ things wrong. I was just wonderi.rg, do you think there should be a ll.ttle bit 1t10re control, maybe, or accountability,where you'd have to tum in sonething at least show what you're doin;? or do you like this? I'm not p..rt:ting you on the spot, but I know how people are. A: I'm sure no matter what laws are made there's going to he somebodywho might abuse them. But I can only speak for our family am as the law is right l'lOW it gives the parent the freedcan to decide for himself, like decidirq for a Christian school instead of a publicschool. We're decicii.rq we're teachi.n; at bane instead of in a school situation, but they're still bein;J taught. Q: Are you aware of a state where there1s a problem? A: Yes, but if I would speak on it it would he just from what I've been :read.in:J. In Iowa and in Michigan right l"11W just from the magazine. We get a home school magazine right now and it tries to keep us up to date, what tl1i.rqs are like, and maybe things that -we need to know about. Q: so tl1i.rqs vary? A: Yes, from state to state. In Iowa right l'lOW the parents are required, not the parents but I'm saying the teacher has to be a certified teacher, within the state ani like I say, Iowa for sure. '!here might he two other states. Not a whole lot, but I can see as a parent that that would make it really hard. SUppose you onlygraduated fran high school ani this is a decision you wanted to do. seems to me that's a parents' decision. cane back to Illinois as far as nDre acoomrt:ability. Fran what I know, I don't think that youshould make laws for the exception. '!he laws of a nation Should be made as a whole ani not laws for the, what is the teJ:m, for the exception? I know, the words they use, you don't make laws for hard cases. I know" that's a disagreement ana:g politicians (laughter) so here it is in bane schooling, too. I like how it is in Illinois. Ithink that God gave us our children ani we are responsible for them to Him, ani I don't think necessarily that public school is bad, youknow, because there are many families that couldn•t do what we're doirg. '!bey might not have the finances, they might not have a nan that can he hame, maybe she needs to he away fran the bane during the day ani maybe she wouldn•t feel that she could he the best teacher. Right l'lOW I feel canfortable beiD;1 Jltj' children's teacher but there may o:::me a point where I'm nat. '!here definitely will, I know there will, sane point because I don't know" everythirg. I'm nat sane superintelligent person so there's got to he subjects where saneone is more qualified in one area. As Christians we think their character is veryinq)ortant, too. '!here's always goirg to he a balance in our lives,whlch is nDre i:nportant? What the balance is? Not which is toore inqJortant [but] what the balance is at that point. You want them to have a good education, but their character and our heine and our home life is .ing;:mtant, too. SO there has to be a balance there. Firxlingit, I think that's what each family has to do, and that's hard. To make a law, I don't like that idea. Q: Had you worked before? Had you worked outside the hane? A: Not since -we had our oldest. I "WOrked in a bank as a teller when we were first married, three or four years, and I was heme about a year before we had Greq. Q: Because your point is good that a lot of women, D:lBt women work outside the heme. 'Ihis is just out of their scope unless they give upthat extra paycheck. A lot of us would find it very difficult to do. A: For us we're very aanfortable in hew we live and I don't think we need a lot of tllin}s, material tllinJs. I think that canes into the choice, too. You can't tell sc::meb::dy else what to do, those choices you make yourselves. Q: Tell me about your support group. A: Okay, the hane school support group. I love it. It hel:ps us a lot especially the very first year. If I ever talk to hane school [people] the very first year you need those other people. Q: Are there many people in it? A: Yes, there's probably thirty-five families, I think. we counted them up like at Olrist:mas, February, Valentine's Day we were thi.nki.rgof hew many kids could be at the party. Harne school meets once a m::mth, but we take off in the summer, so you know', you're talking trine meetings a year during" school. Next year it might not even be every m::mth, it might be every other m:>nth. with an in-between month an activity for the whole family. So it's really neat, I think so. Even just in the year I've been in it -we've seen the heme school suupport group tackle sane new t:hirgs. Like we had a person from WILL [PBS rrv station] cane and share with us the instructional rrJ plan and as a home school support group we can subscribe to it as if we were a school buildin:J and then we would have one flat fee. Fach familywould then have the right for taping" and using". I'm not sure even what the decision was made. we're supposed to know by fall about that. I haven't heard anythf.n:J. we've done that and we have a lot of the activities like field tri:ps for the kids. Iast fall there was two of them that were really neat. '!here was more than that rut two I'm thi.nki.rg of we were able to go to Rock spring". '!hey're done like in grade groups because in Decatur right new the hane schoolers in highschool ~there's about four kids. 'Ihere's not a lot in the high school, ~t's really fran sixth grade on dc7.rm, it's the largest number of children who are hane schooling" in their families. Q: can you think of a number, hew many kids are we talking about? A: I'll have to look that up. 'We'll do that pretty soon. Those would crlly be the ones that are involved in the hane school support group. '!here are sane, I •ve heard people say, but I've never met anybody that's not in the hane school support group that home schools,I haven't met anybody. But there are a few other families, too. But I know that it was around thirty-five families, because we got a new directory. I'm sure of that, but as far as the number of children right now I'd have to look that up. [fifty-six children] Q: I'm just curious how many kids. How lcn;J has that hane school support group been arourrl? A: For about five years. I'm sure that's correct. sanebody mentioned that one time when we were askin;J ani nobody knew a date,but for about five years. Q: Was it started by parents who were heine sch.oolin;t? A: Yes, ani they felt the need to be with other parents that were hane schoolirg. Yes, I can say five years because one of the ladies who was in the first group, her daughter's in fifth grade or fourth grade, one of those, so I kr'1c7tl it's around that, about five years. I started to say about the field trips, too, I got sidetracked, it wasn't you. (laughter) I talk a lot. If you want anyt:llirg in there • 0 • Q: Okay, I'11 just holler. A: But like on a field trip, I don't think they [fonnal schools] had as much time for field trips as we do because we can adjust our schedule, ani they had them at the school when there was a school situation, once, twice a year. '!here's enough there that we can pickani choose ani we try to go once a month m a field trip if we can. Of COIJrse we don't hit every month, it would be too hard to schedule,but like the one to Rock Springs [Envirorntmrt:al. center] it was like fourth to sixth grades. so we went m that. '!here's a couple of eighth graders went, too. Greg went. Like they had one m vertebrates ani invertebrates ani they had a little film. I didn't even knc:M they had it, you k:nc:M, such a thirg at Rock Springs. '!he naturalist talked to them ani ani then they went on a hike. 'Ihe kids had never done that before ani I don1t knc:M if they had them yearsbefore or not. So they did vertebrates ani invertebrates ani went on a hike and found same vertebrates ani invertebrates and showed her [the naturalist], tried to identify them which they didn't get real specific. so I th.a.lght that was really neat. '!hen they did another one at Rock Sprilgs in the fall, too, ani it was on the Prairie Ha:nestead, the hanestead fann ani they make butter ani saw somebody saw the logs with the crosscut saw. Enjoyed that part of it because I went with them ani I got in m it, too. '!hat's been a fun part of home schooling is-doing those t:h:in;Js with the kids othel:wise I wouldn1t be doing those t:h:in;Js with them ani I wouldn1t see them leamirg ani doin:J it. '!hat's a real neat thin:]. I enjoy that. Q: Is that kin:i of a side line that1s developed because of hane schoolirg, bein:J with your kids? A: I'm definitely with them DDre, DDre hours in the day, ani I'm specifically with them doin;J leamirg activities, leamirg t:h:in;Js.All these years I've not enjoyed that ani I could have. '!hey had an excellent school aeyway. (laughter) But I knew they did. I can see it in their lives l'lOW that they had an excellent school they went to before, but I missed that part of it. I don't 1mow' that that1 s a necessity of life, but it's a blessirg. Q: Do the kids miss it? A: Do they miss school? 5c:ane, yes, they do. Q: We're not talking about kids that are, you krlow, you're just starting ard they haven't known it yet. Your kids went to school. A: we started on that a while ago, too (laughter). Greg, 'We talked to (him] when 'We were teyirg to make the decision, we talked to the kids about it too. "But l1C7.rl -we aren't decid.i.rg yet. We're going to make the decision b.rt 'We wonder heM you would feel about hane schooling." Ani they all three didn't react negatively. 'lhey said,''Well, that might be kini of fun." Ki.rXl of think like it's an adven'blre, I think that's heM they looked at it. Something different,unique here, let's see what this is like, kini of that thought. Greg, being the oldest, he would have been goirg into the eighth grade ani 'We wordered about being with peers all day every day which they'reaocustaned to ani we talked to them about that specifically. ''Would you reall¥ miss the other kids?" Well, there weren't that many kids left in eJ.ghth grade so that kini of made it easier for him, I think,because already even before school [East Park Baptist Academy] was closin; the kids were sane of them going to public school. so there was Greg' ani maybe one or two others, not too many left in his grade.Plus he's not a super social person., he's not an introvert, but he's not an extrovert either. He's 11'0re oontent with just a few friends. HeIS not a person to have twenty friems that heIS best friems With. I think it made it easier on him. Ani Il:Juq, he's missed some, and Jill maybe the nw:::st. She's the younger but I think she's more social of the three and she'll say, lmless it's bein; a girl, I don't knc:M if that's her grade, too, or not, I don't :k:now". Because she'll say, "I miss playirq with my friends sane." But this year we've consciouslytried to let her have sane of her friems over fran Fast Park. Well, you knc.w, any frienis, friems she was pretty close to already and just made an effort in that direction. Q: I've gotten the S\lR)Ort group contributes to gettin:J the kids toqether'? A: Yes, in hane schoolin;J that's one thi.n:j people ask about and yet I think it's good for them to have sane time with their peers. I don't krlow that it needs to be eight hCRJrS every day, but I think it is goodfor them to be with their peers sane ani of course our children have SUtXJay School and church which we're vecy much involved in ani there's peers there. But in the hane school SlgX)rt group the field trips and we have activity days, too, so there are definitely times when we let the kids be together an:1 then that kini of took care of sane of the needs that Jill especially had, too. She made some new friems already this year an:1 they're hane schooled, too, and at least they'realike, you know, you're not different. so that's ~they have in CC1111D'l. 'Ihe ~rtgroup has been great in all those areas. Q: Does the support group have a name? Is this Greenhouse? A: It's called Greenhouse Hane EdUcators is the full name. Q: NOW' I saw your name in the paper about the spelling [that] was how I first came to :know' that ya1 were involved in hane schooling. A: '!bat's one th.ing that we started just this year in Gl:eenhouse. Greg wanted to do it, he wanted to be in it again because he had done reasonably well klefore and he wanted to try again :before he was past eighth grade because that•s the oldest ~· When we were t.a.1.kin;J to him, one th.in; he said I would really llll.SS about school would be l:laske:t:l::lal and then the other one that he would miss would be the spellin;;J bee. He said that's sc:methirJ;J he'd like to do, too. So I just asked the people we were get:ting' to :know' at hane school, what if we could do that, 'W!.':niering if they were going to miss and they said, ''No, why don't -we check into that." It was really nice. we called or. COOprider's office because the spelling bee basically comes out of there and he said, "sure. I don't see Why ya1 can't participate." I en:ied up taJ.ki:nq to him one day just by accident because I dialed his IlUI1Iber instead of his secre:taxy's ar:d he said, ''Well, -we want the kids to be able to learn an::l do well. '!hat• s the purpose. So why shculdn't they be able to?" I was pleased that he would say that. 'lheJ:e was no hesitancy and they put us in as a school, b.tt of course really we're all a school individually. But the S1JI:.POI't group went in as a school and they let us have three participants just like any other school district at the county level. Q: So ya1 had your own spell dawn? A: we had our own spell down ar:d anybody who wanted to participate through eighth grade which is the grades that are allc:Med in it could and this was the first year. we had eight total. I really think there•11 be :more next year. I think sane of the kids saw it and thought that was fun. '!bat was an activity -we had for them, too. They practiced together to get ready for the spelling bee ar:d that gave them an opporb.mity to get together again. I think it's good for their oa.uposure to be klefore other people, the kids that wanted to do it, and 'WB had a spell dam in front of the parents at one of our ~~just like it was the real, it was just a different kim [of spell dam], ya1 :know'. In hane schooling ya1 may do evarythinq but it's usually done a different way then if ya1 were involved in a school situation. '!bat's what I found artjWay, one year's experience so far any problem we cane up against there's a solution, and that may not be the same t:h.irg but the pnSblem is eliminated. Like having sane time with sana kids, field trips an::l activities. As far as like gym class, they had swilmning" lessons this spring. Q: 'lhrough the support gJ:OUp? A: Yes, an::l we were thankful for that, too, they took us as a school again. '!hat's the YWCA and they gave us the school rate, you :know', which is the cheaper rate for the swiJamir:g classes an::l our kids we:re able to go. on our cwn w wouldn't have been able to afford it, our family, ya1 kr.law. It just seems like so far arrJW8.Y, any problems we cane up against has been minor in that it's solveable in sane way. As far as our society goes it may not be the way that -we're all aC'lCI.lS'taned to. 'lhe way I grew up with school bei.rg with kids there, 12 that1s where your gym class was and that1s where your friems all were now that's different. Q: You ever have your kids say that "OUr teacher always did this"? A: (laughter) A couple of times, yes, but I knew that might came, too, and I had tried to have the right attitude about it and it wasn't a bad situation. I said, "Oh, really?" Ani a couple of times we used the idea.. Like Miss M:x>re, Jill just had her last year, ''Miss Moore did it this wayI Man. II 11'1ha.tIS a goc:d idea. letIS do thatI II yoll know'. Ani then sanetimes, it was just sanething else, it doesn't cane to my mini right now but that's fine. "I'm your teacher now." Maybe one time I might have said that. It wasn't a big problem. It probably depen:ls on the children1s 1:en'perament and mine at the time. Q: Did Liberty [Chcistian Liberty Academy] prepare you at all for beirq a teacher? Did they serrl you sane kin:1 of guide or anytl'1iig? A: Not as beirq an educator, teadli.rq, but net:hod.ology, yes. A book. '!hey have ideas on heM to set up hane school, technique, ways to set up your day, heM to han:lle the discipline with the different kids. I'm not sure. Hc7..tl are you prepared to be a teacher? I didn•t go through. education classes so I dal't know'. Q: Experience is the best teacher. A: Yes, ani that1s where I am right now, experience is my teacher. I •m forbmate that the kids all three like school. we'd have a different set of ~lems I'm sure if sanebcdy didn't like school. '!hey all do like 1t and they had a good start, pretty goc:d schooling fran East Park [Baptist Academy] SChool had helped them develop goc:dattitudes about school. End of side one, Tape one Q: Give me a sanple day of what your day 'WOUld be like. You've gotthree kids at three different levels and just tell me what one of yourdays would have been like. A: Iast year of cxurse we were experilnerrt.in;J. We started out with school at a:30. we wanted to have like an openin;J for school so that it would be like leaving the breakfast table and bein;J at school. so there was a charge over in your mirxi, kin:1 of prepare you mentally. we had an openin;J. we said our pledqes to the American flag, the Chcistian flag, and to the Bible just like they would have done at the Christian school and had prayer and then we went to their school work. I had decided what order for them to start out on their subjects ahead of time, but then throughout the year it was rearranged to whatever the day was, whatever needs to be done. Not every day, but every couple of weeks, the kids would say, ''Well, I think I'11 do my readinghere and my spellirg here." It doesn't matter. so we kin:1 of had a schedule to start with because I was scared, too. I wanted to have ~~armed out at first. But I saw later that they could make those dec1SJ.ons on their a.rm ani they did really by the end of the year. '!hey grew that way, too. 'When you1re in a school situation with twenty other children, you have to stay with the schedule because the teacher is teyirg to keep everybody up to the same level, the same material MrjWay. Hane school you don•t have to do that. For that child1s tll'ne span he has he can get it done in his tll'ne, get finished ani go on to another subject. Or if today he wants to do math in the mominq ani spelli.rq in the aftemoon then tcm:>rrcM he wants to do spelling in the mrni.n;J ani math in the aftenloon, as long as he getsdone ani they urDerstan:i it. You just kin:i of leam that. Like Doughe did better on his math if he did it after lunch. I don •t krl<:M why.It seems like it should be rooming because it's tedious for him. It's not that he can't do it but it's tedious for him ani it takes time. He doesn't want to take tll'ne. He says, ''Man, I get these all right or get nore right if I do them after lunch." "Okay, do your math after lunch, I don't care." '!hat was kird of fun. we•re ta1Jd.n;J about schedulin;J. SO, we always had the operrl.rq first. NCM I had them do their Bible first. I didn't let them cl1a:rge that. Basically all yearthey did their Bible first. I thought that tll'ne in the WO:rd mightmake their day go better, should. Q: Memorization? A: well, we didn't do with school because we have the AWANA progJ:aiu at church ani the AWANA program has a lot of scripture merrorization in it. We decided that we wcul.d encourage them more even than we had already, they were already in AWANA, ani [-we said] "'Ibis is yourmerrorization. we want you to do it well." '!hey did a really good job with that. on their Bible studies though, it's nore on urrlerstand.i.n. At least that's what I've tried to E!IDP'Jasize. tJnd.erst:aniir what the Bible is sayin;J there for their school tll'ne. But for the memorization time thatIs their AWANA. Q: 'lhe Bible cirriculum came fran L:iJ:erty also? A: Yes, that's S't:arrlal:d in their cirriculum. I don't krl<:M if they'dlet you take their curriculum if you didn't take the Bible. I didn't see that written up arry Where, but we didn•t mird. '!heir statement of faith what they wcul.d believe wculd be very s:Unilar to ours. Q: so you went fran Bible to • • • A: 'lhen on to whatever subject they wanted next. By the end of the year I let them do all that themselves. '!hey kept it the same though every day. we didn't switch every day. In a couple of weeks they'd say, ''Well, next week I think I want to do this in different order." I'd say, "sure." I wrote up assignment sheets for them with an order on there ani that's what I wanted to go by. Q: Did they have hanework? A: well, yes ani no. '!heir homework is with their school work. After school hours basically not. But they had specjal projects to do so then that takes time after school hours, too. sane days like workl::x:IOk exe:r:cises ani stuff might be done by one or sanet:hin:;J so that time after the.t:e oould be used for the special projects or like in math, if they didn't get all the problems done in it. so it's al.Ioost like h.a't\arork. '!hat• s been kind of a fun thir.g not to have hanework. (laughter) But they still have to do it really. It's not as if they're qetting cut of it it's just that you're doi.rq it at a diffe:rent time of day. When the kids -were at East Park in a school situatia1, when they came haDe frau school, they did their hanework. '!hat was just cur own family :rule. '!hat was ham. '!hey c::ane haDe tired. But we felt like if they waited till after supper, their bodies are so ti:ted. by then that that wasn•t good either. Not to have that pressure has been good. one thir.g for next year I'd like to do :n:me thcugh is I think h.a't\arork is also kind of a discipline thir.g for your mirxi to think t.hralgh :n:me ani to practice :n:me ~tyou are leamin;l. So I think practicing is ~· I've kind of gleanedthat fl:an the first year here. I'm qoJ.n;J to t.ey to have :n:me like projects where they have to CXItlplete somet.hirq in the eve:nin;;r, too. Q: And you can add. these to your curriculum yourself? A: sure. M:f kids may ask me why. (la~ter) Greg did a report this year. It was si:rtply because we wanted him to. I wanted him to because he'11 pr:c:i)ably qo a1 to college. I thought -well no sense losirg, he'd already done sane mports, losir.g the form, so we considered a fi~report. So ~t's w:rorg with that? Getting' the form right, wor:Jd.rg on your grammar while you're at it, so we added that, it really wasn't required. We fiqured. eighth graders probably can do that. We just did a si:rtple one. Q: So you had regular school hours? 8:30 to ••. A: Yes, 8:30 till we -were finished. we tried to do four subjects in the liDmirii;J ani three after lunch. we had an hour break for lunch. I.any CX'.IES haDe here to eat at 1\.U"dl hour. '!hey don't l"'..l:111ally need a whole hour for lunch, but since I.ar.ty canes hate, too, it takes time for thin;Js to settle down when he's here usually, depend.i.rq a1 the day. And we had a break in the liDming, half way through the oomin;. After lunch usually we didn't have a break. We wculd just finish up ~tever needs to be finished.. But if it got long, sane days we had to take a break. You can tell when saoebody's qetti.rq to the en::i of their rope, I said, "Okay, let's just stop for a while and take a break." A few days we had to do that. Q: So you super.vised all their 'WOrk as they went thralgh the material ani you were resp::I'!Si.ble for mail.i.rq that to Liberty? A: '!heir tests wre mailed in as they're ca.rpleted.. Eve:ry three weeks or so I wculd mail in a batch of tests for all three kid, not together. And that1s hew they keep up on their grac'iin;J durir.g the year bei.rq an umbrella school. If you had your own heme school then I guess you'd just keep them on file or whatever. Q: Did they keep you on a time schedule? Did they expect the material by a certain date? A: If they're keeping the record, if they're your umbrella, you'reusiz:g the curriculum an:l you've paid for them to keep the records, within a twelve-mJIIth period you have to have everyt:hi.n:J in. You have to have the OJUrSe cx:mpleted or it will be written on your records, "'Ibis OJUrSe was not cx:mplete." You can still cx:mplete it if you let them knc::Jw. Sanebody was sick, missionacy or sameth.irg they had to cane hane an:l they didn•t get the school work done. But they are like a twelve-month period where they keep your records for that or if a person wanted to sperrl nore t:ilne. we went ahead an:l set up on a nine-month schedule because that1s what they were used to. OUr society•s kin::l of set up that way any way. In the summer we have outside activities, gardening, an:l ~like that. It will probably stay like this. Q: I want to ask kin:i of a couple of reflective questions. Are yougoiz:g to do this again next year? A: Yes, yes. Q: You've mentioned this, I just wonjered what things you would do different after one year? A: '!here are two or three things I could think of. one t.hin] specifically Jill missed was the caupetition with other children. '!hey used to have goals that they're working for arrl to reach that sooner an:i this year I think I was concentrating nore on just gettingthem through the subject an:1 doing a good job with their academics. I wasn't t:.hi.nki.rq about incentives a lot. I think you always do, but not in a way they were used to an:l I think next year we may set up sane goals and see who can reach them first. We 111 have to figure it out with three different age level ani three different subject areas, it will be different. I •ve already thought about it an:1 I think we can cx:me up with samething. Sc:metl.ill'g like you get to pick what we're goin;J to eat, you krlc:M, their favorite thing. About everybody picks fried chicken. (laughter) It•s not Jiri favorite thing to cook, but I like to eat it. SO if we do that I '11 be probably fixirg a lot of fried chicken next year. But we thought just sane kin:i of a si.nple goal. Not candy. sane kini of a goal. When they reach this goal, some ldn:i of special treat. I'm goin;J to try to do a little different. I'd like for them to do a few special project, samething•sthat fun to do but still a part of school. Follow up on science. '!he boys both like science, Jill does too, really. '!hey all three like science. on their subjects this year, sane subjects are harder for me ani I think it's harder for them and I think that we're related because it's harder for me. Histoey, I never cared much for histo:ty.I don•t kn.ow whether it•s me caning through or whether it's the subject, just learnirg all the facts that are in histoey. It was really hard for me to help them to study an:1 knc:w encugh to pass the tests which they do a good job, so I can't cx:mplain. But I never felt real good about it. 'lhey kn.ow it ani we•ve talked about it. I was always, "won:ier if we covered that?" all that infonnation. New their histoey, just the other day I was t:.hi.nki.rq about what to do. I think I might have them keep a notebook and just jot down three or fourt:hin:Js they've learned each day when they go 011er that. we go over it answerin:J questions like daily questions. We go 011er that lesson area but I think it might help them when they read to write it down. It might help me, too, to make sure that they've covered what they need to cover. I think that1s what a lot of haDe school families do is they dream up their a.m way of hanfiing it. I never sat through a whole day with another haDe school family. I've just seen the books. Maybe that's part of the fun part, too. Figuring out things to do. I tried to talk to them aboUt it, too. How could we do this different and that's when Jill said, "I.et's have a contest or sanethinq, Mom!" Q: '!hey get involved with that? A: Yes, yes. Ani I think there's an incentive there. It's alwaysgood to enoourage saneone to do their very best. Q: I:b you have a roan set aside as a school roam? A: '!hey all have a different area. We had an old desk stuck away in the garage, so we were getting ready for hane schoolin;J we started teyin;J to plan these t:hirqs out ani we got the desk out and got it painted. It's in the boys' bedroom. '!hat's where Greg is. 'Ihen in the front hall way we had those old desks already, too, those wooden desks when you walked in. 'lhose were fran where I went to junior highschool ani so those were already there. we made that Jill•s desk. It doesn't have a lot of space, but we had a cabinet to the side so she p.rt sane of her stuff there and I didn•t want the boys in the same roan. I didn't think for oonc::entration for silly streak, goof-off if I'm nat there whatever, so it was separate areas and Doug sits out at our dini.n; table. He has shelves where he keeps all his books. Some families I think they sit around the table, all of them together. I don't know how they do it. But ~idea was I got to separate them or they won't get anythi.rg done. Whether they would or not I don1t know'. Q: I wanted to ask a SUl11ll1aJ:Y' question as what you see as the advantages ani disadvantages. Maybe look at both sides after a year.You're a year wiser nat~ (laughter) than you were this time last year,maybe and if you could say what you see as advantages ani disadvantages. A: Definitely on the advantages probably I don't know whether, youknow I speak for our family, but for a lot of families I think it's the same way for them fran what I read ani who I talk to. '!he most fun part and the neatest part has been the family closeness that oames fran it. We're with each other more and striving for the same goals mre than you were before. I •ve enjoyed the closeness with ~kids and of course, larry's not even here any mre hours than he was before, l::ut I think he is too. I think the whole family benefits fran it an:i as far as their character goes that cxmes in with beirg close to the family and we tey to develop Gcxily character. '!bat's a definite plus there. '!hat's the first t:hin;;J I thought about. Just our schedule can c.harqe llc7Never we want it. Of course, we want our children to do well academically as well as their character so we're goin;J to take time to make sure they're finished their courses, but we can do it on our own ti:me our own speed. 'lhls May Iarry wanted to take sane of his vacation time. so we finished up by the twenty-fourth and had our books all taken care of and everything an:i took off. Next year we're ta.lki.rg about taking some t:iroe off in April. So we o:W.d CCille to a certain point ani say "Okay, we'11 take our vacation week." we'11 have to ac::J[e back to school though, that will be hanl, to leave ani CCille back. So your schedule can :be adjusted. Iany has a day off during the week ani it rotates. one week it's Moma.y, the next week it's TUesday, like that ani we can arrange it so that we have a day off, too, because of how I've set uptheir schedulin;J. we basically have so :much to do for a week. If we want a day off then we'11 have to work harder on the other days. So we can do that. So schedu.linj is another advantage. I think an advantage that I can see but it will have to be proved out through the years is the one-on-one tutorin:J advantage. A teacher in a class roam has to t:cy to encourage all twenty-five kids, ani I can 'WOrk with one at one grade level an:i if there's a prcblem area, try to work that out. It doesn't have to wait for someone else whO has a problemfirst. 'Ihen when you cane to bane schooling, there's the disadvantage if youmight not be able to han:ile that [specific] problem. But there's all kin:i of recourse and people you can go to. 'Ihat's one of the thi.n;Js that I've told you that you see a problem and it seems, so far for us a:rry way, that -we've been able to solve a:rry kind of problems that have cane up. I think that if you see that you're short in a subject like if we get to high school and we keep an hane sc::h.ooling like with chetni.stey or sanething. All I would know' would be what1s in the text. I'd say we'd have to read it and fin:i out about chemistry. I wouldn't be able to add to or explain very well arrJWa.Y something in chemistry or physics, something that advanced. So maybe we could take a course out at Richlan:i if he's doin;J well enough, take that on the side. 'Ihere's a disadvantage but there's an adva.nt:age. 'Ihe advantage is bein;J able to help them with the problem that they have wt what if as a hane schooler you might think, ''Well, naybe I'm not qualified in that area" and that would seem a disadvantage. But I think it could be made into an advantage in that you could fini sc:maone to help youwith that ani might be payin:J to have a tutor once a week just to finish explai.n.iiJ3'. 'Ihat's a p:ssibility. Q: I have heard of people doirg that with oanputer. '!hey didn't know anyt:hin;J about oanputer so they hired sanelxxiy to cane in ani solved the problem. A: Right. I think there's solutions. Whether evezy family can fin:l those it's not always true. With private tutors there's going to be expense, surely, unless it's a friend and you could exchange. I hear sane bane schoolers do that, too. Q: '!hey exch.an:Je know'ledge? A: Kncwledge, yes. I'm tryi.rg to say, I can't think of the rightword right l'lCM, but arrJWa.Y whatever their ability is they exchargethose as a family. You krlow, if one family has expertise, exchangeexpertise, two families. Fach one has an mtpertise in a different area then they can help the other family in that area. 'Ihat would probably be fun in a lot of areas. I think that you're watching yourchildren close enough to be able to meet those. I dan't :knc:JW' that you're qoirq to do a perfect jab, but I don't kn<::M that you do that in a school situation either. You always see all the problems an:i solve them all, I don't kn.ow, for your own children while they're growing. Advantages an:i disadvantages 0 0 0 Q: '!hat's pretty good. We've covered pretty thoroughly. Do you have any last minute things, scmething that's been left out? .Ar1ythirgyou'd like to add? A: As a Olristian I think that God gives the responsibility first to the parents for the children, an:i I don't think it's the only way for Cllristian parents to have their children educated, but I think that :because of bane schooling that r..an:¥ ani I have accepted that responsibility DDre fully than we did before. we were always responsible for our dlil.dren but I think :because of the bane school situation you•re forced to face up to the fact that you're responsibile for their whole self. It•s not samething you send off ani let sanebody else do and. I think we did that even as <llristian parents maki.rq the decision to send our children to a Cllristian school. I think we just said, "Okay, they're taking care of it." I'm sure for each parent it's to a different extent that you're doing that, but I think we really kini of did. I didn't krlc::M fl:an day-to--day, I didn't take the time to see what they were studying, what they were learni..r:g. And I'lCIW I'm forced to :because I'm here, ani I like that. I don't knc::M if it's always possible for every family. Q: Would you advise families to at least look into it? A: I 'Walld definitely. I think that there's a lot of families that would really enjoy it an:i are capable. 'Ihey usually see the problems, you kn.ow, like we did at first till we saw the things that would be in the way of doirq it, ani we found that most of those peoblems can be solved. I think that there's a lot of families that would really enjoy it ani that their children would profit fran it. I don't knc:M that all families would enjoy it an:i all families would profit fran hane schoolin:;J. I think it's a definite plus for us and. it could be I think for a lot of other families, too. ~!here's still the need. I think for a pJblic school system of scme sort. I'm not sayin;J you should do away with it. but I think that a lot of advantages as a parent, you kn.ow, taking that responsibility yourself. End of side Two, Tape one
|Title||Wallace, Nan - Interview and Memoir|
|Description||Wallace, mother of three children, discusses home schooling, justifications, legal responsibilities, a typical day of home schooling, and the benefits of a home school support group.|
|Creator||Wallace, Nan b. 1949|
|Contributing Institution||Oral History Collection, Archives/Special Collections, University of Illinois at Springfield|
|Contributors||Moore, Linda [interviewer]|
|Digital Format||PDF; MP3|
|Relation||HOME SCHOOLING PROJECT|
|Rights||© Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. For permission to reproduce, distribute, or otherwise use this material, please contact: Archives/Special Collections, University of Illinois at Springfield, One University Plaza, MS BRK 140, Springfield IL 62703-5407. Phone: (217) 206-6520. http://library.uis.edu/archives/index.html|
|Collection Name||Oral History Collection of the University of Illinois at Springfield|
|Title||Nan Wallace Memoir|
|Source||Nan Wallace Memoir.pdf|
|Rights||© Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. For permission to reproduce, distribute, or otherwise use this material, please contact: Archives/Special Collections, University of Illinois at Springfield, One University Plaza, MS BRK 140, Springfield IL 62703-5407. Phone: (217) 206-6520. http://library.uis.edu/archives/index.html|
University of Illinois at Springfield
Norris L Brookens Library
Nan Wallace Memoir
W155. Wallace, Nan b. 1949 Interview and memoir 1 tape, 67 mins., 21 pp.
HOME SCHOOLING PROJECT
Wallace, mother of three children, discusses home schooling, justifications, legal responsibilities, a typical day of home schooling, and the benefits of a home school support group.
Interview by Linda Moore, 1990 OPEN See collateral file
Archives/Special Collections LIB 144
University of Illinois at Springfield
One University Plaza, MS BRK 140
Springfield IL 62703-5407
© 1990, University of Illinois Board of Trustees
'!his manuscript is the product of a series of tape-recorded interviews
on hane schoolinj con::lucted by Lima M:lore for the Oral HistoeyOffice, 5an;Jana1 state university in the SUl'lU'I'Ier of 1990. She also transcribed the tapes an:i edited the transcripts.
Nan Wallace was born in WOCXlstock, Illinois on November 10, 1949. She
an:i husbarxi, larry, reside in Harrist.oo;,m, Illinois an:i have three
children: Greg, Doug an:i Jill. 'Ibis was their first year home
schoolil:g, in which they covered grades five, six an:i eight.
In her memoirs of her first year of hare schooling, Nan recalls how'
she an:i larry came to the decision to home school when the children's
traditional school closed an:i the reasons that led them to take this
step. She discusses the advantages of the curricultnn that she uses,
the 1~responsibilities of hare schooling, an:i the benefits of
belongl.l'g to a heme school support group. She closes with an
encouragement to each family to investigate heme schooling for
'Ihe years since the early 1970's have seen a slow but steady growth in the number of hane-schooled students despite the availability of public schols an:i the growth in the number of private schools. Exact numbers of students are difficult to obtain, but estimates run as high as a quarter of a million students who are tooay being taught in the hane. PUblic school educators an:i their organizations have taken stands against hane schoolin;J an:i generally regard it with suspicion.Iega1 requirements vary fran state-to-state an:i courts in various areas detennine its legality. Reasons for choosii:g heme schooling over the traditional classroan setting vary greatly fran family to family. 'Ihe one basic belief all share is the desire of parents to be
more deeply involved in the education an:i develcpnent. of their
Lima Moore was born in Warrensbw:g, Missouri an:i grew up in Decatur,
Illinois. She graduated from Millikin university in Decatur an:i has
taught SOCial studies at various levels in Decatur PUblic SChools.
She is a graduate student in the history deparbnent of 8anJamOn state
university. Lima an:i husbarrl, Jack, have three sons.
Readers of the oral history memoir should bear in :mini that it is a transcript of the sp:>ken word, ani that the interviewer, narrator and editor sc:ught to presm:ve the informal, conversational style that is
inherent in such historical sources. San;;JamJn state university is not responsible for the factual accuracy of the memoir, nor for views expressed therein; these are for the reader to judge.
'1he manuscript may be read, quoted an:i cited freely. It may not be reproduced in whole or in part by any means, electronic or mechanical,witllalt ~ionin writing fran the Oral Histoey Office, Sangam::m
state Ul'liversity, Springfield, Illinois 62794-9243.
Table of COntents
'lhe Family and the Decision Towams Hane SChooling • 1
OJ;:position • 2
|Collection Name||Oral History Collection of the University of Illinois at Springfield|