Onslow County Public Library hosts homeschool fair

12 Sep 2014 | Lance Cpl. Mark Watola

Local homeschoolers and their parents learned about extracurricular activities available to them during the seventh Home School Fair at the Onslow County Public Library, in Jacksonville, North Carolina, Sept. 12.

“There is a growing population of home school families,” said Kathleen McMillan, library technical assistant and Dayton, Ohio native. “There is a need in the community to reach out and provide resources for those families. The fair shows families what the community has to offer.”

More than 20 vendors attended to provide families with information about resources for children to include music, sports and art programs as well as learning centers and the base library.

“The fair is a collection of resources available for families who home school,” said Julie Fulton, Camp Lejeune and New River school liaison and Waurika, Oklahoma, native. “Military families choose to home school because it’s easier for them to transition from one place to another and parents have more control of their children’s education.”

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, over 2 million children in the U.S. are being homeschooled, and military families choose to homeschool because it offers flexibility and stability for children during deployments and moves.

“Home schooling is very flexible,” said GySgt. Mark Wagner, a patient at Bravo Company, Wounded Warrior Battalion East, and Colorado Springs, Colorado native. “Public school hours might not match up with a work schedule, but home schooling allows more freedom. You have the freedom to pick and choose what to teach, while following state standards. You also know exactly what children are being taught.”

The home school fair not only provided families with education resources, but allowed families to come together and meet other families who homeschool.

“Some families who choose to homeschool have the support of their extended family,” said Fulton. “If you’re in the military and choose to homeschool, you may feel isolated and not know many other people who also homeschool. The fair allows families to meet other families who homeschool and find opportunities to get involved with other children.”