With the number of home-schooled students rising in Maine and nationally, about 800 people are expected to attend an annual three-day Maine home-schooling conference beginning Thursday in Rockport, an organizer said.

About 3 percent of Maine students were home-schooled in the 2014-15 school year, slightly lower than the 3.4 percent national average, but that number is growing. Maine had 5,561 home-schooled students that year, a 36 percent increase over a decade earlier, according to Maine Department of Education data. Nationally, the number of home-schooled children increased 55 percent from 2003 to 2013, the most recent data available.

“I think it’s growing everywhere,” said conference organizer Kathy Green of Homeschoolers of Maine, a self-described nonprofit ministry she founded with her husband, Ed Green, in 1990. Green said she home-schooled her four daughters, now grown, and has been involved in the home-school community for decades.

The 26th annual conference for Homeschoolers of Maine will feature speakers, workshops and an expo hall with vendors, she said.

Green said home schooling has become a “mainstream” option for families looking at their education choices.

“For every family, there’s a different set of reasons to home- school,” Green said.

To home-school a child in Maine, a parent must notify the state and their local school, and provide an annual assessment of the student’s work through a standardized test or a review of work by a certified Maine teacher. Home-schooled students must have the same number of school days as a student in a traditional school – 175 – and be taught specific subject areas including English, math, science, fine arts, health and at least a year of Maine studies. Because there are no state-mandated standards of achievement, the state does not issue transcripts or diplomas for home-schooled students.

Home-schooled students may go to their local schools for special education services, to enroll in certain classes and to take part in extra-curricular activities.

The conference will be held at the Samoset Resort from March 17-19. For event information, go to homeschoolsersofmaine.org.

 


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.