Have a certain homeschooler in mind whom you would like to nominate for next month's award? Give your friend a month of fame and submit your nominee today!
If their kids had attended a public school, Sue and Lou Harper of Griswold, Connecticut, think that most of their 14 children would have been whisked into a special education program. However, just a handful of the Harper kids, who range in age from four to 40, have ever set foot in a traditional classroom.
Equipped with a master's degree in special education and a gift for teaching, Sue Harper is not only one of homeschooling's staunchest supporters, but she is also one of the bravest. Of the 11 special needs children the Harpers have adopted, one was born with no arms. The youngest, who also has a twin, is blind.
"We have had a few ‘wow' students over the years," said Lou.
For example, there's Ricky. Born with neurofibromatosis, a disorder in which nerve tissue grows tumors, Ricky was never expected to read. However, when he was six, Sue introduced baby flashcards and slowly worked up from there. Now 32, Ricky has two years of college to his credit.
Then, there's eight-year-old Mercy. Weighing just 1.7 pounds at birth, she was expected to have severe learning disabilities, if not retardation. Yet, after a year and a half of intensive flashcard sessions, Mercy was reading at a first grade level.
"She's one of the little miracles Sue pulls out all the time," Lou said.
Outspoken homeschooling advocates and local experts in their Connecticut community, the Harpers have homeschooled for two decades, and they aren't shy about admitting one of their secret weapons: Alpha Omega Publications.
"I've helped a lot of people discover AOP over the years," Sue said. "I'm a real hard-core seller."
She used Horizons as inspiration for creating her own preschool curriculum, and during her student teaching for her degree, she used teaching methods she had learned from LIFEPAC at home. Today, she credits AOP for helping several of her own kids get a head start on college. One son, Seth, is poised to earn his B.A. at the age of 20.
"The nice thing is I know I can have ten kids at ten levels and be okay," Sue said. "I can make sure they're learning, and I know exactly what they're learning, how they're doing. You can't get that from a public school."
However, what Sue cherishes most is the unexpected blessing homeschooling has given her: a close relationship with her children.
"It's much stronger than if we hadn't homeschooled," she said. "I think that's going to hold true all their lives."
Like Susan's story, tell us why you think your friend should be chosen as AOP's Homeschool Parent of the Month. What makes him/her stand out as a spectacular homeschool parent? How many years and how many children has he/she homeschooled? How does he/she show concern or support for his/her family and other homeschoolers? Is he/she actively involved in his/her community and church? How has he/she personally touched your homeschooling family? Include a photo (optional) and information in 250 words or less that tells us how this individual stands apart as an extraordinary homeschooling parent.
If chosen, your nominee will be awarded a $50 AOP gift certificate that's good toward the purchase of any AOP homeschool curriculum or resource. Don't let this opportunity to recognize a fellow homeschooler pass you by. Submit your nominee today!