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Somerville home-school parent starts reading program

Posted by Brian Benson  October 2, 2009 11:28 AM

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When Tammy McKanan moved to Somerville from central Minnesota last year, she looked forward to joining a vibrant, diverse community of ... homeschoolers. After all, she reasoned, if her old town had such an active, established, largely Christian group of families, this city would be even better, right?

Wrong. “There aren’t that many people in Somerville who homeschool,” she said. Most get-togethers were out in the ‘burbs - inconvenient and expensive for a family with no car. With so many resources for learning and recreation for all kids, “there isn’t the same cohesion,” she said.

So, in true do-it-yourself fashion, McKanan started her own weekly reading group last month at the Somerville Central Library for 6–8 year-olds (her daughter is 6). Within a few days, she had 10 participants plus a waiting list. A full half of Somerville’s homeschooled kids participate: the city currently has 12, said Frank DiChiappari, district administrator for student services.

Despite the relatively low numbers locally, “People are either interested or they’re neutral,” McKanan said. “I just say things like ‘It’s a joyful life,’ and who’s against that?”

The November sessions will focus on theater; to learn more, check with the library or call McKanan at 617-591-0216.

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