Lenoir City family talks about the perks of home schooling

LENOIR CITY (WVLT) -- When it comes to education, parents have several options from which to choose. Parents of thousands of children in Tennessee choose home schooling.

While some kids go back to class, the Rains dust off their books in the comfort of home.

"We just take it a day at a time and if there's something, you know, luckily we're still in the younger grades, but if there's something I'm a little unsure of, we can fall back and dad can help or we're part of a co-op group and we can kind of do it with other moms," said Farah Rains, a mother who home-schools.

Nick and Farah Rains made the decision to teach from home when Elysia, their oldest child, started preschool. Originally, it was a faith based decision, but the family was able to expand the definition of learning by teaching outside testing guidelines.

"We turn anything we do into a learning experience. So we view education as not just somewhere you go or a setting, but there's something to be learned wherever you go in life. That's some of the beauty of the home-school philosophy,” said Nick Rains, a father who home-schools.

All of the benefits of home schooling do come with stereotypes.

“There's a little bit of a stigma with the whole home-school lifestyle, with the choice of home-school," said Nick Rains.

The family of four doesn't fit the stereotype. Between its son's football practices and daughter's dance classes, the family is always on the go.

"I mean we're just so busy all the time. I can't imagine. Socialization has just never been an issue for us," said Nick Rains.

The Rains' education isn't stereotypical either. By home schooling,they can teach to the specific needs of each child. They help their son learn through visual and hands-on ways, while their daughter learns through listening.

"This was never about just classroom or not. This was about a priority in life," said Farah Rains.

The Rains say Tennessee's home-school guidelines make the process easy. The Rains are held accountable through an umbrella group that checks curriculum, attendance and grades.

While the family doesn't have to test, it chooses to through Stanford University. Doing that ensures sure the kids aren't just meeting expectations, they're exceeding them.

If a family is considering the home schooling option, it does come at a price. Curriculum can cost from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Even at that price, it's still a cheaper option than private school.