The One Voice Choirs
New to Home-School?
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Some Pennsylvania Home-School History
Home-schooling has changed a lot since our family began home-schooling in 1983. When we began home-schooling, we didn't know any other home-schoolers. When people would ask us why we were not in school, we would have to explain all about home-schooling - what it was and how it worked. It was a new thought to many. Home-schooling was new and strange... and people didn't know what to think.
We had to travel a couple of hours from Pennsylvania to Baltimore, Maryland, just to find other home-schoolers where we could exchange ideas and find much-needed encouragement. We didn't know it at the time, but we had become a small thread in the weaving of a new tapestry. A new movement of education in Pennsylvania was being born.
In those early days it was not easy to home-school. I remember traveling to sit in a Pennsylvania courtroom for a trial where the judge was trying a pastor (who was teaching his children at home) on charges of truancy. This was a very common occurrence in those early days, and we understood that our state made the top-rank for prosecuting parent educators at one point.
According to the constitution schooling at home was legal, but school districts varied in beliefs and prosecuted accordingly. After a couple years of doing our best to home-school "undercover" (we never ventured out-of-doors during school hours) our parents informed our superintendent (in 1985) of our home-schooling. He turned out to be very supportive. By the mid-1980's a new law was underway to make home-schooling easier for Pennsylvanians! We began to diligently pray in our support group meetings, keep home-schooling parents informed, speak with the education committee legislators, and organize an effort to contact our legistators to express the need for a change in the current law. After the proposed change to the law was passed in 1988 home-schooling was never the same again in Pennsylvania. As a result of the passing of that law, we have freedom and opportunities today we could never have enjoyed in the early 1980's.
Also, when we first began home-schooling, we didn't have the extensive curricula that is available today. I remember when my mother first called around to try to find Christian textbooks for us. At first, major publishers would not sell us (as home-schoolers) their books. (Imagine that!) However, as the market grew, the publishing companies became more accommodating.
Over Two Decades Later
I began home-schooling in the seventh grade in 1983 and graduated from home-school in 1989. My sister, Christa, began home-schooling at the age of five in 1985 and has never attended an institutional school. She graduated from home-school in 1998. Since then, both Christa and I have continued on in our parents' vision of supporting home-schooling parents in various ways. Home-schooling was a wonderful experience for both of us. We thank the Lord that we had parents who were dedicated to the calling of God for our lives and who persevered - especially in those early pioneer days when the way was rough, and criticism ran high.
Over twenty years later, we have a booming population of home-schoolers. We have curriculum fairs, huge support-groups, numerous "co-op" educational groups, and a number of diploma programs in Pennsylvania. We have seen home-educated students in Pennsylvania work hard at their studies in such a way that has captured the attention of many and given home-education an aura of respect.
Our parents founded BuxMont Parent Educators in 1984 to assist parents in nurturing their children educationally and spiritually in the Lord. Our purpose is to carry on what our parents have always done before us... to encourage parent educators as they work to provide a quality education for their children that reflects their family's beliefs and standards. You will find on this website information and "tips of the trade" from seasoned home-school veterans that will help you through the early stages of home-schooling if you are new at being both parent and teacher. We trust that more experienced parent educators will find encouragement and support, as well as bits of needed information, to enhance their home-education program.
WANTED - Musical Home-Schoolers!
Our One Voice Handbell Choir program is available to home-school and charter-school families and qualifies as their school year's music instruction.
Ringing handbells is a very unique choral experience. We often say that it is very much like a sport - but without the competition. Participants in our handbell choirs enjoy making new friends while they learn to make music together. In this type of musical "sport" not only is each student part of the team, but each student finds themselves indispensable to the team. If one student is missing, all of the others feel the loss.
Our classes are held each Friday morning during the school-year from September - May in Hatfield. Cost is $7 per student for each weekly handbell class. We have four handbell choirs for home-schooled students ages 6-18:
For our handbell choir: we have found that ringing in a handbell choir works well as a stand-alone music course for home-schooled students. It also proves to be a valuable asset to students who are studying other instruments… especially piano. Ringing in a handbell choir re-enforces and strengthens the student’s ability to read music and INCREDIBLY enhances their rhythm, making counting beats second-nature and (believe it or not!) FUN! Our focus is in using handbell classes for education; but, also, to provide an experience and opportunity for the students to use their music to witness as well as minister the joy and love of Jesus to others.
Currently we have ringing positions available in our intermediate handbell choir. Students applying for this choir need to have some musical experience with another instrument - not necessarily in ringing handbells. We also have some ringing positions available in our beginner handbell choir. Musical experience is not necessary for applicants for this choir as we teach the children the earliest basics of music notation.
We have had students coming to classes in Hatfield from Philadelphia, Norristown, Plumsteadville, Doylestown, Feasterville, Perkasie, Telford, Sellersville, Souderton, Boyertown, Harleysville, Hatfield, Lansdale, Collegeville, Audubon, Pennsburg, Green Lane, Center Valley, Pottstown, Quakertown and Fleetwood.
We are now accepting applications for students interested in joining our choirs (based in Bucks/Montgomery County area). Visit our bell choir page to find out more! Please contact us if you have any questions or are interested in your child joining our choirs.
Choir directors, Holly and Christa Hageman, have taught and directed handbell choir classes for home-schoolers since March of 2000. Holly, a home-school graduate, has almost 25 years' experience of teaching music to children.