Home schooling alive and well in NYC, though it rarely happens at home

NEW YORK (WABC) -- When it comes to learning, different methods work for different kids.

For about 2,500 families in New York City, and 1.77 million nationally, the answer is home schooling.

But despite the name, 'home' is rarely where the learning happens.

On one day in a Midtown classroom, volcanos were the topic.

It was a two-hour class, about $25 per student.

"There are classes where they're actually taught at a museum, like there's one at the New York Historical Society. You learn about history," said 9-year-old Hannah.

Tinamarie Panyard is a community teacher and parent. By the time her daughter Lottie arrives for mid-day class, Lottie is already done reading, violin, some math and swimming.

She emphasizes this is not a school, it is a parent-run community center.

"We're almost never at home," she said. "We're at a museum, or we're here, or a park, we're almost never at home. "

"Do you get that reaction from people?", we asked. "All the time," she said.

These community groups and parents who are doing the teaching are not just left to their own devices. There are rules, tests and curricula they must follow.

"There are tests required in New York state for certain years, not every year," said Joanna Allen Lodin of Fearless Homeschooling.

And different states have different standards. All 50 states greenlighted homeschooling in 1993.

Joanna, another proponent, says it's great for social skills and self-esteem.

"Because they get to learn what they're interested in, and they get to really focusing on things that they're good at, I think it's amazing for self-esteem," she said. "They become self-directed and self-motivated and self-disciplined."

What about getting into college? Joanna smiles and says her homeschooled son recently graduated and has a job. Kids say they like it.

"There's going to be a class where we just go on field trips," said 8-year-old Nina.

Another way to teach and parent, that for some seems to work.

Click here for more information on home schooling in New York City.
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