The Salem Homeschool Academy, an organization providing supplementary coursework for local homeschool students, held the closing program for their fall semester on December 20, 2010.
The program opened with a violin duet to the tune of “Jingle Bells.” Following the music, instructors from ten courses explained the objectives of their individual classes, as well as student expectations and activities.
Students from each class then held demonstrations highlighting the skills and knowledge they gained throughout the course of the semester. Students revealed their understanding in a variety of ways. Some read essays, research papers and persuasive speeches.
Others performed skits, science experiments, and math-skill Christmas carols. One student launched marshmallows from a catapult created in the Layout and Drafting course. A pitch-in dinner followed the class demonstrations.
The closing program marked the end of the fourth semester of the Salem Homeschool Academy. SHA opened on September 7, 2009, with fifteen students and five teachers. Today, the academy boasts a staff of eight teachers and twenty-three students. Courses offered are designed to reach the educational needs of students ranging from grades two to twelve. Eleven courses are currently offered and include the following: Inventors and Inventions, Physical Education, Speech/Communications, The British Novel, Pre-Algebra, Science, Becoming a Woman, Math Games, Drafting and Layout, Middle School Science and World History.
The purpose of the academy is to provide a variety of courses, taught by qualified instructors, to supplement the instruction students receive at home. Joanna Allen, director, explains that SHA “gives me a day to have time off from the demands of homeschooling whilst my children are wonderfully cared for and taught great things. I like the fact that they are receiving time in a classroom and are being held accountable and more responsible to other authority figures. I also know they are developing rich friendships.”
The trend of homeschooling has grown steadily in the past few years, with parents across the nation choosing, for a variety of reasons, this alternative to public school. According to the Indiana Department of Education website, there were more than 25,000 homeschool students in Indiana during the 2005-2006 school year. Many families in Washington County and the surrounding area are choosing to homeschool.
Salem Homeschool Academy is currently accepting new students. If you are a student, parent or instructor interested in learning more about the academy, you may visit the school’s website at http://salemacademysha.blogspot.com or email Joanna Allen, director of the academy, at
Visitors to the academy area also welcome. Classes are held at New Beginning Baptist Church in Salem on Mondays. The upcoming spring semester will resume February 7, 2011.
This story was written by GBP special correspondent Sarah Losson.