“Maine has a rich history of customized learning,” said MHPC’s Education Policy Analyst Amanda Clark. “These case-studies provide a look at educational opportunities available to Maine families beyond the traditional public school system.”
Customized learning, said Clark, is an educational model that allows students and parents to choose an education that best meets their needs and interests. Such options include home schooling, charter schools, town academies, online learning and more.
One of the woman included in the study is Jodie Mosher-Towle, whose children attend the Cornville Regional Chart School.
“My journey started when my husband and I decided to move from Connecticut, which is a state rich with school choice options, back to Maine, our home state,” said Mosher-Towle.
“I did a search to see what was available for my children besides just the traditional public schools. What I found was that charter schools were coming to Maine,” she said. “I was very excited at the thought of that and knew that it was going to be a viable option for my family.”
Mosher-Towle has identical twin sons who she says have different learning styles. She said the Cornville Regional Charter School has been able to successfully meet the diverse needs of her children.
“It’s not about the he-said she-said of politics,” she said. “It comes down to what’s best for your child. And parents are the people who know what’s best for their children.”
She said sending her children to the Cornville charter school was one of the best decisions she and her husband had ever made.
Another woman included in the study, Kelly Capener, has elected to home school her four children and is pleased with the results.
“We’re able to really diversify what we’re learning,” said Capener. “We just studied the Boston tea party this fall. We went down to Boston, did the Paul Revere House, did the Boston tea party museum, and just encouraged our kids to really seek out learning opportunities.”
She said that she does not believe her children would receive the same level of individualized attention in a typical public school setting.
“Every thing that we do in our day – whether its chores or serving another family a meal or the books of academics – all of that is life learning, and that’s our goal for our kids – to be able to glorify God in what they do and to be learning all that they can,” she said. “It’s been a blessing for us.”