Like most students, the four Woods children enrolled in Copperas Cove schools starting off the year in regular classrooms ready to continue their education in public schools.
But, by the end of the first semester, Melodi and Bryan Woods knew they would have to make changes in their children’s education. They decided to home-school their four children, Jacob, 14, Matthew, 12, Emma, 10, and McKaylea, 8.
“It had nothing to do with the teachers (in Cove ISD). They were very caring and did all that they could do with 26 kids in the class. But, we had lost the family connection, the closeness between siblings. And my kids were way ahead of what the other students were learning in the classroom,” Melodi Woods said.
As a military family, the Woods home-schooled their children while living overseas. After moving back to the United States, the two boys wanted to play football, so the children were enrolled in public schools.
“We didn’t know that there were any other sports options. With Child and Youth Services on Fort Hood, the cut-off to play sports is middle school. So, we believed that public school was our only alternative for the kids to do sports,” Woods said.
Then, they met other home-schooled families in the area and learned that several options were available. The Woods removed their children from public school and began home-schooling. The two boys joined the football teams of Memorial Christian Academy in Killeen.
The Woods family likes the method of teaching and learning that comes with home-schooling.
“We do lots of museums. We take (the children) to their grandparents’ farm where they learn about animal science cleaning stalls and herding cattle, mechanics driving and working on a tractor, art through painting fence, and home economics learning to sew and do cross-stitch,” Woods said. “When we visit with their great-grandma, they are learning living history.”
The children said they liked being home-schooled.
Matthew Woods said his biggest challenge is time management, and he is often distracted by the cat or his sisters.
Jacob Woods said: “There really are not any disadvantages to being home-schooled. I sometimes miss being in big groups of kids in the classroom. But, I learn more at home because there aren’t as many distractions.”