Modern Homeschooling

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By Les and Gina Payton, FPEA Region One Representatives

Every person’s educational journey is unique. Every child is different. Every person is fearfully and wonderfully made. When it comes to your child’s education, leave no stone unturned. We began home education 20 years ago, when our oldest turned two. The Marine Corps moved us to six different states and the District of Columbia. I left the Marine Corps at the end of my service, and stayed home with our first born. Since then, we’ve added three more children and they’ve all been home educated.

During the last two years, many parents have realized the benefits of home educating their children. With concerns about kids’ health and wellness, many parents have turned to bringing their children home. Some of the benefits include extra family time and remarkable progress tailoring their work to their child’s individual learning style. Building good character in our kids at a young age will help them to be disciplined young learners with everything we ask our kids to do in our home. We must teach them to prioritize time management and establish discipline because, honestly, aren’t we all still learning every day?

The new challenge in home education, compared to when we began 20 years ago, is the abundance of resources. There is so much to choose from for every type of learner. By joining local support groups, parents and children can also stay informed of regional events and field trips.

As regional representatives of our state organization, the Florida Parent Educators Association (FPEA), we volunteer to keep families informed about homeschool legislation, current laws and building community. One way we recommend families do this is by joining a support group. You can email the local Destin support group at

FPEA puts on many family field trips throughout the year such as trips to Key West and the Space Coast. Families can join us on February 19 for Homeschooling 101 and a Highschool Homeschool Seminar ( For questions about this event, write to

FPEA also holds one of the nation’s best conventions at the end of May every year in Orlando. This year’s theme is “Gather” and will be held at the Rosen Shingle Resort. All the details can be found at or contact us,, so we can answer your questions before you register.

New homeschoolers or homes with growing families have so much to choose from! There are child-led studies, unit studies, as well as robust and complete curriculums. We educate our kids from a biblical perspective, which helps us to hone in on particular curriculums. No matter whether you choose to home educate your kids for faith-based, academic or physical health and wellness choices, visiting a homeschool convention will help you and your child appreciate how large the homeschool movement has grown and you’ll know you’re not alone.

It’s been during the last two years only that my husband and I have felt able to dive in as volunteers. Our oldest joined the Marine Corps at 17, four years ago, and is now at the United States Naval Academy. Our oldest daughter is 19 and a sophomore in Industrial Engineering at Liberty University. With 16- and 10-year-old’s still in the home, we continue our homeschool adventure in this beautiful area. We have finally been able to live where we want after husband Les has been in uniform for 27 years. With FPEA we have found a community, found a support group and can enjoy the many field trips to include traveling to the yearly convention in Orlando.

Whether you are new to homeschooling or are a veteran homeschooler, everyone questions their ability to homeschool successfully. Each home can define what success looks like for their own children. Each person’s educational journey is unique. Every child is different. Each person is fearfully and wonderfully made. When it comes to your child’s education, leave no stone unturned. In order to get started now, send in your letter of intent to your local district superintendent’s office.

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