Kantor Helps Homeschoolers Network
by Desiree Hickson, July 23, 2003
I have been a homeschooling mom for about 5 years now. The "Hickson Homeschool for Boys" was started with one child and has since grown to three students, including one girl (we recently renamed the school to the "Hickson Homeschool for Two Guys and a Little Lady").
Having relied on the government-run public school system for the first 9 years after my oldest child was born, I never even considered that educating my children at home was a viable option for my family. I had always assumed that those who had decided to educate their children at home were religious zealots or conspiracy-theory-black-helicopter-paranoid types.
It wasn't until I met Kerry Kantor, founder of the Secular Home School Support Group (SHSSG), that I realized that "regular" (all things being relative) people, like my husband and me, actually considered home education a very important part of their family life.
It was through Kerry's website, http://shssg.home.mindspring.com/Support.htm, that I was able to research everything that I needed to know to homeschool my children in Colorado. And, I later joined the SHSSG online support group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SHSSG/ to chat with other like-minded parents. I have to say that my association with the SHSSG (established in 1997) has been a great source of support as well as information about the homeschool community in Colorado.
Kerry and her husband, Mark Kantor, even established a private school, especially for home educators, known as the Colorado Academy of Independent Learners. According to the CAIL website: "CAIL offers homeschooling families the opportunity to be part of a private school, with many of the advantages a private school can offer, while at the same time deriving all the benefits of a home-based education program." The CAIL School is ideal for parents who want to educate their children at home without the burden or hassle of all the paperwork and curriculum that may be required by the state of Colorado.
I can say that I am very proud to know Kerry in the homeschool community and the Libertarian community.
Kerry ran for the US House of Representatives (Colorado District 5), as a Libertarian, against Joel Hefley in 2000. She managed to garner 12.3% of the vote in that election. I ran in that same election (Colorado State House District 18) and barely got 1/4 of that percentage of votes.
Kerry has done more than just run a support group for homeschoolers. She has also put a lot of time and effort into fighting for the rights of homeschoolers across the state. Much of the legislation that has been passed in the last four years in support of home education is due in part to the hard work of Kerry Kantor and other Colorado home school pioneers.
On top of all of that, Kerry and a group of other homeschool parents from the SHSSG came together, almost three years ago, and established the SHSSG Cooperative, also known as the SHSSG Homeschool Co-Op. The Co-Op is one of many opportunities for homeschool families to get together, at least once a week, for support and learning. All classes in the Co-Op are taught by parents. In fact, I have had the pleasure of being a teacher at the Co-Op, this past Spring (I plan to teach more classes in the Fall).
But now Kerry Kantor will be closing one chapter in her prestigious home education career and starting a new one.
Kerry Kantor was recently hired as the Homeschool Liaison for Colorado Springs District 11. Because of her new job, Kerry recently stepped down from her post as Homeschool Co-Op Coordinator for the SHSSG. Many of us in the SHSSG are very proud of Kerry and we are pleased to know that someone who understands the homeschool law and the exceptional needs and desires of homeschool parents and their children has been assigned to this prestigious post.
Many of us in the homeschool (and Libertarian) community have Kerry to thank for leading the way for less restrictive laws for homeschoolers and we look forward to working with Kerry Kantor, in the future, as homeschoolers continue to make great strides in their own communities and in Colorado as a whole.