Homeschooling provides flexibility, gaining popularity in South - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Homeschooling provides flexibility, gaining popularity in South Dakota

Posted: Updated:

On this balmy, mid-November day the Nankivels are enjoying nature. It's a school day, and while they're learning Bellana and Eland aren't doing so in a traditional classroom.

"The beautiful thing about homeschooling is we can mix it up if we want to," said dad and teacher Thor Nankivel.

Nine-year-old Bellana and six-year-old Eland are being homeschooled by their parents who like the idea of being able to tailor curriculum to their individual child.

"We do all sort of things. Like science is one of my favorites," said Bellana. "We also do geology. I really like that one too."

Bellana is a geology whiz. Her interest likely comes from her dad. But, isn't trying to know everything about every subject matter daunting to a homeshooling parent/teacher.

"A lot of parents that I speak to initially when they're starting out doing the homeschooling they're worried about that - whether or not they'll be qualified to teach their kids," said Thor. "But, it's really not as difficult as you might think. There are plenty of resources. There's curriculum available."

And, then there's the question about socialization. Are Bellana and Eland refining their social skills despite not being in a classroom of 20 every day?

"I would actually argue that my kids are more socialized than most school-aged children that just go to public school, because we are part of a group, the SDHSA, and they have a variety of ages that they socialize with," said Thor.

The South Dakota Home School Association has roughly 50 families in it. It's nonreligious, and it's been growing in popularity in the past few years.

The Nankivels see a distinct difference between homeschooling and a traditional education. For instance, they focus on a curriculum seven days a week.

"It only takes about an hour, an hour and a half each day on each subject," said Thor.

On Saturdays the kids are quizzed, and Bellana has already taken some state standardized tests. In multiple subjects she scored far higher than kids her same age.

"It's because in homeschooling we learn things like geology sooner than people in public school would," she said.

With time to explore as individuals and time to bond as a family, the Nankivels know homeschooling is the best education fit for them.

  • Kingswood Rummage sale begins; some sellers working for a cause

    Kingswood Rummage sale begins; some sellers working for a cause

    Kingswood Rummage sale begins; some sellers working for a cause

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:50 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:50:58 GMT
    The 36th Annual Kingswood Rummage Sales BeginsMore >>
    The 36th Annual Kingswood Rummage Sales BeginsMore >>
  • No sound for Sioux Falls tornado siren test

    No sound for Sioux Falls tornado siren test

    No sound for Sioux Falls tornado siren test

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 10:22 PM EDT2014-04-24 02:22:37 GMT
    It is starting to warm up and spring has finally arrived, but with that, comes severe weather. This morning the tornado sirens were tested, but many in the Sioux Falls area did not hear them. The Emergency Manager for Sioux Falls said it was a communication problem. And other than that they are not exactly sure why it happened. We all know what the tornado siren means - potentially dangerous weather approaching. On Wednesday South Dakota had a state-wide test for when the storms roll through....More >>
    It is starting to warm up and spring has finally arrived, but with that, comes severe weather. This morning the tornado sirens were tested, but many in the Sioux Falls area did not hear them. The Emergency Manager for Sioux Falls said it was a communication problem. And other than that they are not exactly sure why it happened. We all know what the tornado siren means - potentially dangerous weather approaching. On Wednesday South Dakota had a state-wide test for when the storms roll through....More >>
  • Redfield family keeps local drive-in alive

    Redfield family keeps local drive-in alive

    Redfield family keeps local drive-in alive

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 7:43 PM EDT2014-04-23 23:43:58 GMT
    Catching a flick at a drive-in movie theater is almost a thing of the past.Several small town indoor theaters even have a hard time surviving.On easter day Redfield lost their cinema, and one local family was not about to let the town's drive-in close as well. “Our community is pretty small, and if it would close there is probably no chance it would open again, so we didn't want to see it close we wanted to continue to see it in our community,” Drive-in co-owner Stacey Marlow said. Painting, ...More >>
    Catching a flick at a drive-in movie theater is almost a thing of the past.Several small town indoor theaters even have a hard time surviving.On easter day Redfield lost their cinema, and one local family was not about to let the town's drive-in close as well. “Our community is pretty small, and if it would close there is probably no chance it would open again, so we didn't want to see it close we wanted to continue to see it in our community,” Drive-in co-owner Stacey Marlow said. Painting, ...More >>
  • Wife of slain correctional officer holds prison officials responsible in court

    Wife of slain correctional officer holds prison officials responsible in court

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 7:30 PM EDT2014-04-23 23:30:13 GMT
    A federal judge has heard from both sides in a case to determine if the South Dakota Department of Corrections is responsible for the murder of prison guard Ronald "RJ" Johnson.The court hasn't reached a decision yet. There's a few things the judge must consider first with this case.More >>
    A federal judge has heard from both sides in a case to determine if the South Dakota Department of Corrections is responsible for the murder of prison guard Ronald "RJ" Johnson.The court hasn't reached a decision yet. There's a few things the judge must consider first with this case.More >>
  • Proposed policy for transgender students

    Proposed policy for transgender students

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 7:26 PM EDT2014-04-23 23:26:04 GMT
    The South Dakota High School Activities Association had its first reading Wednesday for a policy on transgender students.The policy would allow students to participate in activities according to their identified gender, not necessarily the gender listed on their records.Recently, a South Dakota transgender student was interested in competing in interscholastic activities. James Weaver with the South Dakota High School Activities Association told KSFY that at the time there was no transgender ...More >>
    The South Dakota High School Activities Association had its first reading Wednesday for a policy on transgender students.The policy would allow students to participate in activities according to their identified gender, not necessarily the gender listed on their records.Recently, a South Dakota transgender student was interested in competing in interscholastic activities. James Weaver with the South Dakota High School Activities Association told KSFY that at the time there was no transgender ...More >>
  • Traffic backed up on I-29 south of Sioux Falls

    Traffic backed up on I-29 south of Sioux Falls

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 6:21 PM EDT2014-04-23 22:21:19 GMT
    Traffic is delayed near the Davis/Hurley exit on Interstate 29 after a crash in that area.More >>
    Traffic is delayed near the Davis/Hurley exit on Interstate 29 after a crash in that area.More >>
  • South Dakota tribes take their KXL fight to Washington

    South Dakota tribes take their KXL fight to Washington

    South Dakota tribes take their KXL fight to Washington

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 5:47 PM EDT2014-04-23 21:47:50 GMT
    The president's decision to approve or reject the Keystone XL Pipeline may be months away, but South Dakota's tribes are joining with other Native American groups, landowners, and environmental advocates this week in demanding they not only be heard - but seen as well. And the spot they chose could hardly be more visible.It's a sight that wouldn't phase most South Dakotans, but in Washington D.C., tipi's, horses, and headdresses stand out.Members of the Cowboy and Indian Alliance - tribal mem...More >>
    The president's decision to approve or reject the Keystone XL Pipeline may be months away, but South Dakota's tribes are joining with other Native American groups, landowners, and environmental advocates this week in demanding they not only be heard - but seen as well. And the spot they chose could hardly be more visible.It's a sight that wouldn't phase most South Dakotans, but in Washington D.C., tipi's, horses, and headdresses stand out.Members of the Cowboy and Indian Alliance - tribal mem...More >>
  • KSFY Newsmakers: Pastor Adam Weber talks Embrace Church's growth

    KSFY Newsmakers: Pastor Adam Weber talks Embrace Church's growth

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 4:38 PM EDT2014-04-23 20:38:47 GMT
    We are debuting a new segment on KSFY.com called KSFY Newsmakers. We will present conversations with interesting people and their thoughts on what is happening in the world around us.More >>
    We are debuting a new segment on KSFY.com called KSFY Newsmakers. We will present conversations with interesting people and their thoughts on what is happening in the world around us.
    More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KSFY. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service or our EEO Report.