LAMAR COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - You won't hear a warning bell to get to class or the shouts of a teacher calling students to order. Everyday, you will find Lamar County mom of three Tish Line quizzing her kids and guiding them through problems right at her dining room table in her home in rural Purvis.
"We homeschool year round," Line said.
Line said for six years that's meant 180 days of school, allowing about six weeks off throughout the year and keeping the day to day similar to kids who attend a brick and mortar school, except for one thing.
"Our school day starts at eight and it's over by noon," Line said.
She said at 630 in the morning, she's mom. She gets her kids out of bed and prepares breakfast while the kids do chores on the farm. After that, Line said for four hours a day she teaches seven subjects.
"Math, science, history, language arts, reading, Bible and Spanish," Line said.
Line explained she fits all that in by lunch, because with only three kids there's more control and she can give more attention to them, something that wasn't so easy before.
"I can say that as a former school teacher," Line said. "You would be given an hour to teach a class, and you would have kiddos raising hands to ask questions or needing to go to the bathroom, or various other distractions that happen in a traditional school setting, here that's not the case."
With a master's in education, Line's taught in public and private schools. She uses that knowledge to get her sixth and first graders ready for each school year.
"I'll start thumping through catalogs," Line said.
Line said back to school for this family is searching through booklets and buying her kids curriculum online for the year.
"We spent $720 per child," Line said.
Line said that's a package deal of online instruction, access to teachers, textbooks and record keeping. Line added the bonus is it's all on a payment plan.
"I feel like with where we are and with what we spend, I think we've done pretty well," Line said.
Pretty well comes out to be $2,160. At private schools near Line's home, like Presbyterian Christian School in Lamar County, three children there would be $18,660, and at Sacred Heart Catholic School three children would cost $10,250. Besides her bottom line, Line said she homeschools for many reasons, but one reason is time, something she didn't have as a teacher.
"I would have children who were just great kids, but they really struggled with information and I didn't have the freedom to look at them and say, 'O.k., we are going to go back and re-do this lesson cause you missed something. So, we are going to make sure you get it!' I can do that here," Line said.
Line added she gives her children standardized test each year to make sure they are meeting their benchmarks. She said she wants to make it clear she is not against public or private education. She chose homeschooing because she and her husband felt it was the right fit for them.
As for the cost a year for privates schools, both Scared Heart Catholic School and the headmaster at PCS said you have to consider what is all included in their costs. At PCS each K through 12th student is given Apple devices for home and school, and the cost includes extra curricular activities. At sacred Heart student insurance, textbooks and technology is also included.