HomeLink: A parent partnership program - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

HomeLink: A parent partnership program

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RICHLAND, Wash. - Three Rivers HomeLink is really something of a mixture of home and public schooling. Parents are very involved in the students' education but there are also state certified teachers on hand.

Right now there are around 400 students from kindergarten to 12th grade enrolled in the program.

Sinar Bond said her son, Christopher, is a creative little boy. When it came time to send him off to school she hoped to find a place that could nurture his creativity along with his early education.

"I didn't like the idea of a monotonous curriculum set out like that. So when we saw what they offer here it was just so exciting. We have been having fun," Bond said.

Parents supplement students' education at home. HomeLink offers over 150 classes and workshops, with some unique topics to choose from. Like lego building and space science.

And students work at their own pace.

"For instance, we had a third grade student taking geometry last year. That is a tough proposition in the traditional setting for a variety of reasons. But we can really individualize for each student and meet them where they're at in each subject," said Principal Eric Sobotta.

Perhaps the biggest confusion surrounding the program is its similarity to home schooling. But HomeLink is not a home schooling program, it's 'an alternative learning experience.'

"With tax payer money there is heightened accountability. So we have certified teachers that partner with these families, develop a learning plan, provide approved curriculum, check in on a weekly basis, progress monitor monthly," said Sobotta.

HomeLink is currently based at South Side Church in Richland but they're running out of space. The Richland School District's bond proposal includes five million dollars for the program to help them find a bigger facility.
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