6 Images

At home with education

Kym Curto home schools her older children Chamberlain, left, 9, and Caedyn, 13, while also tending to a 3-year-old and 20-month-old. Though the South Bay mother says the hectic arrangement “has its rough days,” the ability to give her children a more personal education with a nod to their Christian faith makes the effort all the more worthwhile. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)
Chamberlain works on lessons that her mother has cobbled together using literature, curricula and textbooks. She’s also taking knitting and volleyball through Hope Chapel in Hermosa Beach. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)
Caedyn’s standardized test scores may show advanced knowledge in math and grammar, but competitive skateboarding is his true passion. Home schooling’s flexibility allows the lanky teen to spend hours practicing at various skate parks and travel to competitions. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)
Michelle Browning peruses a photo album with her daughter Makenzie, 6, as older sister Madison, 8, watches during a geography class with other home schooled students in Redondo Beach. “I really wanted my children to have an individualized experience,” Browning says of the family’s decision on home schooling. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Makenzie talks with friend Dakota Hunt, 7, as Madison waits for the start of the geography class, a twice-a-month event at a Redondo Beach community center that mixes education and fun. Their mother says the girls’ natural curiosity has led them to learn how to read and write without formal training. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Makenzie rehearses ballet steps with friends in Redondo Beach. Michelle Browning creates unstructured, freewheeling days for Makenzie and her sister based on the practice of “unschooling,” which shuns regimented lessons. “I know what the state standards are, but they don’t govern our lives,” Browning says. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)