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Katie and  Neil Young say homeschooling is an opportunity for their family to combine academics with faith formation.

The Coal Valley family has been homeschooling for about  eight years. They have seven children. Five are homeschool age.   

The Youngs  belong to a group called Heart of Mary Educators. There are about sixty two families in that group.

The couple choose curriculum from a combination of homeschool materials.  Four days a week, the dining room table becomes a classroom. There, the children are taught by their mother.

On Fridays, Katie and her children will take field trips or take part in other educational activities.

The girls participate in gymnastics while the boys are involved in Tae Kwon Do, along with their dad.

The emphasis placed on faith formation is a major reason the Youngs decided to join the Heart of Mary Educators. They are Catholic.  

 Prayer, Bible Study, teaching about the lives of the saints and devotions are included in the curriculum.

Katie has a teaching degree in secondary education from Augustana College. Homeschooling, she says, has given her the opportunity to have more quality time with her children and to see the God given gifts they have.