Jennifer Ortega

About Jennifer Ortega

Reporter and Fill-in Anchor on the weekends. Jennifer Ortega joins our team all the way from South Florida. She's worked for CBS 12 and Hola Tv in West Palm Beach. Although she's a long way from home, she's excited to be a part of the WCBI News Team.

Video: The Homeschooling Alternative

CALEDONIA, Miss. (WCBI)-¬†While most area school children are enjoying the final hours of their Christmas break, a few others have been learning through the holidays. But they don’t mind…because for them, even little things like taking down Christmas decorations or going to the grocery store can be part of their education.

16-year-old twins Laura and Lucy Sandifer are a prodigies of home schooling and are now teaching their brothers and others how to play the violin.

“It’s awesome, I mean you get to be home with your family, I help with my brothers’ school so that’s fun, just to get that extra time with him,” said twin Laura Sandifer.

Both of the girls have been home schooled since they were five. Mother Denise Sandifier started home-schooling her children more than a decade ago knowing she likely would do it through their children’s education. But for those who want to take it more slowly or are unsure, Denise says being a member of groups like the Christian Home Educators of Lowndes County is really helpful and pays special rewards.

“I hated chemistry, I had no idea home I was going to teach chemistry, I did well to get through it in college…Just getting to be with them everyday and watch their character shape and be part of that shaping is just got huge rewards,” said mother Denise Sandifer.

Home school organizations provide parents like Denise with learning tools like lectures, DVDs and online courses. It also allows the flexibility to turn every activity into a learning experience. Lucy and Laura graduated last year and don’t feel like they’re missing out on regular school. And they’ve found other ways to gain valuable socializing experiences with other kids their age.

“It’s pretty cool actually because we have a couple extra years if we wanted it to just lay back or we could use it to further our music,” added daugther Lucy Sandifer.

“The association provides a good way of meeting other families that have children your age…and they interact with kids of all ages, which is more true to life than sitting in a classroom with 30 kids your own age,” said Denise.

Denise says she runs their school similar to a traditional school, starting each class day at 8 to establish a routine. But from there, she allows flexibility for free learning.

“Just getting to be together and be a family and learning to love each other through all of these wonderful goods and bads has been a good part of home schooling,” said Denise.

The CHELC association provides 50 to 75 members every year with the help they need to teach at home.