Making the Grade: Private school offers rigorous study, homeschooling

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Making the Grade: Private school offers rigorous study, homeschooling

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Teacher Katie Pearce reads to a first and second grade class at the Veritas Classical Schools. The hybrid program brings students together twice a week while promoting independent home study.

Tamu Tuboku-Metzger sent her first child to various small schools in search of the ideal fit. But in each case, she found most of the learning was taking place at home. “It just seemed I was doing so much,” said the Dunwoody mom said.

Though she wasn’t ready to take on all the responsibility of being a home-schooling parent, Tuboku-Metzger found a balance at Veritas Classical Schools that operate in four locations on Atlanta’s northside and a few beyond.

“I heard about the school through a friend of mine who did homeschool and who explained to me that this was a hybrid,” said Tuboku-Metzger. “When my daughter was in elementary school, she went two days a week for classes in science and humanities, and came back with homework packets. I liked that the curriculum was rigorous and went along with what I had in mind.”

Tuboku-Metzger now has her two youngest children in the program that meets at Tapestry Church in Roswell. Her oldest, Laini, is 16 and in Veritas’s eleventh grade, where she follows the same two-day class schedule for AP history and English. She also spends two days dual-enrolled at Georgia State’s Perimeter campus.

“I really like that it’s very flexible,” said Laini, who aspires to be a pediatrician. “I finished pre-calculus in tenth grade. And as a high schooler at GSU, I see how Veritas has helped me understand how to schedule my time.”

Using a university-styled approach, Veritas is an accredited, nontraditional school that has offered classical education for students in kindergarten through high school since 1995. By middle school, the curriculum emphasizes speech, debate, logic and critical thinking, and puts a focus on writing. Students come together two or three times a week to meet with instructors and are assigned independent work outside the classroom.

“Students have a lot of homework, and they understand that ‘free time’ isn’t free,” said Dave Kinsey, Veritas owner and director. “They have to apply themselves, and that prepares them well for college.”

A former headmaster at Fellowship Christian in Roswell, Kinsey and his wife, a teacher, curriculum coordinator and principal, took over Veritas in 2004. The program has steadily grown, now attracting almost 600 students.

“The best fit is for a student who is interested in working hard and has a diligent mind set,” said Kinsey. “Or they have parents who will make them work hard. Students leave us either because we don’t have athletics or they say we’re too hard. But students who stay will learn how to organize and prioritize their time, so when they go to college, then they’re able to handle the similar format. Our structure also gives them chance to interact with the teacher and other students; they’re not just sitting in front of a computer, and that socialization aspect is very important for some students.”

Along with the socialization aspects of the classroom, Veritas offers opportunities for students to experience traditional high school activities.

“We’re more of a hybrid private school, and we try to have all the aspects of a private school, including a spring formal, a yearbook and a club or two,” said Kinsey.

“Veritas is like an extension of our home,” said Tuboku-Metzger. “We spend a lot of time together, which is important for shaping your child.”

Information: veritasschools.com

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