Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The number of children homeschooled in South Carolina has gone up every year since 2006 according to the South Carolina Association of Independent Homeschools.
One of those students, 7 year old Ben Hunter, is reading at a 3rd grade level. If he went to public school, he'd be placed in 2nd grade.
"We can move on when he's ready," said Kristie Hunter, Ben's mother and teacher. "If we get to a skill he's really good at, we can move forward and challenge. If we reach a point where he's struggling, we can spend more time on that. It's centered around his growth."
Kristie Hunter taught in a Richland Two public school for 8 years but decided Ben and her younger son Jacob would both be taught at home.
"We spend about two and a half hours a day doing school," said Hunter. "We do pretty much the regular subjects: spelling, reading, english, math, science, social studies. We also do bible."
The South Carolina Association of Independent Homeschools says the number of students taught at home has grown between 7%-14% every year since 2006.
"I'm not one of those people that would tell you we're going to homeschool for the rest of his life," said Hunter. "We're not opposed to them going to public school."
She says an abundance of online communities provide educational and extra curricular activities for students who do not attend a public school. The Jeep Rogers YMCA has 'Swim and Gym'.
"A lot of people think homeschool kids are kind of isolated and stuff but the kids that I see here, absolutely not," said Heather Tarnawsky who runs the program. "They're being active and with the way obesity levels are today, this is our way of trying to promote a healthy lifestyle."
The Hunter kids also take karate lessons twice a week and with their other activities, Kristie Hunter says her kids are more social than most.
"I think homeschooling provides better socialization than public school. Public school kids are shut in a room with 20 kids their age, one adult, all day long. My children and lots of other homeschool children are exposed to kids of various ages, adults, learning that interaction, respect, how to get along with someone you may have just met," said Hunter. "I'm not against public school. I don't think public schools are bad. I think you just have to do what's best for your family."