Boston, Massachusetts – Ever since Massachusetts issued the first compulsory education law in 1789, many parents have attempted to justify the reasons for home schooling their children: escalating violence in public schools, cutting down on gasoline for the SUV, freedom to teach religious beliefs, getting more yard work out of their kids, better quality of instruction and having someone around to fetch them beer. But, the parents of 15-year -old Ornice Bartimeus have chosen a more creative approach to educating their only son.
“We were concerned,” said Adelia Bartimeus, Ornice’s mother. “We wanted Ornice to experience all of the benefits of home schooling without sacrificing any of the important social aspects of attending a large public school.” To do so, the Bartimeus’ came up with a unique approach to making Ornice’s experiences at home mirror those he would have at a public institution.
Like other children, Ornice’s school day begins at 3:45 A.M. After donning his school uniform (a blue blazer over Orkin Termite Control overalls and rubber hip boots), he trundles downstairs for a hearty feast of waffles, chicken livers and grits. “After breakfast, I pack a bag full of his favorite treats and brush him out the door,” says Adelia. “We make Ornice walk a half mile down County Road 109 in the rain to wait for the bus driven by Ornice’s father, Bertram.” As he approaches the bus, Bertram speeds away, making Ornice late for school.