NORMAL â Craig Claro and Yvonne Claro are both certified teachers. Craig Claro teaches in a public school. His wife gives lessons at their Normal home.
The couple once assumed their two daughters would attend public schools, but they began reconsidering after consulting with other parents who had success teaching at home. They attended a home-school conference in Peoria and decided to give it a try.
"It was a long process. We were not in favor of home schooling at all at first," Yvonne Claro said. "It's not for everyone. It's hard work."
However, both she and her husband were driven by a religious conviction that home schooling was the way to go, she said. They've stuck with it, but it hasn't been easy.
"Quite frankly, there were times I was ready to throw in the towel, but I can't give up until he (God) tells me to," she said.
Patton views home teaching of her children, ages 15 and 13, as a ministry, believing they are "getting a very good education" at home and that her daughters are well-socialized. They take part in a wide variety of activities, such as youth group, choir, 4-H and piano lessons.
Although academics come first, the Patton home school also includes Bible classes two or three times a week.
Her husband, a sixth-grade teacher at Bloomington Junior High School, gives lessons in math and science. Yvonne Claro hopes the team teaching results in both daughters attending college. The oldest, she said, plans to do mission work.
As a teacher, Yvonne Claro says she's tough but fair.
"I'm a stickler for grammar and spelling," she said. "They get what they earn on grades."