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Young knitter learns at home

BRANT LAKE She took up knitting two years ago, and now shes had her work displayed at the Chester Library. Charity Smith is 12 years old and lives with her parents, Dan and Beth Smith, along with her siblings. They are home schooled by their parents, and Charity started knitting at age 10 when her friends showed her how. She takes weekly lessons from Eleanor Penistan and recently, Wendy Hayes of the library asked if Charity would like to display her work. I came up with a few things for the library, she said. Those things included outfits she knitted for a Ken and Barbie doll. Its fun, I like to make stuff, Charity said of her craft. I like to learn new stitches and make new things. She is thinking of knitting for profit at some point, selling her creations. The Smiths are among a growing number of families that decide to teach their children at home as an alternative to sending them to public schools. I like having the kids around, Beth said. I can see what theyre being taught because Im teaching them.She said they belong to a home school group of about 50 to 60 families in the area who home school their children. The biggest thing is that I want to be a part of their lives, said Dan. I want more than to ask them how was school, and hear them say OK. He said he and his wife can incorporate belief systems and morals as part of the learning process. As far as socialization, theyre getting plenty of it, he said. And its not out on the playground where the bully rules. He said that studies have shown that home schooled kids consistently do better than average. Its a good learning experience for the parents, too, he said.

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