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Homeschoolers Succeed as Future Problem Solvers

  • 2003 31 Jul
Homeschoolers Succeed as Future Problem Solvers

One of the many facets which contributes to the success of homeschooling is "thinking outside the box."

Homeschooling parents are impacting the way America views education by providing high quality teaching at home rather than in a "formal" school.

Thinking outside the box is also necessary when participating in the Future Problem Solving Program (FPSP). This program engages students in creative problem solving by stimulating critical and creative thinking skills and encouraging students to develop a vision for the future.

Students use a six-step problem-solving process to analyze current issues projected into the future. The topics for the 2002-2003 year were sports medicine, e-commerce, nanotechnology, DNA identification, and worldwide communication.

Two homeschooled teams from Iowa achieved some exceptional results at the Future Problem Solving International Competition. The competition was held June 4-8 at the University of Connecticut. To qualify, teams must win at the state level, and only the top 1 percent of Future Problem Solvers are invited to the finals.

At the international competition, the junior division (grades four through six) team of John Lamansky, Jordan Linschied, Rebecca Moore, and Sarah Schwartz won second place.

The second homeschooled junior team of Ricky Fagan, Sylvia Ferragut, Mary Margaret Mallampalli, and Anthony Vieceli, in their first year of competition, placed 11th in the international contest.

In the senior division (grades nine through 12) individual competition, Madeline Wheeler, a homeschooled student from Ainsworth, was Iowa's state champion and placed seventh overall at internationals.

Iowa FPS homeschool coach Paula Lawson-Moore has been volunteering for 12 years.

"Every year is a tremendous experience. Many former Future Problem Solvers have told me that they use the skills they leaned in FPS to succeed in life," she said.

For more information on the Future Problem Solving Program (FPSP) please visit

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