It has always been accepted that parents have an inherent right to determine how to raise and educate their children. These days, the latter decision is made more complex for the simpler dichotomous decision of private versus public schooling is given a third rival: homeschooling. Homeschooling holds an obvious advantage over the other two, that of the fact that as a parent, you are given an opportunity to be completely hands-on with your child’s education, from schedule, to curriculum, and to the sort of development you want imbibed in him or her through that education. While these advantages may hold true under any circumstance, it is important for you as a parent to also understand the disadvantages in the system as well. Only then can you be certain that you are indeed making the right and educated decision in choosing homeschooling over the other two. The first obvious disadvantage is the amount of investment you have to make as a parent. Why? Homeschooling leaves the responsibility of educating your child completely on you. This means you’re going to have to research and collate a curriculum for your child, as well as determine on your own supplemental activities that will enhance this learning experience. Moreover, this means having to invest greater time in your child than a normal working parent would. Homeschooling may require either parent to stay home and be the teacher, or may put greater stress on parents who both work for a living. This also means doing away with the expertise of an accredited teacher. Trained teachers are equipped with the knowledge to teach a wide range of topics as well as strategies in order to stimulate greater learning and active participation. As a parent without this training, you may find it necessary to do much more research, especially as you determine what you want to teach your child. The classroom setting provides inherent benefits of socialization to your child. Homeschooling obviously takes away this opportunity for your child to interact with other children in the learning environment. Although your child may have siblings to interact with, this may translate to your child as not being exposed to a wider gamut of ideas and perspectives. A classroom with children from different backgrounds and personal beliefs provides your child with ideas that may stimulate his mind to think and criticize. Visit and talk to people who have undergone homeschooling. This may help you get to know more about these disadvantages, and perhaps, help you learn how to appropriately respond to them to make homeschooling work for you.
The fact is, you can actually design your homeschooling program in order for it to come free. By ‘free’, we mean that you won’t be spending an extra buck aside from the regular crayons and pieces of paper that a regular school kid would need at the start of a school year. The key to getting homeschooling ‘free’ is taking advantage of the resources around you. The most obvious obstacle in beginning to homeschool your child is the need to create your own homeschooling curriculum. You may opt to purchase your own books to go over possible material, hire a professional to assist you in the creation of this curriculum, or better yet, go online and find a suitable free home schooling curriculum. Online home schooling support sites actually have various options for home schooling curriculum for you to choose from. Because these are all online, you are not likely to spend on transportation, professional fees, and even purchase of books you may not use when you decide you don’t want them in your curriculum. Carrying on with a homeschooling program does not have to be expensive either. If you prefer buying books, you can contact local book dealers. Dealers of book sets have various discounts for home schooling parents like you. The benefits of getting your own book sets include the convenience of having these books in the comfort of your home. The costs of purchasing the books will be well worth it because your succeeding children can make use of these same books when they reach the same educational level. Otherwise, you can opt to take advantage of something closer to home—your town or city library. Your library will likely carry a huge wealth of books (some may no longer be sold in your regular bookstores!) that you can borrow when you need them. Your regular school field trip can easily be replaced with the fraction of the cost. You can opt to see sites within the proximity of your home. Your city and your state may offer you a rich array of cultural and historical sites to visit. You can also opt to tie in education with whatever family trips and vacations you’d be making. Taking a trip to Lourdes? Build a lesson around the family trip so that you can use this time and the money you spend in homeschooling your child as well. With some careful thought and innovativeness, you can easily make home schooling free—both financially and effort-wise. Don’t be afraid to ask around and look for ideas online from other homeschooling parents.
Distance Learning Education Online Needs a Dictator Education Online: I know that it is politically incorrect to suggest that you should work to pass your exams because it discriminates against lazy layabouts. But... Conventional Education for the Lazy If you are at a politically incorrect school the teachers will be the dictators. They'll lay down the rules about what homework you must do and when it must be presented. They'll keep an eye out for any learning difficulties that you have and try to help you. You will be spoon-fed. If you are very clever you will sit in the classroom and learn without any effort, just because there is nothing else to do so you might as well listen to the teacher. The teachers won't let you wander away to do something more interesting. They are dictators! My son couldn't understand why his school reports always said "could do better" when he was top of the class. He never did any work, so his success was really the success of his dictatorial teachers. My Distance Learning Home Schooling My father set aside a room in the house for our distance learning. There was all I needed there for study and no distractions. I had to sit in that room till the job was done. Boredom is many times worse for me than work, even though I am very lazy, so I read all the textbooks from cover to cover and invented a good way to memorise vocabulary that allowed me to learn languages with very little effort. I was an ideal candidate for home schooling and distance learning. That was my whole aim in life - to do as little work as possible with as little boredom as possible. Because my father was a dictator I got into the way of doing everything as soon as possible, so that my father would let me have time to myself when I had finished. In other words I became my own dictator forbidding myself to procrastinate. Without a dictator your home schooling, distance learning, education online - call it what you will, will fail because you never get around to it. Education Online Needs Dictators Someone is going to have to be a dictator. If you are a parent with children homeschooling online you will have to be the dictator. If you are a student using distance learning guess what...there isn't anybody else to be the dictator so you'll have to be your own strict disciplinarian. You'll have to rule yourself with a rod of iron. Keep Yourself Motivated for Education Online Fine - if you don't have a dictator what is to prevent you failing to put in your projects on time? Nothing. So find the fun in the work. There is always enough fun in any job for some misguided individuals to do it as a hobby. There is a forum associated with most online education. Become the "answers person". Whenever another student has a problem you answer the question before the lecturer gets round to it. Oh yes, it does mean that you're going to have to work hard to get the answer before anybody else does, but remember that the others will probably be procrastinating, and the teachers will have finished their 9 to 5 day and won't reply till tomorrow, so you won't have much competition. I revel in the thanks that come my way when I help another student's education online. Some studies will still need you to be your own dictator. I used to do one hour a day practicing the harmonium and one hour each day practicing the violin. I was fortunate because my Father was a dictator. If I hadn't done my practice towards the end of the day he would interrupt whatever I was doing and order me off to do my practice. This politically incorrect procedure made me determined not to be caught out again. So I completed my practice before I started doing what I really wanted to do. Later on I had got so much into the habit of doing my practice as early as possible that I could be my own dictator. What if there isn't a dictator? Then don't consider education online. You will fail if you keep putting off your study. You need a dictator to keep you going even if you are your own dictator. There must be no compromise or distractions. My boss once congratulated me because I was continuing to write a computer program while the partitions in the office were being torn down and new wiring and equipment installed. The noise was horrendous and people had to keep going round me and my computer. My experience with distance education had taught me to keep at the job ignoring all distractions. You'll have to do the same to benefit from education online. The Sweetener to Education Online If you are your own dictator you can do the projects with the related study in a fraction of the time that a conventional course would take. So you can enjoy yourself for the rest of the time, or if you are a real glutton for punishment, you can take two distance learning courses at once and get twice the satisfaction when you succeed. Someone invented a tape recorder that would record a lecturer speaking at 50 words per minute and play it back at 500 words per minute without sounding high and squeaky. They found that our brains can handle the 500 words per minute better because our thoughts don't wander off after distractions. So if you can read at 500 words per minute perhaps you can do ten home schooling courses at once?! I feel tired just thinking about it.
How do you successfully determine what method of teaching, what lessons to teach and at what speed? Having decided to educate your kids at home for the purpose of giving your children the needed attention they require, do you still follow the school's standards of what subjects to cover and take up and when? Has keeping with the rules and standards of the school meant hurrying your children through anything by driving them to memorizing certain areas of the subject matter so to progress? If you are, keep in mind that you are not doing your children any favors at all. For kids to really be equipped for life, you should exploit the benefits of what homeschooling will permit you to accomplish and that is choosing your objectives and goals and setting the pace in relation to your children’s specific needs. By far, the biggest challenge that a homeschooling parent encounters is making a homeschooling schedule. While some make use of software programs, some parents write their notes in notebooks or in computer programs such as Microsoft Word; some plan the activities as the day goes and others do the planning ahead; there are some who do not make plans at all. It would really depend on the type of person that you are, on where are you comfortable with. However, making a yearly plan of objectives consisting of goals which you have established for your child is the best, convenient and effective way to go. Basing from the goals you have set, the choices you make when gathering the homeschooling materials needed will be much easier and ensure that they will be put into productive use. Since you are well familiar with your child’s learning abilities, it is wise that the goals you set will be based from his/her capabilities. At such time that your child is old or mature enough, he can and must help in the goals that you make, ultimately setting his own goals, making you his advisor. You can acquire homeschooling teaching materials on the internet, and it is important that you become well acquainted with the teaching materials in order that you can manage, organize and take control so that you understand and see everything in an orderly manner. Here are suggestions to help you achieve this task: 1. Group materials for the whole school year by topic. 2. Sort out the teaching materials that will be used by you from the materials that will be used by your child. 3. Place the materials in such a way that it is accessible to the kids when they need to refer to it. 4. When organizing the educational materials for every subject, keep the primary alongside the supplemental materials, as well as make certain that extra materials, like additional readings and tools, are readily available when needed. 5. Take into account making a listing of educational materials that you have. This is useful especially when you are teaching two or more children as the list can keep track and organize the materials that you have through the years. 6. After obtaining the materials for a certain subject's curriculum, study and spend a lot of time getting yourself familiar and well acquainted with everything. You can inspect the materials through answering the following guidelines: How are these materials constructed to be carried out? What is the expected time frame for each session? What type of performance is expected for the child? Do I have all supplemental materials that I need, such as the teacher's guide or student workbooks? If not, you will need to get them before the school year starts. Do supplemental materials, like the answer key and teacher's guide fit in and conform with it? Do the materials actually match your expectations? At times when you were not able to directly examine the materials, when you receive them, they are not what you really have expected. Return and replace the materials with what really matches your needs. The technology of today, especially the internet has exposed a lot of homeschooling materials and supplies readily available to all individuals. With a lot of research one can surely find homeschooingl educational software, lesson plans, curriculums, programs, educational games, activities, and a lot more! The internet is overflowing with information so searching for and looking for resources is not a problem at all. Also, there are a number of support groups and forums to ensure an effective homeschooling experience for you.
Homeschooling and college As children grow out of their little pants and are ready to begin their teens, many parents wonder if they should continue with the homeschooling program. They fear that colleges may not give equal opportunities to a child educated at home. Many fears of this kind were put to rest when 2 homeschooled boys got admission into Harvard. Harvard does not require a high school diploma for gaining admission to their degree program. Many colleges are more interested in the knowledge and behavior of the homeschooled children rather than their high school diplomas. In fact, other things being similar many colleges prefer homeschoolers because of the diversity and richness they bring to their college life. Admission requirements may vary. While some colleges require the child to appear for the SAT, others may need a general equivalency diploma. And some may not care for any tests at all. The criterion may vary depending on the college that you wish to apply to. But, college courses really do not require any high school background or special training. It is common to come across parents who frantically try to shift out their homeschool children to high schools because they fear unavailability of college admissions. But college admissions are open to all educated individuals, regardless of whether they are educated at home or at a public school. (word count 223)
Of course in America there are many options to educating our children. There are public schools, private schools, charter schools, Montessori schools and, of course, the option of home schooling. There are advocates of both home schooling and public schooling. Those of us who don’t home school, which is still the majority of Americans, need to fully understand the reasons why people choose to home school their children. Religious or Philosophical Convictions: Religion is not permitted in the public schools. Many families feel that religion needs to be a larger part of their child’s education than that which the public schools allow. People who have deep religious beliefs show great passion. These are the individuals who are passionate about their children’s education and feel that only they are able to teach them to the best of their ability and the content that they feel they should be learning. The home schooling parent is in charge, they call the shots and they like it that way. Socialization: Some people that don’t understand home schooling believe that it is confining rather than socializing. But those individuals that believe that are stuck in thinking about the stereotypical socialization of an age-based classroom. Children that are home schooled are exposed to social situations in a mixed age range. They have “age-mates” instead of “class-mates”. Many home schoolers feel that their children need to be exposed to the appropriate ways to behave not inappropriate. They feel that their child should be exposed to the model behavior of people who have learned to make decisions and handle themselves in various social settings. By being exposed to appropriate modeling of social behavior, home-schooled children will learn how to act appropriately. Parents of home schooled children can also see when their child “gets-it” when they model for a younger child appropriate behavior. Home-schooled children get a reality based social lesson. On a daily basis they see adults they know, love and trust manage and balance life day to day. Modeled for them is academics balanced with real life chores; caring for a sick friend or neighbor, shoveling the driveway and walkway, doing the grocery shopping and dropping of the dry cleaning, cooking dinner while folding laundry, putting laundry away and talking on the phone with Aunt Sara. These are real life situations that home schoolers are exposed to and public school children are often sheltered from or are privy to a controlled school environment. Academics: Home schoolers have several advantages over publicly schooled children. The curriculum is designed specifically for them – not for children their age and what children at a particular age are expected to know and learn. Public schools differentiate instruction the best they can. However, a home-schooled child has a curriculum tailored to their needs. They may read at a 4 th grade level, spell at a 3 rd grade level and complete math at a 6 th grade level. A home-schooled child is neither rushed nor not given enough time. There are no other children to “keep busy” so they are free to work at their pace and move as quickly or as slowly as need be. Much research has been done on how children learn best. A home-schooled child is not only taught by the person who knows them best in the entire world but also since they are the only student, the learning style never has to be varied. If a student learns best through music, then the curriculum of a home-schooled child can be tailored to meet their needs so they will be more successful. Home-schooled children get to spend more quality time as a family. They are not trapped in a traditional school setting for 6 hours a day but are free to spend quality time as a family every day. It is said that parents are a child’s first teacher. Families that home school want to continue to be their child’s teacher because they feel that their children need the guidance of their family and God and not the guidance of someone hired to do a job that is naturally theirs from the day their child was born.
Homeschooling has increased more in the past few years than it has for the past decades. Initially, homeschooling or any type of private education wasn’t allowed in the United States, but when a public court ruled for the Society of Sisters for the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary and allowed them to set up a private school in 1925, public schools weren’t the only institutions providing education to children. This sparked the homeschooling idea and not long after, parents have decided to educate their children in their own homes. Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states; however, each state has different requirements and guidelines reagrding the homeschooling program. Some states simply require parents who opt for homeschooling, to simply file an intent notice to the local school superintendent or any school official, and some require lesson plans to be made and approved by the school board before the program starts. All of these requirements aim to fully educate children whether they are educated at home or in public schools. In California, homeschoolers have three choices, thay can use a credited tutor, enroll in a qualified private school or be part of an independent public homeschooling program. Parents may form private schools for their own children; however, all those who wish to form private schools need to file an annual report with the Department of Education.
Certain courses, similar to that of public schools, that can fit into a few pages, (contrary to the hundreds of pages required of public schoosl) need to be present, as well as attendance records. But teachers need not have credentials, they must simply be “capable of teaching”. Differences in state requirements can also be observed in testing and assessment. Some states require homeschoolers to take standardized tests or have evaluations done by qualified teachers. Other states however, do not require such evaluation methods. In California again, students are encouraged to take the standardized tests that Public Schools are implementing at the end of every term.
Graduating procedures also differ with states, some require that home schools be operated as private schools, have graduation procedures that doen’t differ from private school gradaution. However, some have no graduation requirements at all; basically, the schools determine who graduates or not, this applies to homeschoolers in the state as well. In other states, homeschoolers receive no recognition, but are still granted access to colleges and universities. Requirements and laws differ from state to state, and there is no absolute list of requirements for the whole United States. The best a parent who intends to homeschool her child is to find web sites or go to local school officials for information.
Why let Tim and Lisa learn at home than send them to school? Well, first of all, you don't have to wake them up at 7 every morning and bundle them off to school with umpteen numbers of instructions, and wait with an anxious heart till they return. Homeschooling gives you more control over the influences that affect your child. The growth and development of your child is removed from the realm of the unknown. You, and you alone can decide what your child needs to do or learn.
Tailoring the curriculum to suit the needs and interests of the child is one of the most obvious benefits of homeschooling Individual attention is another salient benefit of homeschooling. For instance, if Lisa needs more time to learn Math, then she can reduce the time for her English lessons. There are no fixed hours of learning per subject. This means that a child has the advantage of assigning more number of hours to the subject that seems tough WITHOUT any additional pressure. The amount of time needed to learn each subject will depend on the abilities and interests of the child. The schooling of the child becomes an extended family activity. Parents get involved in every step of the learning procedure. Field trips and experiments become family activities. Thus, the child receives more quality time with his parents. The entire family shares games, chores and projects. Family closeness becomes the focus here. The child is also free of any negative peer pressure while making choices and decisions. Competition is limited when it comes to homeschooling. The child does not need to prove his ability with regards to other children. His confidence remains intact. Since parents have a deep understanding of their child, they can plan the learning program to pique the child's interest. It is also possible to intersperse difficult tasks with fun activities. A tough hour with Algebra can be followed by a trip to the nearest museum. Learning becomes fun. Parents can also tailor the curriculum to suit the learning style of the child. Some children learn through reading, while others need to write, and still others need to see objects in action. Homeschooling allows parents to take control over the moral and religious learning of the child. Parents have the flexibility to incorporate their beliefs and ideologies into the child's curriculum. There is no confusion in the child's mind either because there is no variation between what is being taught and what is being practiced. Lastly, more and more parents are getting disillusioned with the public school system. They believe that their children are being pushed too hard or too little. Other worrying issues pertaining to discipline and ethics also make the school system less welcome. Many repudiate the educational philosophy of grouping children solely on the basis of their age. Some parents themselves have unhappy memories of their own public school experience that motivates them to opt for homeschooling when it comes to their own children. Homeschooling is the best way to teach a child if you have the time, the ability and the interest to follow through with his education. After all, nobody can understand or appreciate your child more than yourself.
Homeschooling - the darker side It's not all hunky-dory and smooth sailing on the homeschooling front. Like all things in life, there is a downside that has to be seriously considered when you explore the homeschooling option. Though one man's bane may be another man's boon, there are certain common reasons for concern. The responsibility of teaching your child rests solely on you. You cannot blame anyone else if your child is seen wanting in the skills that his peers excel in. If your child cannot do the things that are expected from other children of his age group, it reflects badly on you as an educator as well as a parent. A critical part of homeschooling is the time that you have to spend with your children. You may have to give up your friends, shopping and other entertainment and dedicate all these to your child. This can become frustrating at times. You have to learn to take the aggravation with equanimity and wait for the rewards with patience and enthusiasm. A parent who is dedicated to tutor his or her child single handedly does not realistically have much time left over for a career. This means that the family is robbed of an additional source of income. In turn, this may lead to stress over finances. You will have to train yourself to live on a strictly controlled budget. While this is a matter of habit, it does need some getting used to. You cannot take a break when you feel like it. Feelings of guilt will assail you if you neglect studies just because you are feeling blue. You also fear that the child will take advantage of the situation. Even when you have given homework, you have to be around to give a helping hand. This means that anytime your child is around you, you are on duty! For some, this may mean working every waking hour. The child studying at home also needs to get out more. This comes from staying at home all the time. Interaction with adults and other children needs to be given special attention. Children tutored at home cannot develop in the various directions that are open to children attending public schools. To achieve that kind of exposure, you either have to be a super-parent skilled in everything, or enroll your child to various activities. This may not only prove too costly, but also be counter-productive. It is sometimes observed that homeschooled children do not do as well in SAT tests as their school-going counterparts. Without a diploma or a GED, some students find it difficult to get into the military. Lastly, if you envision enrolling your child to a public school, there may be a certain period of emotional as well as social adjustment. A child who is used to being at home for the whole day and enjoying so much of uncontained freedom may have to undergo some distressing emotional upheavals before he or she gets used to the rigors of a regular school life. (word count 501)
1. It's not boring as all get out. I spent the first 5 and a half years of my education in public schools. There were, of course, times when I enjoyed learning things and talking to my friends. On the flip side, though, there were long stretches of monotony and boredom. And that was just grade school! I can't even imagine what it would have gotten like in middle and high school. I vaguely remember a class I took in 6th grade before I began to be homeschooled. "Conflict resolution" they called it. It was an entire class we had to sit through for 50 minutes a day on how not to get in a fight. Instead of teaching us something useful like math, history or science, we had to sit and learn that getting in a fistfight wasn't good for anybody. I think it goes without saying that homeschooling was far more interesting. I was either doing something and learning, or I was enjoying my free time. I never had to sit through extended periods of monotonous lectures or stare at a chalkboard while a teacher catered to the slowest student in the classroom. I was able to learn at my own pace and enjoy it. 2. No one gives you wedgies. Unless, of course, you have an older sibling and then you might get more wedgies than you can handle. One of the fantastic things about being homeschooled is that there is no awkward social structure that you have to fit yourself into. Unless you live in a very complicated family, there are no bullies, no drug addicts and so forth. Again, the advantage is more than what you don't have to deal with, but also in what you do get. Being homeschooled enabled me to develop much stronger relationships with my parents and my siblings, and I did find a variety of friends through our homeschool group and church and so forth. I found that when I got to college I was able to comfortably communicate with everyone from the older students (some who were even grandparents, coming back for their education) to the younger students and even the professors and staff. None of these people ever gave me a wedgy. 3. Odds are your teacher will probably like you. I didn't personally ever have issues with a teacher that didn't seem to like me or treat me well, but I do know that those experiences are out there. The odds increase, I think, as you get into high school that you might run into a teacher that you either don't like or who doesn't like you for some reason. I wouldn't say that it's anything personal, just sometimes there are personality clashes. On the other hand, I think you benefit from homeschooling because you're able to develop a much deeper relationship with your parents. Instead of coming home from school and simply telling them what you did (if you can even remember all the details) you live it with them.
Maintaining Discipline in Homeschooling When the child stays at home all day, and mommy is the teacher, there are certain issues of discipline at stake. It is easy for he child to misconstrue the freedom he has at home and feel that homeschooling is just a long summer holiday. This is a potential landmine and children need to be disciplined right at the start. Homeschooling gives you and your child a truly immense amount of flexibility. You and your child decide where to learn, how much to learn and when to learn. But, these should be decisions made at the beginning stages. If your child is too little to take an active part in the decision, chart out a few hours of the day for the various activities, and stick to it. When there is no outside agency to supervise and no exams to answer, it is easy to get sidetracked. If your child is old enough, consult him and find out when he wants to learn. Apply your parental discretion and come up with a timetable. Homework is also a part of homeschooling. What this means is that once lessons have been taught, the child should be asked to do some part of the course work by himself without your guidance. You will need to make sure that your child sits willingly and finishes his work. Courtesy, manners and punctuality are some of the various facets of discipline that a child has to imbibe in the early years of his life. The school where he interacts with his peers, his seniors and juniors and his teachers mould these values quite automatically. At homeschool, the child should be taught the importance of speaking and behaving in a proper manner and appropriate corrections need to be meted out if behavior is unsatisfactory. It is advisable to keep aside a particular room or a part of the room for your homeschool. The child should be expected to reach his desk at the appointed time, in proper attire with all the necessary material. It is easy to allow the school to become an extension of play if these ground rules are not laid out and followed. As the teacher, supervisor, principal and janitor rolled into one, you should also approach the study area with a cool professionalism. Homeschooling is doomed to fail without patience. In spite of all the precautions and steps one takes, it is easy for a child to get familiar' at homeschool. At such times, it may be difficult to discipline the child and get him to listen to you attentively. When this happens, switch to something new. Allow the child to take a breather and enjoy a break yourself. Homeschooling is not easy. It requires a lot of hard work and patience. The very informality of the whole procedure sometimes works against it by making it too easy. If you take steps to establish rules at the very beginning and adhere to these rules, your homeschooling experience will be a huge success. (Word count 500)
Your legal situation as a homeschooler depends largely on what state you live in and how state and local officials enforce the laws concerning compulsory attendance, private education, and homeschooling. Whether they require registration, a notice of intent, regular evaluation, or advance approval, the statutes take in your state can be less important than how they are enforced. To keep your homeschooling legal worries to the minimal level they deserve, here are some things which you should bear in mind: 1. Know what your state’s law says. Read the applicable statutes for yourself, talk to other homeschoolers, and join a state homeschooling organization that monitors the regulations affecting homeschoolers. 2. Learn what potential problems for homeschoolers exist in your state. Learn how other homeschoolers have dealt with them successfully, and plan how you’d respond if faced with them yourself. Don’t wait until after the fact to learn what your options could have been. 3. Do not automatically assume that any explanation of home-schooling legal issues you hear or read is correct. Whether the opinion is that of a school official, a lawyer for a home-school legal defense organization, a legislator, or another homeschooler, you need to check it out for yourself. Laws concerning homeschooling are usually complex; clear and definitive statements on legal issues usually leave out something important. 4. Do not let worry about legal issues distract you from the everyday business of homeschooling. When homeschoolers object to rules that require them to document their children’s learning or to have their kids tested on a regular basis, it’s because such requirements often interfere with that learning. If you are changing your whole approach to homeschooling because of your state’s legal requirements, you are probably worrying way too much about the law. 5. Do not be shy about your homeschooling. You don’t have to announce it to everyone you meet, but visible home-schoolers help make homeschooling familiar and acceptable to the general public. With enough of us around, the, public may eventually understand that homeschooling can be fun and exciting, as well as effective, and we’ll find we have active support even from families who would never homeschool themselves.
An ever growing number of thoughtful parents are concerned about the status of public schools in many cites across North America. At the same time, a good number of families are struggling to make ends meet. They simply do not have excess funds available to send their children to private schools. One solution that many families are embracing is home schooling. With each passing school year, more and more families in North America -- indeed, in many countries around the world -- are electing the home schooling for their children. There are some definite benefits and specific drawbacks to choosing home schooling for your children.
Turning to the positive elements of home schooling first, chief amongst them is the fact that parents have greater control over the education of their children. One of the more significant complaints frequently expressed about both public and private schools is the lack of input and control a parent has over the education of his or her child or children. While there are certain educational standards that must be met when it comes to home schooling, a parent has a significant degree of discretion over how his or her child or children will be taught. In addition to more control over the educational process, most parents who are involved in the home schooling of their children believe that their children are obtaining a far better course of education. Many of these parents simply believe that public schools are not up to muster and that home schooling ensures that their children will be properly educated. Of course, when contrasting home schooling with the private school alternative, educating your children at home is significantly less expensive. The tuition costs and other fees associated with most private schools continue to increase each and every year.
As a result, many families simply have been priced out of the private school market all together. People who are involved in home schooling believe that education children at home works to develop a stronger bond between parents and children. The very fact that children will be spending more time with their parents because of being schooled in the home enriches the relationship between the generations. There are some drawbacks to home schooling as well.
The primary complaint that some education experts have in regard to home schooling is based on the need for children to interact socially with other children. These experts maintain that one of the most important components of attending school -- be it in a public or private setting -- are the opportunities for children to interact with each other. These opportunities are more limited when a child is home schooled. With that said, there are now different organizations and associations that have been formed that bring children who are home schooled together for different activities and events. Home schooling advocates assert that these activities and events allow children who are home schooled ample opportunity to interact with other children their own ages. Most education analysts believe that the trend towards home schooling will continue onward into the immediate future. These experts believe that an ever growing number of parents are going to elect to educate their children at home as an alternative to problematic public schools and expensive private schools.
The pros and cons of homeschooling are many, but do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages? With total control over your child's homeschooling needs you have the flexibility to teach your child values that cannot be taught in a public classroom. On the other hand your time will not be as free as it used to be. The education a child can gain from a loving and concerned parent will be much greater than is possible to receive in a public school system. You don't need a teaching credential or even a college degree, just the desire to give your child a quality education. If there are subjects that you don't feel comfortable teaching it is possible to hire a tutor for those classes. And on the positive side your home school curriculum can incorporate other things such as your own religious and moral beliefs, something that will not be taught in a public school system. By taking control of a child's education a parent can shape that child's value system better than anyone else. There are two main requirements necessary to achieve a rewarding home schooling experience for both you and your child. Obviously you must have a desire to teach your children, that is number one. If you are doing it out of duty or obligation you may soon find yourself in way over your head and wanting to get out. The second requirement is determination. You must truly want your child to succeed and be willing to put forth the time and effort it takes for your child to reach his or her potential. With these two ingredients your child may be able to realize an education that could not be achieved in a public classroom. You, more than anyone else, want your child to reach their full potential. This is usually not possible in a crowded classroom environment. A child, to learn at their best, must have one-on-one instruction from someone who truly cares for them. And who better than you can give that to them? Public school teachers are overwhelmed by the sheer number of students they must control every day. With the many different learning styles, discipline problems, regulations that need to be followed and other factors a public school teacher cannot spend the individual time with each child that is necessary to bring out that child's best. Home schooling can help children to blossom and bring out a child's full potential like nothing else can. Do you have doubts about your ability to teach? All you have to do to overcome your fear is to visit a public classroom for a day. Visit a kindergarten class or a first grade class and you will see that much of the time spent is merely controlling the children's behavioral problems. And the lessons that are taught are usually very simple. In a one-on-one home atmosphere you will be able to progress at your own pace. With a few home school books and lesson plans you will be able to get started very easily. Remember, you are starting your teaching experience with a very young child. And you will actually be able to learn as you go. With a little preparation it is possible to grow with your child. And the first time you see some of your instruction sink into your child's brain you will feel satisfied that you are performing a very important task. You will surely be surprised at how effective you can be as your child's homeschool instructor. Public school teachers have their curriculum all laid out for them. They must follow programs and use materials that others have already approved for them. They must also move at a predetermined pace so that they can get through their study programs even if it means going forward at the expense of a child understanding what has been taught. You, on the other hand, can come up with your own homeschooling curriculum which can include religious or moral beliefs. You can take a field trip anytime you desire. You can make sure your child fully grasps a specific subject before moving forward. This will allow your child the opportunity to learn as they should be learning and at a pace they can keep up with. In a public system the slower children are often left behind. There are negatives as well as positives however. The biggest negative to home schooling is your time. Your child will most likely receive a more rewarding education at home, but you will be devoting lots of your time to this cause. This could be a big sacrifice, especially if you are struggling financially and need to work. However, with a real desire you may be able to live without luxuries that will give you the time you need to offer your child the education they deserve. Search the internet for lesson plans, other pros and cons, christian home schooling information, home schooling requirements, home schooling books, eclectic homeschooling and other topics of interest. After researching this subject you may find that teaching your child will be even more rewarding for you than it is for your child. If you would like to develop a special bond with your child homeschooling may be the way.
There are a variety of methods that can be applied in the area of homeschooling. The method you select will have an impact on the curriculum and style of teaching. The following are some of the most popular homeschooling methods. The Charlotte Mason method is named after Charlotte Mason, who is known as the originator of the homeschooling movement. She herself was a homeschooler, and she wanted to establish a basic plan for a complete and effective homeschooling program. The Charlotte Mason method emphasizes poetry, fine arts, classical music, crafts, and classical literature. This method is designed to encourage an awareness of literature and involves reading to the child every day. The child is then asked to tell what he or she has heard. This starts at the age of six. By the age of ten, the child is expected to write narrations in a book. Mason encouraged the use of nature diaries as well.
The child writes observations of nature in the book as well. This creates a sense of respect for the environment in the child. Mason thought that good behavior and character were critical for a child’s complete personality development. The Eclectic Homeschooling method is a combination of several techniques. Innovative parents rely on their own judgment to select topics that make up the curriculum for their own child. These parents are always looking for the best products they can find to help them meet the needs of their home schoolers. Many of the curricula in this method are improvised. This means that, while the basic curriculum is established, parents change it to adapt to the individual needs and interests of their children. The curriculum is generally established according to the temperament, learning style, and interests of the children.
These programs typically include visits to libraries, factories, and museums. John Holt, a public educator in Boston, developed the ‘unschooling’ method. Holt believed that children learn best when they learn at their own pace and are guided by their own interests. He wanted to ‘unschool’ the child by requiring parents to take their cues from the children.
This approach has no set curriculum, schedules, or materials. It is the most unstructured of the homeschooling techniques. The Montessori method had its start in Italy. It was found that children go through extremely sensitive periods in which they experience periods of intense concentration. In these phases, children will repeat an action until they receive some measure of self-satisfaction from it. This method relies on prepared environments to facilitate learning. All materials utilized in this method are meant to satisfy the child’s interior desire for spiritual development.
Materials for this method range from simple to complex, and they are relatively costly. Whatever method is selected, the underlying concept is flexibility and a strong interest in the child’s own desires. The key is to use children’s desire for knowledge to further their education.
Is Homeschooling legal? Without a doubt, homeschooling is legal in all the 50 States of the U. s. But, that is just about where the similarity ends. Laws and regulations regarding homeschooling vary from state to state. Interpretations of these laws can vary from scholl district to school district. Additionally, these laws may change every year. The National Home Education network is a wonderful resource when it comes to the legalities of homeschooling. It has a listing of the actual state laws for each state in the U. S. Reading the laws that pertain to your state is perhaps the best way to get accurate information about these laws. But, most people need to get the laws interpreted by a qualified attorney. You can get valuable information from the support group at your locality. Additionally, many state education departments have online resources that will help you in interpreting the state requirements for homeschooling. The internet is also a good source of information. It is a good idea to check out your state laws regarding homeschooling before you start educating your child at home. This will prevent any nasty surprises on the way. If you have to move, you will need to be aware of any tests or exams that your child may need to take. (word count 210)
Most people think that homeschooling is cheap since there is no need to pay for school fees and other miscellaneous fees. However, that is further than the truth. In truth, homeschooling expenses can be greater than if you send your child to a regular public school. Public schools are partially funded by government funding whereas for homeschooling, there is no such funding available from the government. There are several non-profit and support groups who do fund homeschooling but usually it is on a case by case basis. Let’s look at some of the costs involved when homeschooling. Obviously, you still need to buy or acquire textbooks, course materials, study aids etc. Secondly, you need furniture. Examples are tables, chairs, lighting, computer equipment etc. Thirdly, include accessories such as pens, erasers and paper. Lastly, as your child progresses into higher grades, you may not be able to teach your child.
As such you may need to hire a tutor which can be costly. Lastly, you should also consider any other curriculum such as dancing, piano lessons etc as these do cost quite a lot over the long run. Also, you should also not discount the fact that one of the parents will probably not be working due to homeschooling. That means a loss of household income for the family. These are just some of the costs associated with homeschooling. The reality of homeschooling is while it can be a good form of education for your children, you should consider the cost of homeschooling very seriously. Homeschooling is a serious commitment in both time and money. Make sure you plan ahead before proceeding.
There is more or less a general consensus on the inherent value of education. However, people may often disagree about the right method toward achieving that education. The majority of the population would rather opt for institutionalized formal education, referring to education offered in public or private education institutions like primary and secondary schools. However, as has been the recent trend, many parents in particular have begun considering or even going on ahead with home schooling their children. Home schooling, prevalent prior the inception of formalized school systems, is making a return to the mainstream because some parents either do not approve of the curriculum of school systems or are even against the idea of formalized school systems, or find themselves holding greater capacity to educate their children in the best possible manner. Perhaps you are interested in home schooling your child, and conceded, you have your own reasons for doing it. But just like picking a school for your child, the decision to home school is a very big one. This would most obviously translate to you taking your child out of a previous social learning environment and into the home to educate him or her; moreover this also means that from then on, you are going to be fully responsible for the intellectual rearing of your child. It is perhaps for this reason that certain guidelines are set by the state or local education offices before you can actually home school your child.
It is best to consider these guidelines first because your state can help you through the process, and moreover, may enlighten you on relevant issues on home schooling. I’ll expound further. Majority of states in the United States would require a legal minimum of state notification of your intention to home school your child. In a rare few (including Texas, Alaska, Missouri, Illinois, and Oklahoma, among others), you may go on ahead with home schooling your child without informing the state. Other states however, would require you first to notify the state and afterwards acquire your child’s grade records should he or she have attended a public school. After this, some states may require you to create a curriculum you intend to follow for your home schooling program, be accredited as a parent-teacher, and to host a home visit by your local education officials. Later on, during the period when your child is already being home schooled, some states may require for you to submit to them evaluation scores, attendance records (states may require a minimum number of ‘school’ days for home school too) and even test scores. It is very important for you to find out the different requirements for home schooling in your state. For one, it will help you make sure that once you home school your child, your child’s education is actually being recognized by the state.
Without state approval, your home schooling may not be regarded, which may increase the difficulty for your child to move on to a university or college. Second, the state may provide you with various forms and guidebooks as you home school your child. This assistance may prove valuable to you, especially if you are home schooling for the first time. Third, by finding out these requirements, you will be able to submit to the state all the required documents that you must submit periodically. In this way, you are also assured that your child is at par level with any other child enrolled in a regular school setting. In the same manner, by approaching your local education authority you may actually inquire about the college application process of home schoolers. Home schooled children may be required a marginal number of steps that regular applicants are not required to take in order to qualify for their chosen university.
Some universities may require your child to take the G. E.D., an exam that will help test the sufficiency of their knowledge from home school to be considered as qualified college applicants, while others may require state accreditation. Moreover, by visiting your local education authority you will also find out the various state and local government scholarships for which your child may or may not qualify. While home schooling may pose some added burden once you are ready to return your child to a regular school system, it has proven beneficial to many in the past. Visit your state or local government education office in order to make an educated decision, and in order to get the approval you’d need to push through with home schooling your child.
Record keeping in Homeschooling A topic that frequently comes up in meetings and forums that deal with homeschooling is record keeping. The importance of record keeping cannot be ignored. It is not only legally required in various States, but also provides important milestones in your child's learning experience. An interest-initiated homeschooling approach means that the topic of studies is far ranging and multifarious. Thus, it can be something of a challenge to write quarterly reports for the school district, when it is difficult to classify learning into neatly pigeonholed areas. Record keeping is important not only for the sake of regulations. It is also an exciting way to record and document the learning process of the child. When most of the learning is done through play and there is no clear cut index of topics that have to be covered, it is necessary for the parent to keep some sort of a log which records the child's progress. The records you keep can be as simple as a daily journal, or as elaborate as a software program. If you participate in a support group, you probably have set forms and requirements. But even so, keeping track of daily work makes reporting easy and efficient. There are various record keeping methods used by various homeschools. Some of the more popular ones are: Journal: This can be maintained by the teacher or the student. This basically aims to keep a log of what was learned and what was done. Recording memorable events that happened in the course of the year is a great way to reminisce later on. Daily planner: Lay out the plans and the assignments for the week in a teacher's planning notebook. Check each item as it is covered. Maintain a separate area where any additional things can be recorded. This includes educational trips, visits and videos etc. Any extra topics that were covered are also recorded in this area. Make a summary every quarter. Portfolios: This consists of a collection of varied materials that show what the child has achieved and done during the course of study. Portfolio assessment is a very effective way to chart the child's progress. It gives structure to the otherwise loose and flexible form of schooling called homeschooling. A drawing portfolio will consist of some paintings or sketches that are considered the best in that quarter. A language portfolio may consist of essays, stories, reading-logs, spelling samples or letters. Progress in mathematics, fine arts, history, science and social studies can all be recorded this way. The biggest advantage is that portfolio assessment places control in the hands of the children. Having a tangible record of what they have established eggs them on to greater heights. Other than the above-mentioned systems, there are also purchased record-keeping systems that lay out a good checklist. Some of these allow one to personalize the organizer. Irrespective of the methods used, record keeping in one form or the other is essential. Your child's future may well depend on the well-maintained record that you have meticulously kept over the years. (word count 507)
The extreme amount of flexibility offered by homeschooling creates many educational benefits. One of them, of course, is that "home" and "school" become one, so that the educational experience doesn't have to begin and end with the ringing of a bell. By incorporating educational activities into your home life as a whole, you child will gain a more valuable educational experience. One of the best things about home schooling is you can come up with an educational plan that suits your child's particular needs. By working one on one with a child, you can create an individual learning system that can be more beneficial then the learning techniques used in a public or private school. When coming up with an individual education plan for your child, make sure you place focus on reading.
Much of the philosophy of homeschooling is about not being subject to the limitations of the public school system, and an area where the public school system commonly falters is in reading. Many public school students perform poorly on standardized reading tests, which is unfortunate as reading skills are crucial to a child's education. Reading can't really be emphasized too much when homeschooling your child. While there should be a good balance of subject areas taught throughout the teaching day, reading should be encouraged during your child's free time. While it may be difficult to get a child into doing math or science work in his or her free time, reading is a different story. As soon as your child can read, he or she should always be reading something. As long as you find the subject matter appropriate, allow your child to read whatever he wants in his free time.
Develop the habit at a young age of getting your child to always have a book on the go. By finding books that your child enjoys, your child will, from a young age, associate reading with a fun experience, which will do wonders for his further education. You must also understand how important it is to set your own example. Try and set time aside during the day in which you read, and in the evening hours, when most children would be watching television, sit down with your child and read together. When it gets close to the child's bedtime, imply that you will be going to be soon as well - because you have a good book to read. Reading is a fantastic educational opportunity because it is the basis for which your child will learn many other things. When a child is reading a book they are not only bettering their reading skills, they are becoming privy to knowledge contained within the book. It is important that reading begins at a young age because mastering it is a slow process, and you will be doing your child a serious disservice later in life if you choose not to focus on reading early. Every education should be well rounded of course, but reading is a building block from which other education follows. When homeschooling your child, encourage him or her to read from a young age. If you so do you stand a good chance of instilling a lifelong habit that will benefit your child until the end of his days.