Home Schooling


Why Homeschool Your Kids?

Why should you homeschool your children? The answers to this question vary with each set of parents who decide to homeschool their kids. Some parents homeschool their kids so as to instill a defined set of values, whereas others simply want to remove their children from the unsafe environment of the public school. Some parents may wish to remove their child from peer pressure, while others want their kids to have a more superior education than that found in the public school system. All parents who homeschool believe it to be the best option possible.

Parents opt for homeschooling so as to remove the negatives involved and embrace the positives. In this case, the negatives involve undue peer pressure and bullying, whilst the positive is the quality of education to be gained via homeschooling. Most studies show that homeschooling is more superior when it comes to education than either public or private schooling.

There are plenty of success stories about those who have been homeschooled. The 1997 National Spelling Bee winner was homeschooled. So were four sisters, all of them homeschooled, who achieved Master’s degrees from an Ivy League University. A homeschooled girl got her Master’s degree when she was but sixteen, and went on to teach at a Texas community college when she was only 18!

Although one may say that these students were exceptional and gifted, the amount of superior students who rise through homeschooling is too high for all of them to be geniuses! According to studies, a regular homeschooled child has reached the 60th-70th percentile at age twelve. This shows that these kids are a grade or more ahead of their counterparts in public schools.

The same studies tell us that for older kids, the statistics are even better! A homeschooled child who has reached grade eight is four grades ahead of his or her counterparts. This is partly due to the failure of the public school system and partly due to the excellence of the homeschooling system. These studies are all the more credible for being sponsored by the US Department of Education.

In essence, homeschooling works!

All homeschooling parents will tell you that homeschooling isn’t as easy as it sounds. Most parents experience a great deal of frustration, and even burnout due to the stress involved with homeschooling, especially at the beginning. Like all tasks, this one demands that you have the right knowledge yourself so you can teach your kids. Achieving the right environment to teach your kids and working towards your goals requires input from both the parent as well as the child. However, the first responsibility towards this belongs solely to the parent.

Kids are bright and inquisitive, and soak up whatever information you feed them. They love learning. Most parents who homeschool their kids are anxious to perform all the tasks that go with this: establishing routines, curriculums, defining objectives and goals, guiding the children and so on. And if the parent is a product of a public or private school system, they’ll have to do their bit to catch up!

The first question that parents ask themselves is this: Is it worth it? And as they see, most homeschooled students are well-adjusted, eager to learn teens who are more than ready to tackle anything that life throws at them. So the answer to this question: YES.

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The Three Foremost Approaches To Homeschooling

With all the increasing expenses today, the idea of homeschooling has really become popular. There are so many different ways to tackle homeschooling for your child. These differ from parent to parent. Some parents prefer to have a more structured course, while others don’t have any structure at all! Some of the common styles of homeschooling are:

School-At-Home

Most parents will try out the School-At-Home approach first, being new to the whole homeschooling concept! Basically, they’ll ask the experts to plan their child’s curriculum and furnish the materials. It’s just like another public schoolroom- turned private! This approach to homeschooling is quite rigid, and consists of study schedules, records and textbooks as par for the course.

Although School-At-Home is a good approach, it has two major disadvantages. It leads to burnout on the side of the parents, who will end up realizing that homeschooling isn’t as easy as it sounds! Parents end up slowing down, and can feel frustrated at the slow improvement. In the end, the progress of the child will slow down, due to the frustration of the parent!

Another major disadvantage is the materials used for home schooling. The parent will realize that the main explanation behind their child’s lack of improvement in the public school is the materials used in public schools. Unfortunately, they won’t know if other materials might be better for their child, which leads to more frustration on their side.

After a period of using the School-At-Home approach, parent will feel inclined to either change to another home schooling approach or put the child back in the public school system.

Unit Studies

The fundamental idea of the Unit Studies approach is to use the natural interests of the student as the root of the home schooling. The propensity to know what is interesting and likeable or boring and tedious comes early in life, so kids are the best people to judge what exactly they like and what they don’t.

Some children like drawing and painting, others prefer mathematics and sciences, whilst others still show an early propensity for anything to do with nature! Bookworms and future computer experts also show their interest early. In fact, most of these tendencies in kids show themselves from the age of two onwards. Unit Studies concentrate on these inclinations to create a homeschool environment to fit in with the child’s secular education.

This is exactly what public schools can never hope to achieve, what with the numbers of students in each class and the limited supplies.

Classical Homeschooling

In classical homeschooling, the approach is somewhat similar to the School-At-Home, but with one essential difference: the class of materials used. The homeschooling supplies used for the Classical approach are quite superior, as is this method, which is an emulation of the individualistic education offered in monasteries in the Middle Ages.

However, the Classical style of home schooling doesn’t necessarily have to have religion. It’s one of the best approaches of home schooling which concentrates on developing the young mind, which aims at teaching kids to learn and think for themselves.

Sometimes, Classical homeschooling can be extremely tedious, with a lot of cramming facts into the mind. However, this way of learning enables the student to study in a methodical manner. This provides a foundation for students through which they can improve their confidence and skills.

The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise is one of the few books which really explains the whole bit about Classical homeschooling. So if you’re thinking of getting your child into the Classical form of homeschooling, you’re in the right hand with this book!

Homeschooling isn’t as easy as it sounds. Most parents learn through experience and trial and error. Deciding what approach to take for homeschooling is essential for your child’s development, so find out more about these approaches before you settle!

Tips and Resources For The Best Homeschooling!

For many parents, homeschooling their kids can really be overwhelming! Parents have to learn a lot themselves before they can even attempt to start teaching their kids! However, considering this as a project which can be broken down into many parts makes the whole concept more palatable for parents.

Every parent is different, with different abilities and experience, so there’s no one starting point for sure-fire success. However, many parents will soon begin wondering whether homeschooling is working out for the whole family or not. You’re the one who gets to decide, but one fact you should consider is this: homeschooled students do better than their public school counterparts on standardized tests. This is because homeschooled students learn in a secure and learning-friendly environment which is adapted for their child, unlike that found in public schools.

The Law

Before you attempt to start the process of homeschooling, you should learn about the legal rules and restrictions regarding homeschooling in your state. Visit the HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association) website, http://hslda.org, which will help you understand your rights. Even though homeschooling is legal in all the States within the USA, issues such as local school district involvement and paperwork required differ from one state to another.

Support Groups

The modern concept of homeschooling has been around since the 60s. In these forty years since, hundreds of support groups for homeschooling have popped up, encompassing every area of the States. To obtain the list of all the support groups in your area, visit the website: http://www.thehomeschoolmom.com/states/index.php. On the other hand, just use a search engine to get the support groups closest to you. You could obtain great recommendations!

Books and Magazines

Books and magazines are one of the greatest resources a homeschooling kid needs. The amount of resources accessible for homeschooling has really increased due to the exponential growth of the World Wide Web. Everything about homeschooling: legal factors, support groups, advocacy, books, articles, magazines, videos and more can be found on the net today.

The modern concept of homeschooling began with John Holt, and you can easily check out his views on liberating education by reading his books. One of his most famous books, Teach Your Own (http://holtgws.com) was updated in 2003 by Patrick Farenga and remains a popular read two decades after Holt’s death.

If you’re thinking of using the Classical approach to homeschooling, you may want to see the Classical Homeschooling magazine at http://www.classicalhomeschooling.com. One of the other famous homeschooling magazines is the Home Education Magazine, which can be found at http://homeedmag.com.

Materials and Resources

Most parents who are just starting out may prefer to use to School-At-Home approach. This is basically a method where the same resources as those found in schools are used at home, with the parent replacing the teacher. However, these parents will soon get tired and frustrated, due to the poor resources that are used.

It’s time to branch out. An alternative curriculum and better resources can be obtained from the net of homeschooling commercial sources. Forums are a good idea. You can try the http://forum.homeschool.com/forum/default.asp. Another good place to obtain homeschooling resources is the Home Education Magazine website. The URL for this site is http://www.homeedmag.com/wlcm_netwrk.htm. Another favorite of homeschooling parents is the http://www.home-school.com/forums/. All these magazines and websites work wonders when it comes to offering the right resources for homeschooling students!

You can decide to home school your child using either a structured or a freewheeling approach. Your eventual aim may be to homeschool your children completely through primary and secondary education so that they can get into a good college, or alternatively, just enable them to have a good education to be able to do what they want in life. Whatever the case, you’re going to need the right books and resources to start off on this quest. This is where it begins. Best of luck!

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