How to Homeschool Your Children- A Revolutionary Approach to Changing How Children Learn
Home Schooling - It's Not What You Think
Many people have misguided assumptions surrounding home schooling. A hands on approach to teaching that allows parents to control what and how their children learn, studies have shown that home schooling has many benefits that the public education system can not offer.
Having the ability to hand pick a curriculum for home schooled students, combined with the flexibility to allow students to work at their own pace, home schooling creates an environment that encourages learning and prevents children from getting left behind.
Many parents fear that if they choose to home school their children, their kids will miss out on the social aspects of school. This just isn't the case at all. With ample extra-curricular and volunteer activities available, research shows that home schooled children have plenty of opportunities to interact and socialize with other children.
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Home Schooling Facts and Figures
- Home schooled students outperform those in the public education system by 30% - 40% in every subject
- 55% of those home schooled in 2012 ranked in the top 25% of highest performing students for their age
- Home schooled students perform better than those who have not been home schooled students when it comes to the ACT exam
- Just under 2 million students were home schooled in 2012
- Home school education grows between 5% and 12% every year
- Students who have been home schooled their entire academic lives have the highest scholastic achievement
- On average, home schooled students perform a minimum of one grade level higher than students their age who have not been home schooled
- Fourth graders in public school scored in the 49th percentile when tested on their knowledge of vocabulary. Home schooled fourth graders scored in the 80th percentile.
Creating a Home School Curriculum
When it comes to creating a home school curriculum, parents have significant freedom to choose what they want to teach their children, as well as how they want to approach teaching them. While some parents choose to use regular textbooks that can be found in many public schools, other parents choose to rely on real world situations to help educate their children - relying on the internet, public libraries and museums as "classrooms" for their kids.
There is no right or wrong way to approach home schooling - the best curriculum is one that is catered towards your children and one that creates an environment that encourages growth.
Some of the most popular methods of home schooling include:
- The traditional approach - this method is similar to the approach used in public schools, where students rely on textbooks, exams and written assignments to help them learn about new subjects
- The classical approach - the belief that schooling should be about God first, then about life and purpose in life
- Independent study - ideal for students who are inquisitive and enjoy learning new things on their own, this method of home schooling has the least amount of parent involvement
- Unschooling - free of rigid requirements, this approach emphasizes a relaxed method of teaching, rather than an authoritative method of teaching
- The eclectic approach - a good mixture of the traditional textbooks as well as a combination of unit studies and online classes
The internet is a great resource for parents thinking about home schooling.
Girl Drops Out of Public Education System in Favor of Home Schooling
Written by a mom with experience home schooling her own children, this book has a wealth of ideas for implementing a well-rounded curriculum at home.
FAQs About Home Schooling
What types of people choose to home school their children?
Although many people are misguided into believing that home schooling children is an eccentric option only chosen by hippies and fanatics, this isn't the case at all. The reality is that more parents are choosing to home school their children than ever before. There is no certain type of parent who is more or less likely to choose homeschooling over public education.
How expensive is it to home school children?
Home schooling can be extremely costly, but it can also be extremely inexpensive. With the freedom to choose the curriculum that works best for you and your children, you could either choose to invest significant amounts of money towards books and other educational materials, or you could home school practically for free using public resources such as libraries, museums, and the internet.
Do home schooled students miss out on the social interactions available to students in public or private school?
It is an old wives tale that home schooled children miss out on the many social aspects offered through either the public or the private education system. Since home schooled students aren't confined to a classroom for most of their day, they have more time to participate in activities outside the home, such as music, sports, and other extra-curricular activities.
Will home schooling affect a child's ability to get into and succeed at college?
Significant research has found that children who are home schooled do better on their ACT exam than students who are not home schooled. This exam tests a student's preparedness for college.
Home schooled students are more commonly accepted and recruited by the top universities in the country based off of their high level of maturity, strong thinking skills, and academic background.
How well do home schooled children perform in the "real world"?
Many parents are surprised to find out that children who are home schooled are more successful in the real world than children who go through the public or private education system. Because home schooled children spend more time exploring the "real world", they are able to communicate better with others.
Pros and Cons of Home Schooling
Pros of Homeschooling
Cons of Homeschooling
Children can be taught depending on their own learning style
It can be time consuming on the part of the parents
Students aren't confined to a "one-size fits all" curriculum
Parents may struggle to point out weaknesses in their child
Parents have control over how and what their children learn
Parents must work extra hard to ensure that their children socialize with others and learn how to deal with the outside world
Children can progress at a pace that suits them
It takes a big commitment to create curriculums and ensure that the child doesn't fall behind
Successful home schooling has been found to generate higher test scores and a better ability to succeed after school is finished
Figuring out the particular regulations set up by your state can be confusing
Home Schooling Requirements
Every state has their own unique regulations surrounding how to home school a child and what requirements the student and parents must meet.
Before beginning a home school curriculum for your child, make sure that you familiarize yourself with the particular regulations set up by your state regarding how to go about home schooling, as well as what requirements are expected of you and your children.
While some states simply require that the parents write a letter on intent stating that they wish to home school their children, other states have significant red tape to get through before you can begin home schooling. The best way to find out how to navigate your state's requirements is to find other parents who have chosen to home school their children, and ask them for guidance.
Your state education department can tell you exactly what regulations apply to home schooling for your state.
© 2014 Kathleen Odenthal Romano
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