The Advantages of Home Schooling
Home Schooling is a subject close to my heart. I home schooled my son from the 3rd grade til he graduated. Quite an experience, and very rewarding. We had a routine. Get up at 7:00 a.m. Eat breakfast. At our desks at 8: a.m., the Pledge of Allegiance and small discussion about any problems, kind of a question answer session. And we began the day. However long, or short, it took for him to finish his work set the length of our classroom hours. Sometimes a couple of hours, sometimes 6. It just depended on his determination span that day.
A dear friend of mine helped me get started. She home schooled her 5 children, all different grade levels. She helped me make all the connections for the books and the groups and introduced me to others who were home schooling. I couldn't believe how many Moms were doing this. It was a relief to me to know I had a support system.
I had a large spare bedroom that I set up as a classroom. We had the chalkboard, the desks, mine and his. I had plenty of educational books, references, encyclopedias, dictionaries, etc. We had our curriculum for each year. For the first few years I went to a huge used book sale for home schoolers. The prices were very reasonable and I was able to get all the subjects I needed. I had my grade book and everyday I graded his papers and entered the grade there. He also recieved a report card every 6 weeks. It was just like regular school, except he was the only student. When he entered the 9th grade we switched his classes to the computer. Wow, what difference. The program graded 90% of his work. It was so nice after keeping a grade book all those years. I graded his reports, any questions that weren't answered with yes or no or weren't multiple choice.
There are many advantages of teaching at home. What I most liked about it was the fact that I knew what he was learning everyday and that it was one on one teaching. I knew what he was not exposed to. I had many argue the point with me of socialization. I was having none of it. I knew that he, only being in the 2nd grade, had been sent to the office because he and another boy were caught looking at a naughty book that the other boy had brought from home. How's that for socialization? I knew what he needed to learn and was bound and determined to teach him right and get him through school. He had neighborhood friends to play with. I always said, ' how did the pioneer children socialize? Many were taught at home and it would be my guess that the majority of them did just find'. That was my answer to socialization. I also knew that my life and how I lived it each day was setting an example for him, more to learn, but no grade for this. I tried to instill morals, standards, respect, and determination in him. My main focus was to teach the skills he would need in the working world and in his everyday life.
The local paper even called me and did a write up on my teaching him at home. It was pretty nice. I was hoping that the article would encourage others to do the same. It is a pretty scary decision to make. Many questions went through my mind. Will I teach him right? Will I teach him what he needs to know? Will he do well? Will I be able to keep him focused? So many things to think about. But once I made up my mind, I was determined. I set the schedule, we settled into the routine and it all fell into place.
We took 3 weeks at Christmas, 1 week at Thanksgiving, 1 week spring break and many field trips. We had fun, and made it fun, and learned in the process. I even learned along with him. We did many hands on projects. Even AstroWorld, a theme park in Houston, began a home school day once a year. It was great, no long lines to ride the rides. All home schooled kids could attend at a very nice discount. We went every year. We joined a group that were all home schoolers. The College near our home offered, every other Friday, Sports Day. Only home schooled children could attend. They were able to choose from many activities on those days. They got excercise and were able to socialize with other kids. Many places for the public will give you a discount if you call and tell them you have a home school group that would like to visit their facility. Lots of good benefits.
My son graduated in our backyard with family and friends around us. It was wonderful and emotional. We all cried and when he accepted his diploma he cried. I can honestly say it was a God Day, everything went absolutely perfect. He was in cap and gown. It was a celebration I will never forget. Having all those who supported us through it and loved us and helped in so many ways, made the day exceptional. The last year was a struggle but it was so worth the end result. He is a hard worker and very smart. I am very proud to say we home schooled and it worked for us.
I would recommend home schooling to anyone with a strong will and determination. It is not for the faint of heart. You have to be firm, you have to have patience, you have to stick to a routine (very important), you must keep them focused, always stop when there is a problem and take the time to explain and work it out then. This is an advantage, you can take the time and you must. Set that schedule and stick to it. They will get used to it and it teaches them responsibility as well. They know what they need to do and they do it.
Every state has it's own rules about home schooling. There are organizations that have legal help for you in your state. You just need to research and you will find it. Once you begin you will be floored to find out how many do this and do it successfully. I don't know if you noticed how many home schooled kids have won the national Spelling Bee. Many also are awarded scholarships to colleges.There are so many advantages to home schooling. Your peace of mind being one in this day and time. So if you are home schooling, or thinking of it, I wish you well and much success. The internet is a hot spot to find out what you need. Do the work, you will reap the rewards.