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Home Schooling: Tips & Resources
To Home School or to Public School? Choose the path that fits your family/child needs.
Home Schooling your child is a personal decision
Most states allow an individual/family to home school (teaching in the home either partially or full-time) children although there may be certain limitations or requirements in place. I highly suggest you check out the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) for information on the legal issues which may be involved in making the decision to home school as well as parental rights to home school.
So, what might be some reasons to home school a child?
- Homeschooling offers individualized instruction to your child where you may teach a wide variety of curriculum while focusing in on special needs and/or special talents.
- Home value systems are more protected and transferred from parent to child. Many families settle on home schooling to maintain family religious or non-religious values and belief systems.
- Does your child have difficulty sitting still or paying attention in the classroom but you know that they have a high level of learning potential? This does not necessarily mean a child has a learning or attention problem. There are a wide variety of attention span levels and energy levels among children (and adults) of all ages so caution is warranted when seeking out professional guidance due to high energy levels (what some might call hyperactivity) or what may considered short attention spans (what some might label Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD).
- Do you find that creativity is fostered more in the home environment? According to experts in the field of education and business such as Sir Ken Robinson and Yong Zhao, creativity and entrepreneurial innovation is becoming a thing of the past within the public school system. I strongly encourage that anyone seeking more information on public education limitations seek out these two experts as well as others to come to a conclusion about whether you need to supplement your child's public education or home school completely.
- One might crinkle a nose at you if you should mention that you might consider home schooling. You might hear things like why would you do that or what about socialization. Something to be aware of is that this socialization in public schools may not be the type you would like your child to be subjected to. While there are many positive aspects of school socialization, classes are typically large, supervision is limited and bullying is common. Self-image and even less desirable habits and personality traits may be learned in the public school. If one worry is socialization, start your own home school group or join one. These groups frequently have social activities and offer support to each other.
Whatever the reason chosen for home schooling a child, education is important and being at home doing the education has costs as well as benefits. Consider all sides of the issue before making the decision. Consider curriculum, record-keeping, study areas, family work life and any other aspects of family life that may affect or be affected by making the decision to home school.
Sir Ken Robinson on Creativity and Schools
Yong Zhao & Some Views on Education
Can anyone home school?
Can anyone home school his/her child/children? The answer is yes and no. Home schooling takes commitment and research; this commitment to your child's education is a very important one and may affect his/her life for a very long time. Ensuring that records are kept, the best teaching method specific to your child is utilized and that you are aware of your child's personality and learning styles so that learning can be enjoyable and rewarding are important considerations. Furthermore, there must be time to devote to home schooling. While some parents choose a very structured schedule and others use a child-led approach, this is a decision that should not be taken lightly nor carried out lightly.
While there are typically no educational background requirements for parents in order to effectively home school, it is important to be willing and able to learn concepts to be able to effectively mentor your child regardless of the style of teaching you employ.
Possible methods for home school
One-on-one teaching at home is rewarding
Final thoughts/tips to keep in mind for the home schooling parent
1. Decide if homeschooling is right for you and your family before delving in. Do the research. Decide if you have the time to teach your children at home. Remember that working parents can teach at home if proper preparations have been made.
2. Don't be too hard on yourself when you get things started. The upstart may go smoothly but odds are you will hit a few stumbling blocks. Seek out remedies to overcome and march forward. It will be worth it.
3. Know your state laws on home schooling. I highly recommend joining the law organization that protects the rights of home schoolers. The organization's name is HSLDA. It has state law information and sends out periodic information and news about homeschooling.
4. Keep records. Even if your state requires no notification of grades or activities, it is a good idea to keep records on what has been done. Grades and activities should be recorded and saved.
5. Make a plan. This doesn't mean you will stick to it but it will serve you well to try. Keeping a semblance of a schedule is helpful to children and helps plan around homeschooling activities.
6. Trust your judgement. You know your child better than anyone. If you find you or your child needs a break from homeschooling, take it. Don't forget that outside activities are great for enhancing the learning experience.