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Should You Name Your Homeschool?
Have you considered naming your homeschool? Some never consider the possibility of naming their family's homeschool. Others don't think it's necessary. There are quite a few advantages to giving your homeschool a name.
Avoiding the Inevitable Comments
Most homeschoolers have no problem with people in their families or community. Others do. Personally, despite the fact there are a lot of homeschooling families in the area, we have run into a lot of adversity. Perhaps 1 out of 5 thinks it is a good idea. The other four usually either have negative comments, negative stories, or are hateful.
Before we gave our little homeschool a name, people would ask what preschool our son went to. Naturally we'd say that we homeschool so he doesn't attend a preschool. We heard everything from "He'll never be socialized!" (as he played with children both younger and older than himself) to "You'll screw him up for life." One father actually walked over to my son, leaned down, and told him what a stupid little boy he was and how mean his mommy and daddy were to keep him stupid.
Apparently, it's a common problem. Many people hear the world "homeschool" and assume it's something that automatically sets a child up for failure. A solution someone suggested to me was to simply give my school a name. And it works. Now when people ask, we simply tell them our son attends "Willow Oaks Academy" and nothing more is said. If they are really interested, they will ask more about it. Normally if they ask, they are honestly interested. Since we living in apartments, are active in church, and go to playgrounds and out a lot, it's a real relief.
Certificates and Diplomas
As a homeschooling family, it is not necessary for us to have certificates and diplomas. Since a homeschool is not accredited, our son won't be getting a high school diploma. Unless we decide to give him one.
When you choose a name for your homeschool, you can use it on any paper you want. My son is one who loves awards. He thinks getting an award is the neatest thing in the world. Every so often, when he does something well or learns something new, I'll make up a little certificate that's bright and happy. Sometimes it just states what he has done and tells him good job. Other times it has the name of our school.
As he gets older, we can reward him with other certificates. Like when he graduates from preschool, elementary school, and so on. When it's time to graduate high school, there are plenty of places that will print a diploma for him using our school name. These diplomas are just like those given by private and public high schools with leather holders, seals, and other options.
There are many programs available for homeschools. Some of these are easy to use and find, but others require that your homeschool have a name. For example, a teacher discount is offered by many stores but you need to prove you're a teacher. You can either show your documents that you filed with your state or simply show an ID. But to get an ID, you'll need a name.
Curriculum publishers are another example. A publisher may offer a school discount on a curriculum package but to get it, you have to be a school. Explaining your school is a homeschool and giving your school name is normally enough for you to be able to get the same discount.
Fun and Pride
School pride. In public and private schools, school pride is encouraged. There are school banners, t-shirts, and even pencils. It's one of the things that many believe a homeschooler will miss out on.
A homeschool name can be a great source of pride. Put your school's name on a shirt, get some pencils with your school's name, or even put it on a vinyl sticker. Competitions are sometimes held for homeschoolers, such as spelling bees or math contests. A homeschooler can represent his school just as much as any private or public student in a similar competition.
My little boy loves his school ID. He's shown it to his Sunday school teachers, the librarians, the mailman, the landlady, and even the cashier at the grocery store. As he gets older, I hope that same sense of happy pride will remain.