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Home Schooling, once viewed as an eccentricity, is now becoming a serious option for those concerned with the myriad problems facing our school system. In fact, well over a million families in the United States have already taken the home-schooling option. So, why is home-schooling so popular? Is it for your family? And how can you go about it properly?
The majority of home-school families choose to do so for religious reasons. These parents are concerned about perceived atheistic influences in the school system. Other parent’s pull their children from school to protect them from immoral influences. The violence in schools is yet another major influence. Many parents, however, choose to home-school for purely educational reasons. Over-crowded classrooms and low curriculum standards have convinced many that the one-on-one attention that home-schooling affords will provide a far better education for their child.
Parents don’t have to be intellectual giants to confidently home school their children. You don’t need all the answers in order to stimulate your child to seek answers to her own questions. By directing your child to appropriate source materials you can learn together. If advanced training is required on a particular subject, a private tutor can be hired. By weaving lessons into every aspect of your family’s activities you will be able to give your child a practical education. For example, many maths skills can be acquired by balancing the check- book and doing the grocery shopping. Basic home repairs are a good introduction to wood working skills.
One complaint laid against home-schooling is that it leaves students socially isolated. Home-schoolers, however, soundly reject this, pointing out that most cities now have home-schooling associations where students can regularly come together. Students also typically make more field trips than traditionally schooled children and tend to interact more with people of different age groups.
So, is home-schooling for you? Perhaps – but it will require plenty of time, patience, stamina and inventiveness. Don’t minimize the time commitment. Home-schooling cannot be fit around your other activities. It will require a major change in your schedule to properly replace the 30 or so hours per week that your child was spending at school.
The first step if you decide to proceed is to check out the laws pertaining to home-schooling in your area. Home-schooling is legal in all 50 U.S States, but the levels of regulation vary considerably. In some states all that is required is to fill out a one page form while in others you have to provide detailed lesson plans and curriculum outlines. Get in well ahead of time so that you are not rushing through the process.
Home-schooling is a major commitment. It will test all of your personal skills, but it will also bring you much closer to your child and provide them with an educational advantage. It is an option that both parent and child must weigh carefully and both be committed to in order for it to be a success.