Monthly Archives: February 2017

Home Schooling Socialization

Whether you are home schooling your child yourself, or in an online school, the question will inevitably come up about their socialization. You may hear this from relatives, friends or acquaintances. You may also have these nagging doubts yourself.

Socialization is a broad term. By this, does one mean that the student will not be exposed to diverse cultures, and nationalities? The implication here is that the home schooled student may not be prepared to cope with democracy in this country.

Dr. Brian Ray of the NHERI (National Home Education Research Institute) in 2003 studied the question of civic involvement of adults who had been home schooled. He found that twice as many home schooled adults were involved in civic organizations as public schooled adults. It was also found that 76% of home schoolers voted in the last 5 years compared to 35% of those not home schooled.

It seems to me that the larger question is the type of socialization that occurs in public school vs. home school. The development of social skills is mostly dependent on with whom one spends most of his time. In public school, this time is spent with same-age peers. Those taught at home are influenced by family members, clergy, and in controlled groups by coaches, dance teachers, and scout leaders.

The problem with peer dominated socialization is that children and teens are strongly influenced to “fit in” and be accepted by the other kids. This can be a dangerous form of pressure. Your child may become defiant to adults, use drugs or alcohol, join a gang, commit acts of violence and many other dysfunctional activities. Even with solid moral values at home, the child my ignore his conscience and put himself in danger.

Public schools attempt to counter these pressures by teaching children sexual health, “stranger danger”, and “just say no to drugs”. When the role models for behavior are other peers, and pressure is THAT powerful, these lectures will fall on deaf ears.

For high school aged kids, dating becomes an area of stress in traditional schools. Who is dating the athlete or cheerleader? The popularity of a teen’s date for the dance is massively important. The social hierarchy among teens can become all encompassing. Then there is the pressure to be sexually active. This can lead to extremely mixed up values for our teens who are experiencing physical changes at the same time.

Parents should realize that a peer dominated social environment is temporary and abnormal, and will not resemble the complexity of life in our society after public school. In fact, the home schooled student with diverse activities, is living in a much more realistic social environment than the public schooled student.

Home Schooling

It is estimated that over 1.5 million children in the United States are home schooled every year and this number is growing. There are many reasons for this: Dissatisfaction with public school education, religious reasons, ability to customize education to the specific learning style and needs of your child, opportunity to spend quality time with your child. Whatever the reason, it is important to know that every parent has the right to home school their child and it is not as difficult to get started as you might think.

Many parents have turned to home schooling because of dissatisfaction with the education their child was receiving at their local public schools. While many private schools do provide a more nurturing environment, with today’s economy, unfortunately, private school is not an option for many of us. The cost of tuition has skyrocketed in recent years and so, many parents are looking to home schooling as a way to ensure their children receive the best education possible.

Getting started can seem a little daunting. But once you make the plunge and get past the first year, I am confident that you and your child will find home schooling to be the most rewarding thing you have ever done. You will get to know your child in a way that you could never have imagined. This is not to say it will be all fun and games. It is a lot of work for you as the educator. I have sometimes spent more time preparing a lesson than I actually spent teaching it. But the results have been amazing. My child has learned so much and I am able to focus on his strengths, weaknesses and interests allowing me to make our home schooling experience rewarding and memorable.

The first step for you as a parent who is interested in home schooling is to call or meet with the school superintendent of your city or town. They will send you the specific legal requirements for home schooling in your community. Don’t get overwhelmed by the legislation they might send you. It might look complicated but it usually just requires that you teach 180 days per year and spend approximately 6 hours per day teaching lessons. Now, most people who home school will tell you that it rarely takes 6 hours to get through a day’s lessons. Remember, you are teaching one on one with no distractions. Therefore I have found that I can get a lot more accomplished in a LOT less time than they do in a traditional school setting. They most likely will request that you submit attendance sheets at the end of the year so they have a record that your child received schooling. Other than that, they really cannot tell you what you have to teach. So where do you go from here?

Deciding WHAT to teach can be the biggest obstacle that holds back many potential home school parents. Unless you are interested in “unschooling” your child, I suggest more or less following the standard curriculum that is being taught to other children in the grade your child is currently in. As a tax payer, you are entitled to use text books that the public school children are using. So, I always request these at the beginning of the year. This gives me an idea of what the other children will be learning and gives me a place to start. Between these books and other online resources such as EdHelper, I am able to put together a curriculum specific to the needs and interests of my child. Some home school parents purchase curriculums. They can be a little expensive but if you are really nervous about what to teach, this may be the answer. They usually come with books, workbooks, teacher’s guides and even tests and quizzes all ready to go. There are a lot of home school curriculum available for purchase and can be found online. Another option is an online school. I do not have any experience with these, but I know they are growing in popularity. With internet access, your child attends school online everyday. Assignments and tests are given online with live teacher help.

Whichever road you take, remember this should NOT be a stressful situation. Laugh and have fun with your child. Color, draw, paint, make volcanoes and watch them explode! Do jumping jacks while learning the multiplication tables. But remember to cover the basics, so your child is prepared to go out into the world and become a productive member of society. And finally, ask your child what they want to learn about. This is their education. Make it an experience neither of you will ever forget.

Educate Yourself About Home Schooling

Making the important decision to home school your children is not one to be taken lightly as there are many considerations to think of first as well as specific requirements to be followed to ensure your child receives the education they so rightly deserve.

Getting Started with Home Schooling

The prospect of home schooling is often a daunting one for many parents who simply don’t know where to begin. However, it really doesn’t have to be stressful but rather an enjoyable experience to cherish throughout your child’s school age years and beyond.

The first task is learning of the legal position regarding education in the area you live. Although home schooling is completely legal, some states require that a certain number of hours or days be spent schooling. Most states have no requirements in regard to the parent’s educational background, meaning you will not need a college degree to teach your child at home.

Once you have the technical aspects taken care of it’s time to set goals and decide how your schedule will be. Will you keep regular school hours or work on more flexible level? This schedule doesn’t have to be set in stone right away, but it is a good idea to have at least a loose guideline to follow especially in the beginning when it’s often easy to stray from the task at hand.

You will also need to choose a method, or two or three, of teaching your children from home from the large number of various styles used by home schooling parents.

Different Methods and Styles of Home Schooling

Perhaps one of the absolute best things about home schooling is the opportunity to explore different methods and styles of teaching. In traditional school, a classroom is usually filled with 20 to 30 children, all of whom have their own way of learning along with individual strengths and weaknesses. It’s simply not possible for teachers to spend one-on-one time with each child, working with them to iron out any problems they’re having while focusing on their strong points.

With home schooling, the parent has the unique chance of observing their child’s learning capacity and abilities and then tailoring their method of teaching and curriculum accordingly. Eclectic home schooling is a term coined to describe picking and choosing from all the various methods and types of teaching used by parents, guardians, and educators today.

Cottage schools and resource centers are something relatively new to the world of home schooling, but these “mini-schools” are popping up all over the nation. Also, cooperative home schools, where families or groups of people band together to educate the children at one time, are also quickly gaining in popularity around the world. With this method, parents pool their talents together and use their expertise for teaching small groups of children at a time.

This is also ideal for socialization and expanding a child’s capacity to learn as they are also exposed to different cultures, ideas, and thoughts. Other options for home schooling your children include tutoring, participating in umbrella schools, which include distance learning programs, cyber schools, charter school, and independent study programs.