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What is Homeschooling

The term ‘homeschooling’ basically refers to the process in which
one or more children of not more than 2 families are instructed by
parents or legal guardians, or a member of either household. The
laws that define homeschooling vary from State to State. The legal
requirements for establishing a homeschool also vary with the
State.
For most children, the actual process of learning begins much
before school. Many children already know their alphabets, the
names of animals, colors and other more complicated stuff before
they reach school. This is mostly due to the hard work of a member
of the family who has taken the time to teach the child.
Homeschooling is just a natural progression from here. Instead of
sending their children to a public school, parents make their own
curriculum and teach their children in ways that best suit the
child. This is homeschooling, in its most simplistic form.
Before you decide to go in for homeschooling, there are certain
important matters for consideration. First off, meet with parents
of other homeschoolers. Find out the pros and cons of
homeschooling. Then ask yourself why you would want to adopt this
method. This is a very important aspect, as the success of the
program depends on the clarity and sincerity of your purpose.
Next, it is time to consider the expenses of homeschooling. It may
cost anywhere between a few hundred dollars to a few thousand
every year. More importantly, you are also effectively shutting
out any job opportunity for one of the parents. It is only obvious
that one parent will have to stay at home full time to manage the
homeschool. A home-based business however is a great alternative.
Are you qualified to take on homeschooling for your children?
Teaching is a continuation of your own learning process. With the
advent of the internet, information is aplenty. There are various
books and resources for those interested in homeschooling. Go
through the various methods of homeschooling and choose one that
is most suited to you. It helps if you know what kind of learning
style your child has. Also, find out what your child feels about
homeschooling before you start.
Every state has its own laws regarding homeschooling. For
instance, in North Carolina, you must first file a ‘Notice of
Intent’ to start a home school. In this you have to mention if the
school is a ‘Private church’ school or a ‘qualified non-public
school’. The persons providing the education are required to have
at least a high school diploma. You have to maintain an annual
record of the child’s attendance and disease immunization. Every
year, the child is required to undergo a standardized test. Each
student attending the eleventh grade has to take a nationally
standardized test. These are the requirements in North Carolina,
but it is enough to give you a good idea of what homeschooling
entails.
Homeschooling may seem like a lot of fun and freedom from the
outside. However, things are seldom as simple as they seem.
Homeschooling is a lot of added responsibility and hard work. But,
if successful, it will forge a strong bond of love and respect
between parent and child, while providing your child with the best
form of education he needs.
Benefits of Homeschooling
Why let Tim and Lisa learn at home than send them to school?
Well, first of all, you don’t have to wake them up at 7 every
morning and bundle them off to school with umpteen numbers of
instructions, and wait with an anxious heart till they return.
Homeschooling gives you more control over the influences that
affect your child. The growth and development of your child
is removed from the realm of the unknown. You, and you alone
can decide what your child needs to do or learn. Tailoring
the curriculum to suit the needs and interests of the child
is one of the most obvious benefits of homeschooling
Individual attention is another salient benefit of
homeschooling. For instance, if Lisa needs more time to learn
Math, then she can reduce the time for her English lessons.
There are no fixed hours of learning per subject. This means
that a child has the advantage of assigning more number of
hours to the subject that seems tough WITHOUT any additional
pressure. The amount of time needed to learn each subject
will depend on the abilities and interests of the child.
The schooling of the child becomes an extended family activity.
Parents get involved in every step of the learning procedure.
Field trips and experiments become family activities. Thus,
the child receives more quality time with his parents. The
entire family shares games, chores and projects. Family
closeness becomes the focus here. The child is also free of
any negative peer pressure while making choices and decisions.
Competition is limited when it comes to homeschooling. The
child does not need to prove his ability with regards to other
children. His confidence remains intact. Since parents have a
deep understanding of their child, they can plan the learning
program to pique the child’s interest. It is also possible to
intersperse difficult tasks with fun activities. A tough hour
with Algebra can be followed by a trip to the nearest museum.
Learning becomes fun. Parents can also tailor the curriculum to
suit the learning style of the child. Some children learn through
reading, while others need to write, and still others need to see
objects in action.
Homeschooling allows parents to take control over the moral and
religious learning of the child. Parents have the flexibility to
incorporate their beliefs and ideologies into the child’s curriculum.
There is no confusion in the child’s mind either because there is
no variation between what is being taught and what is being practiced.
Lastly, more and more parents are getting disillusioned with the
public school system. They believe that their children are being
pushed too hard or too little. Other worrying issues pertaining to
discipline and ethics also make the school system less welcome. Many
repudiate the educational philosophy of grouping children solely on
the basis of their age. Some parents themselves have unhappy memories
of their own public school experience that motivates them to opt for
homeschooling when it comes to their own children.
Homeschooling is the best way to teach a child if you have the time,
the ability and the interest to follow through with his education. After
all, nobody can understand or appreciate your child more than yourself.
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