Have you heard of homeschooling?
It is a controversial method of education. There are those who staunchly support it and there are those who are very much against the practice. Those who are against home schooling believe that it does not properly prepare a child for dealing with the real world. But those who support it say that traditional means of education cannot come close to homeschooling when it comes to providing what is really needed by the child.
So, is home schooling good or bad? You would have to be the one to find out what it is to you. Its features which make it an excellent choice for some might make it a bad idea for your family. You need to find out what it offers and decide if it is something that you want to try with your children or not. Here are a few pieces of information that you ought to know about home schooling.
What is Homeschooling?
Homeschooling is the practice of teaching a child at home while a parent acts as the educator. It takes away the need for the child to attend a regular school. Some parents decide to teach their kids at home right from the start. Others only switch to it after their child experiences some problem at school. There are many problems at school which could lead parents to decide that their kids would be better educated at home.
Children could not perform well academically at school for example. Another common problem is that a child can have a hard time socially in mixing with the other kids. All those issues could lead to bigger problems if not addressed right away. By switching over to homeschooling, parents can focus on the education of their children without having to worry about any of the distractions. Homeschooling can be done for as long as the parents feel that it is beneficial to their child.
A Short History of Homeschooling
Homeschooling is older than what most people would suppose. It has been around even before the system of education that we have now was developed. There were no real schools back then and children were educated by parents at home. But the credit for developing the modern homeschooling system would have to go to John Holt. He wrote his classic book, How Children Fail. Holt did not outline the system for a new method of education. In fact he wasn’t consciously asking people to start teaching their kids at home. What he advocated was a means of teaching that focused on the needs of the child.
Followers of certain religion saw the value of what Holt was advocating. They realized that it would allow them to educate their children in their own way. It would allow them to incorporate religious beliefs into the lessons that they were giving their children. This is the reason why the first people who used home schooling were religious families. But the religious trend in homeschooling is changing now. Families are resorting to homeschooling for non-religious reasons.
The Parent and the Teacher
Being a parent is a huge responsibility already. When parents decide that homeschooling would be best for their children, that means taking on an additional responsibility. Being a teacher means that you will be the one responsible for the academic development of your child.
One reason why some parents are hesitant to try out homeschooling is because they are afraid to take on the added responsibility. They are afraid that they would not be able to handle that kind of burden. But ordinary parents can be effective teachers as well. This is not saying that it would be easy, but it is possible. You need to do a lot of research and study for it as well.
Is Homeschooling for Your Family?
Are you seriously thinking that homeschooling might be an option for your family? If you are, then there are a few important points that you need to consider.
Do Your Research
Remember that research is going to be very crucial to you as a homeschooling parent. As a teacher you need to do some research on the subject that you will be teaching to your child. You have to familiarize yourself with it. You also have to do some research in order to find the best curriculum that’s available and the best materials and teaching aids that you can use. Homeschooling means a lot of hard work for parents.
You need to have a support system in place before you get started with homeschooling. This system could be friends or family members who are supportive of your efforts. Ideally, they should also be knowledgeable when it comes to homeschooling so they can offer some insights. Once you get started with teaching your kids there would be rough and tough moments. There are many groups of homeschooling parents that you can join. They would be more than willing to assist people like you who would like to get started with home schooling.
Set Your Expectations
You need to set your expectations when it comes to homeschooling and they have to be realistic. If your child is leaving a traditional school for homeschooling then you have to give them time to adjust to the new system. You should not expect them to be able to fit into it right away.
One reason why many parents go for homeschooling is because it is supposed to result in better academic performance of the child. While that is true in many cases, you should not expect your child to perform better right away.
Since homeschooling has become more popular, there are groups that have been formed which aim to help parents and families who are into homeschooling. There are conferences and seminars which are aimed at helping out parents. You should attend these in order to learn the latest teaching methods and also to meet other parents who can provide you with their own insights.
The Laws in Your State
Homeschooling is legal in the United States. It can be practiced anywhere in the country, but the laws that apply to it are different for each state. Before you start homeschooling, you need to find out what the law in your state says about the practice. Some places are stricter about requiring regulation and regular monitoring. Other states on the other hand are a lot more permissive and you can do almost anything that you want. It is essential that you check the state law first before you make any move.
Children Becoming Socially Inadequate
Another common fear of parents as to why they do not homeschool their children is that they will become social misfits. This is born out of the belief that children must be exposed to groups of their own age in order to learn how to deal with people.
Experts say however that children need not interact with a large group of their own age in order to properly develop socially. They say that children can do that even when they are homeschooling. In fact homeschooling gives them the advantage of being able to deal with groups of people of different ages. That would be better for their social development.
These are just a few of the many things you ought to know about homeschooling .