Who can home educate? Why get involved, Why be your child’s teacher?
Demographically, there is a wide variety of people who home school there is no way to really pin it down. There are atheists, Christians, Mormons; conservatives, libertarians, and liberals; low-, middle-, and high-income families; black, Hispanic, and white; parents with Ph.D.s, GEDs, and no high-school diplomas. Ask ten home school families why they home school and you might just get 10 different reasons. Which is why I started off saying you have to decide for yourself why YOU want to home school, it will help guide you every step of the way. Don’t worry about setting expectations too high, or feel as though if you don’t get started ‘doing’ something you will soon fall behind schedule, especially if you are just starting out or transitioning from an institutionalized education setting. Remember, flexibility and scheduling is one of the great benefits to home schooling. Relax, you’ll soon find that once you do get into the rhythm of your schedule, you’ll find that with the individual attention that your child receives with each subject, they’ll soon not only make up for any early lost time, but they’ll probably surpass what you even had scheduled initially
Do I have to have a degree or special training?
Requirements vary from state to state. Here in N.Y., there is currently no special training you need and we hope to keep it that way. Most states don’t even require a parent to have a high school diploma. There are some states that require a “How to Home school” course and in some states where the laws are more intrusive credentialed teachers have it easier for example they may tutor their own children without any supervision in areas that require such oversight of non-credentialed home school parents. Children do not need geniuses to teach them or parents with all the answers. They just need parents who can find the answers, who believe in them and are willing to help them be all God made them to be.
Home schooling may be the fastest-growing form of education in the United States (at 7% to 12% per year).
Home-based education is also growing around the world in many nations.
There are about 2 million home school students in the United States. There were an estimated 1.9 to 2.4 million children (in grades K to 12) home educated during 2005-2006 in the United States.
Families engaged in home-based education are not dependent on public, tax-funded resources for their children’s education. The finances associated with their home schooling likely represent over $16 billion that taxpayers do not have to spend since these children are not in public schools. Home schooling is quickly growing in popularity among minorities. About 15% of home school families are non-white/non-Hispanic (i.e., not white/Anglo).
Will your children believe in Jesus when they graduate from high school?
Home schooled: 94%
Public Schooled: 15%
94% of home-schoolers keep the faith and 93% continue to attend church after the high school years. But a shocking 75% to 85% of Christian children sent to public school drop out of church, and do not hold a Christian worldview after high school graduation. Ask yourself, “Why do I want to home school?” One of the most valuable things anyone ever said to me was, “Before you decide to home school, ask yourself why you want to do it. ” What is your motivation? Because there will be days it will be hard, times you will wonder if you are doing a good job, doubts about your curriculum, and/or a host of other questions that can and will arise. But if you always keep in mind the “why “ of why you started, all that “ stuff “ fades away, and you will re-focus and remained focused on the task at hand.
Here is a brief outline to help you begin your home schooling endeavor with confidence.
Ask yourself, “Why do I want to home school?” One of the most valuable things anyone ever said to me was, “Before you decide to home school, ask yourself why you want to do it. ” What is your motivation? Because there will be days it will be hard, times you will wonder if you are doing a good job, doubts about your curriculum, and/or a host of other questions that can and will arise. But if you always keep in mind the “why “ of why you started, all that “ stuff “ fades away, and you will re-focus and remained focused on the task at hand.
Here is a brief outline to help you begin your home schooling endeavor with confidence.
Step 1: Talk to other home-schoolers
If you know of home-schoolers, talk to them– as many of them as possible. If you do not know any, do a computer search on (Bing) LEAH or HSLDA or “home school” and your city/state name. It should pull up quite a bit of information for your area. Yahoo can have some good home school groups which you can filter down to find local ones. Not all home-schoolers and groups are the same or have the same focus. Some are Christian groups, some are not, some are sports- orientated some are arts, etc… Find out what resources and support groups are available locally- what curriculum they use, and how home schooling works for them. You’ll quickly see that home schooling is a little bit different for everyone and is completely adaptable to your unique family.
Step 2: Know the law
The laws regarding home education vary from state to state. It is important that you know the law for your state. The HSLDA has the latest information regarding home school laws. It is well worth the money too, to sign up with them. http://www.hslda.org/
Step 3: Find resources
There are so many resources available to us in today’s age. Finding and using resources is as unique to you and your home schooling venture as your family is. A good place to start (if at all possible) is to attend a home school conference. These home school conferences are great opportunities for you to sit in on workshops, get a hands-on look at curriculum, and meet fellow home-schoolers. You might walk away from the conference and say, “None of those methods or ideas work for us” but at least you will know what is out there. Plus, most vendors sell their products at discounts during conferences, and have their catalogs available for you to take home. As you begin to look at curriculum, you’ll quickly discover that there are numerous teaching methods and different learning styles. If you are unsure of what to use, or what methods will work for you family, don’t be afraid to just “jump in.” and pick what looks good to you. You can make adjustments to your curriculum as you go along.
Home schooling doesn’t have to cost a lot. Most public libraries have a large selection of “How To Home school” books. “Youtube “ as well as other internet sites are a wealth of information. I have posted a list of links to help get you started, and if ever you find a great site, please share it with me so I can share it with others. Home schooling is as much a journey and an adventure as it is an education.
Step 4: Get organized
* Attend a conference
* Choose a curriculum
* Make a schedule (both for academics and household chores)
* Find a local support group
* Set Goals: Realistic Goals
While one of the great things about home schooling is the flexibility you have, a schedule will be your best friend and most valuable tool for success. There will be days of non-stop interruptions or appointments, but your schedule will be your constant to help you move forward when chaos seems like the only guarantee for the day. Schedules can change and will, but again, they are a great outline to help you stay on task. The beauty about home schooling is, you can car-school or park-school or what ever. Everything is adaptable, but having that basic idea of what and where you are trying to accomplish for that day and week will be invaluable as you change things up to fit your day. Plan your schedule around work and outside activities, i.e. piano lessons, field trips, etc. You may discover that you need to revise your schedule every 6-8 weeks to allow for changes in activities, children’s maturity, and new opportunities.
You will also need to keep records according to your state’s legal requirements. Your state or local home-school support group can guide you to resources or methods that best comply with the law. You will need to first write a letter to your school district with your “intent to home-school” and mail it in with your child(rens) legal information (name, date of birth, and grade level). Your superintendent will respond by sending you a packet with your state’s regulations regarding home-schooling, and requesting certain information. It is here that your local support groups and HSLDA will be of great assistance, if you have further questions.
Step 5. Have fun & Educate
Now that you are connected with other home-schoolers, know the law, have a plan, and have your curriculum and materials, you can relax and enjoy the journey! You will soon discover that 3 hours of dedicated home schooling sure beats 8 hours of an institutionalized education. You can confidently join the millions of home-schoolers across the United States and the world who have discovered the great rewards of home education: a Godly character, strong families, and a well-rounded rich education.