Homeschooling

Homeschooling

Several different approaches to this post have been considered. There is just no way to adequately cover homeschooling in one blog post so I’ve decided I will make this post a bit of a survey post to show some of the many options when homeschooling.

Beginning with the most well known version of homeschooling is the Stay at Home approach. This approach in and of itself has many different versions although the most common is when kids learn at home and are taught by one or both parents.

Real-Life Homeschooling

In Real-Life Homeschooling: the Stories of 21 Families Who Teach Their Children at Home by Rhonda Barfield many different methods of homeschooling are explained by the real life families who do them. Many people have an idea in their heads that all homeschoolers do (if they are taught at all) is sit and do worksheets all day. While worksheets might play a part in some homeschooling programs, they are actually not very typical. Most homeschoolers get a very hands on approach to learning complete with educational field trips and instruction in home arts skills. Often homeschooling parents are very capable and good instructors. They have good days and bad days–just like teachers in a public school. When a homeschooling parent is not strong in a certain academic subject and other family members aren’t able to fill in the gap, sometimes they will join Cooperative Home Schools.

In the cooperative homeschooling approach parents may formerly join other homeschoolers and/or organizations. Some cooperative homeschoolers are organized informally because the homeschooling families know and trust each other. Each co-op looks and functions differently. Sometimes homeschooling parents will teach different subjects which may be set up by the day of the week. For instance if one parent is very strong in Math and another is stronger in Language Arts, they may trade kids for a day and teach their particular subject to ensure that the kids are taught well. This isn’t all that different than changing class periods and teachers in a public school. One advantage to setting up a curriculum where students learn math skills on a Monday is that there is more time to explore and practice a particular subject. A more hands on approach can be utilized without time restrictions which allows children to work and learn at their own pace. Some parents using this approach may set it up differently where Math is half a day twice a week or whatever works in their particular situation(s).  The possibilities are endless.

In addition to the two approaches listed above, now there are also Hybrid Home Schools. This approach amounts to part time homeschooling. In this approach students may attend an actual school (often a private one) a few days a week and learn at home the rest of the week. This approach has also been called the Collegiate Model since the schedule will resemble a college student’s schedule.

I have also heard of some newer versions of homeschooling which I believe would fall into a hybrid description. In this approach a small amount of homeschoolers (maybe 3 or 4 students from different families) are taken to another home, usually another homeschooling family. They maintain fairly regular school hours but are instructed in small groups by the homeschooling parent(s) who reside there. A fee is charged (similar to private schools) to take on these extra students, but all the benefits of homeschooling are maintained. Though there are regular hours there is heightened flexibility in scheduling to accommodate family schedules, doctor’s appointments, and the like.

Although I’m sure all of us could think of a few exceptions, usually homeschooling families are quite dedicated and organized. In my read through of the Fulton County Public Library, I came across many resources and suggestions for homeschool organization, including how to keep academic records and create transcripts for college entry. Since I can’t go into all of this in depth, I will just show a few of the (many) books that I checked out on this topic.

The Well-Trained MindThe Complete Guide to Homeschooling

Setting the Record Straight

The cost of home schooling ranges from free to quite expensive. Many families strive for the free range while still providing quality education. For those interested, the following book would be a good place to start your research.

Homeschool Your Child for Free

Another book worth checking out is The Well-Adjusted Child: the Social Benefits of Homeschooling by Rachel Gathercole.

The Well-Adjusted Child

Homeschooling families are often accused of neglecting the social development of their children by keeping them isolated. This has been changing quite a bit in the last several years. Homeschoolers are now much more conscientious about providing socialization activities.

Homeschooling laws may vary from state to state. According to the A -to-Z Homeschooling  site, in Indiana all you have to do is start homeschooling. There aren’t a lot (if any) forms to fill out. There are, however, some guidelines for parents which are recommended by the Indiana Department of Education. If interested in homeschooling, be sure to check the laws of your own state. Some states require the supervision of homeschoolers by a licensed teacher.

Do you know anyone who is homeschooling? Is homeschooling something that you would be interested in? What is your opinion of homeschooling?

23 thoughts on “Homeschooling

  1. I home schooled my kids – the grades covered 3rd through 8th. I then sent them to high school where they both excelled. I wrote my own curriculum (mostly), and we had a grand time. Our school day lasted from 8 to 12, we got through our material by the end of May, and they wrote me one research paper on a subject of their choice every summer. Unfortunately, the other parents we met did not teach their children well. It seemed as though they were home due to religious reasons, and the kids didn’t learn anything. Those children are having a hard time adjusting to real life and coping with having to deal with people from backgrounds different than their own. I chose to home school when I discovered my 5th grader had no math book, because they only had 20 for the entire grade, and no one else thought that was an issue. Crazy, right? I also have a B.S. and B.A. degrees, but I still think that if you do it right, most people are capable of teaching their own children.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. As a former teacher, I’m very aware that not all homeschooling efforts are successful. I had some students who were homeschooled during their elementary years and sent back to public school in Middle School. Now, I taught Special Education so some of these students needed specialized teaching methods. Even taking that into consideration I witnessed problems in their mainstream classes. You are right that many homeschoolers have a difficult time learning to function with those of differing backgrounds.

      I’m quite aware that not all homeschoolers are homeschooled for religious reasons. However, of those who are, I think it’s vitally important that they are taught at least basics about other lifestyles and beliefs.

      I’ve also known others who were homeschooled and turned out quite well and are now well adjusted adults. It really depends, in my opinion, on the commitment and follow through of the homeschooling parents.

      I tend to agree that if it’s done right, most people are capable of teaching their children–although there will always be those exceptions.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Homeschooling offers the potential for many opportunities that traditional classes can’t provide. On the other hand, the social aspect of public and private schooling is an important component in child development that parents must be willing to properly address.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. As with most things there are always pros and cons. It is essential that parents consider the needs of the family/parents vrs. the needs of the children’s education and what they want their children to take away from their educational experience.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I think homeschooling is great..
    In Vermont you have to prove that you use their curriculum.. and follow all the guidelines..
    There are states that are homeschool friendly.. others make it a nightmare..
    Yay for homeschooling parents!!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Another great post! I think homeschooling is a great option as long as it is guided by professional teachers/professionally developed curriculum. And of course the kids are active in community activities and not kept totally isolated. But you can recover from less than stellar homeschooling – I have a friend whose parents were 1960s hippies who raised him isolated in a cabin in the Vermont woods with infrequent home schooling. When he was a teen he got hold of books to self teach him enough to sit for his GED. He went onto college and became a scientist!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow! That’s quite a story! Do you think that the parents actually taught him more than he thought though? I’m reminded of Abraham Lincoln who taught himself Law and passed the bar without ever going to college.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I knew a couple kids growing up who were home schooled. They seemed to know more than the average Joe, but had no real sense of community. It was almost like they had been too sheltered to even know how to interact with children of the same age. (In this one case, of course) I would love to home school my children but the reality is that I don’t have the time nor does my wife. The next best thing I guess would be paying for a private school, so you know the teachers care to be there and care for your children. Our public schools are embarrassing here. :/

    Great Post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks.

      Well you said your wife was looking for a way to stay home and make money. She could take on a few homeschoolers for a fee while homeschooling your child as well. I can tell you that your state requires supervision by a licensed teacher.

      Like

  6. I’m a huge proponent of homeschooling. The “no socialization” argument against it is usually a fallacy.
    Most homeschoolers are more social, because they interact with a broad range of people, in real life situations. Of course, there are always exceptions to any rule.
    Thanks for highlighting homeschooling!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Homeschooling has definitely worked for us. I still have one in high school while taking college classes at the same time, and two off to college. They transitioned well to college with no difficulty at all, and will have homeschool memories to last a lifetime.

    Liked by 1 person

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