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Which stage of homeschooling are you in? Are you new, somewhat experienced, ready to graduate one of your children or waving good-bye to.
Table of contents
- The Most Popular Education Methods
- A Guide to Online Homeschooling
- What are your greatest struggles with homeschooling?
Technology also helps build a community for homeschooling families by promoting connections with homeschool groups and providing support for students and parents alike. The decision to homeschool a child is complex, and the reasons for home education are as varied as the people who choose it. Once considered the province of religious, rural, and white families, homeschooling is now more diverse.
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When asked in a national survey why they choose to homeschool their children, parents cited several different reasons that range well beyond the traditional perceptions of homeschooling families. Can give child a better education at home — Source: National Center for Education Statistics.
Homeschooling your children will affect almost every aspect of life in your household. Before you get started, explore the world of homeschooling. Look at your schooling options and the cost, and consider how you and your family will respond to the freedom of setting your own schedules, spending more time together, and living your lives a step or two outside the mainstream. Research will help you determine when and how to start your homeschool program. The first step is making sure you know and understand how homeschooling is regulated in your state.
Tap into national and local resources , like homeschooling organizations, to find homeschooling curriculum and tips. Develop a comprehensive plan for how you will approach home education, and be prepared to adapt it frequently. Students may miss the familiar markers and guidelines of a traditional school and have a hard time figuring out what to study and how to organize their time. During this transitional period, it can be helpful to delay implementing a formal homeschool curriculum.
Take advantage of informal learning opportunities instead, such as museums, nature centers, historical sites, and libraries.
The Most Popular Education Methods
Check out the educational offerings available online and through broadcast media. Public alternative schools, such as web-based virtual public education, let students study independently while still following a public-school directed curriculum at a rate and level set by the district. A wide variety of online homeschooling programs are available to support homeschooling families. If local schools are flexible and the state allows it, some parents find part-time homeschooling to be the best of both worlds. With this option, students split their time between public school and homeschooling programs and focus on emphasizing their talents or strengthening their weak spots.
Parents who start homeschooling will soon discover that while it is a cheaper alternative to private school, it can be more expensive than public school. Teaching materials are likely to be one of the greatest expenses , so borrowing from friends and sharing resources with other homeschoolers can help you reduce these costs.
Spending on sports, field trips, and other extracurricular activities add up, as does the cost of school supplies. Parents with multiple children will find that once they have set up their in-house library and purchased homeschool curriculum, the per-child cost of homeschooling will go down. Memberships in home school associations and the cost of homeschooling conferences are expensive as well, but they can save you money in the long run.
There are two key steps in getting ready for homeschooling; classroom preparation and homeschool curriculum planning. Students should have a designated place to read, write, and study quietly. Line up resources for both kinds of experiences. Your curriculum should reflect your homeschooling philosophy and how your children learn best. Determine where each child is in his or her development, and set realistic, measurable goals for each student.
Make the most of this opportunity by considering teaching and learning styles and seasonal cycles. Select homeschool curriculum, while keeping in mind what kind of learner each child is. Research will help you find the right fit, so use catalogs, conferences, curriculum guides, used book stores, recommendations from other homeschoolers, and other education resources in your community.
Acquire supplies as needed, and remember you can always trade resources with other home educators.
Classical Education Socratic Method — Based on the Trivium, or the phases of child development reason, record, research, relate, and rhetoric this approach builds knowledge around concrete, abstract, and analytical approaches to learning, and is often age-based. Charlotte Mason — Focused on teaching the whole child, this approach is based on a three-pronged vision of education; atmosphere, vision, and life.
Respect for children is key. Real-life situations are the best tools to help children learn. Narration and discussion are the best way to demonstrate knowledge.
A Guide to Online Homeschooling
Waldorf Education — Based on the work of Rudolf Steiner, this approach focuses on educating the whole child; body, mind, and spirit. Use of televisions and computers is discouraged. Students develop their own textbooks. Goal: Children are taught how to figure things out for themselves and practice self-awareness. Unschooling — Children are encouraged to follow their own curiosity, and learning will develop naturally. Formal lesson plans and curricula are not used. Homeschoolers most often use this method for younger children.
Goal: The best way for children to develop their full potential is for children to learn at their own pace. Online Education — Online homeschooling provides direct access to online schools, homeschooling programs, and curriculum choices for all ages and disciplines, as well as expert resources and content. The challenge is sifting through all the options and evaluating quality. Goal: The Internet provides families with all the resources homeschooling curriculum support they need.
What are your greatest struggles with homeschooling?
These days, parents can access comprehensive, quality homeschool curriculum with just the click of a button. Test the waters and see how it goes for your family. I have a feeling you'll love it.
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These are such precious years with your little ones. As you homeschool the Sonlight way, you will develop rhythms of reading, cuddling, talking, and creating that lay the foundation for a deepening relationship for years to come. As a homeschooler, Sonlight student Caleb S has freedom to be himself and get excited about learning. So naturally, he dons his puppy dog hat as he explores a classic book about dogs. Research confirms that it is unhelpful to push children to read before they are ready.
What it does instead is bring lots of tears, frustration, and labeling! Most kids who learn to read at age seven easily catch up to those who have been reading since age three. So protect your child's love of learning and let them develop on their own timeline —something which can be all but impossible in a traditional school. When your child is ready to read, you get to experience one of the highlights of homeschooling.
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There is nothing else like the joy of introducing your children to the amazing world of literacy. You get to open doors for them that will facilitate wonder and discovery for the rest of their lives. I still get goose bumps when I think of how precious it was to sit on the couch with my kids and watch each of them gradually take off with reading.
Little children don't need to learn to sit still for hours on end, with only a short recess squeezed in. God created them with bundles of energy, curiosity and joy. You can give your kids outlets for all that at home. Does your son want to practice his math facts while he jumps on the trampoline in his Superman costume? Be thankful he can get his energy out in acceptable ways instead of being disciplined in school for not sitting still.
If homeschooling during preschool and the early grades has worked for you, why send your kids to school now? If you just need to tweak some things, give our homeschool Advisors a call at no charge—they'll help you brainstorm solutions.
Children absolutely need physical movement and free play in order to learn and develop to their capacity. Schools know this, but feel like their hands are tied Kids spend most of every day sitting quietly in chairs. Homeschooling gives your children the freedom to learn how God intended them to learn at this stage.
I adore every single Sonlight program. As far as I know, it is the only homeschool program of its kind. Middle school can be the hardest time socially for many children. In these years more than any other, there is incredible social pressure for children to walk in lockstep with each other. The social emphasis is on conformity, conformity, conformity. Homeschooling can spare your children from pressures that they aren't yet mature enough to handle.
Does your son wear funky clothes? Does your daughter love astronomy and math? Homeschooling in middle school can go a long way toward allowing your kids to continue to develop as their own people, with their own interests.
Some studies show that girls' self-esteem often plummets in middle school. I don't have data to back this up, but it seems like many homeschooled girls are spared this trauma. Free to be themselves without the fear of ridicule, they can continue to focus on learning as they also develop the emotional maturity they need for life. You've spent years reading and talking with your children, guiding them through their education. Now you get to reap the rewards of all that hard work! As your high schooler matures into an independent thinker , get a front row seat to hear his or her thoughts and questions.
Many parents who homeschool through high school are amazed at the quality of relationship they enjoy with their teens.