Last updated, June 9, 2004
Homeschooling, Is It For Me and My Family?
Homeschooling, Is It For Me and My Family?
Homeschooling is not for everyone. Homeschooling is wonderful as long as it is right for you. Before you remove children from public school to begin homeschooling ask yourself several questions? However, if you want to make it work, you will find a way to make it happen. No one who wants to teach their children at home needs to be left out.
Number 1Do I enjoy having my children around me day in and day out?
If you enjoy having your children with you most of the time, you will most likely enjoy homeschooling. However, if you are one who loves the freedom of having the kids out of the house so you have time to do the things you want to do without them underfoot, then think twice about homeschooling. There are many responsibilites involved in teaching your children at home. But there are just as many joys and rewards for homeschooling.
Number 2Are you reasonably organized?
Organization skills are in great demand to be a homeschooler. If you cannot get organized you may be in for more trouble than you want. Kids will soon learn how to manipulate your day into chaos and disharmony. If you are organized and can keep on a fairly good routine, you will have much less to be concerned about. Many young families do not keep their homes organized, which makes it hard to find school supplies, shoes, sox, even clothing. Once the home is organized, it will be much easier to get into a routine of homeschooling. Allow the kids to be a part of the organization. Call it homemaking, home management, or some other class you will be doing in school. Teaching kids to keep a home or bedroom organized is of great importance. This does not mean to imply that there will not be days when things are in a bit of disarray. There will be school projects, cookouts, days away, holidays and many other things that come up that will keep you from being totally organized. Make it a priority to get that straightened out first thing when your situation settles down.
Number 3Can I set aside several hours a day to teach my children?
This is of great importance. If you plan to homeschool, will you take the time to actually do the job? If you do not teach them, what will they learn? All play and no work is not healthy for children. They need, want and respect certain structure. Even though you are the parent and teacher, they will learn to respect you as both, as long as you teach them as well as be a good parent. I knew a family many years ago who were supposedly homeschooling their children. The kids got up around 10 A.M. fixed their own breakfast then were out the door to play for the day. No form of teaching was ever seen. The kids rode their bikes around the neighborhood, teased animals all over the area, and created havoc wherever they went. Their particular situation gave homeschooling a bad name. When the State caught wind of what was going on, and tested the children, the parents were demanded to place the kids in pubilc school immediately. A well structured teaching routine is all that would have been needed to get this family on the right track.
Number 4Do you have enough patience with your children to set a strict, disciplinary system and stick to it?
This does not mean you have to rule with an iron fist. It means you willwant to figure a way to get your children to do thier work without giving you a great hassle and still not accomplish the work. You cannot teach if they are fighting, arguing, throwing a temper fit, or just plain refusing to do their work. Set definite consequences for misbehavior. Allow the children to be a part of setting the rules and consequences. They will respect this better than having everything laid out for them. Let them decide between several choices of consequences, then stick to it.
Homeschooling is not hard, but it is not for everyone. After looking into what it is all about, if you can answer "yes" to each of the 4 questions above, then you are most likely a good candidate for homeschooling. Expect days to not go well. It happens in the best of organized families. Some days, you will find it is best to scrap the traditional schoolling and hit the road for your favorite place for a day. Make it a learning experience, not just a fun and game day, however. Teach the children about the trees, flowers, weather, animals, or something about the land where you travel. Take notes and look up the area on the Internet together. Learn why the trees grow 300 feet tall in one area and only 4 feet in another. Learn why the desert is so hot and dry in the summer. Learn about the animals that live and survive in the hot desert. How do clouds produce rain? Where do the rivers flow to? Why do lakes hold water and it seems not to seep into the ground? These are all questions, you as a family can find answers to on the Internet. Make schooling a fun, enjoyable experience.
Two of the main statements made by those who do not homeschool are, "What about socialization?" and, "I did not go to school to learn to teach, so how can I teach my children?" These issues are delt with on our main homeschooling page. You can learn more by going to our "Why Homeschool?" page.
Often we hear comments that potential homeschoolers are afraid to teach subjects such as "government" about our Constitution, about the Declaration of Independence. Relax! You can find these online! I have included a site for Independence Day on my pages, with links to such things as The Declaration of Independence, 4th Of July, The Presidents of the United States. In short, you can find anything on the Web you need to help teach your children, and to enhance your own education as well.
If you are willing to take the time to teach your children, set some standards so the kids are not ruling you, learn more about the subjects you feel inadequate in, and have a good time teaching and learning together, you can be a great sucess in homeschooling your children.
There will be times you will have to disrupt school for other things. A funeral some distance away, sickness, holiday season, and many other things that come about during the year. Things we do not plan into our everyday lives, but come up un-expectedly. These situations will be handled on an as-it-comes basis. Get back on track once things are settled down and reasonable again. When you must interrupt a day or more of schooling, it is easily made up. You do not have to deal with the public school calling you in to get the assignments, giving at best a very brief explaination of the studies your child or children have missed out and send you on your way home to teach them a subject you may very well have not received in your own schooling. Homeschooling is more flexible and much easier to deal with the un-expected situations that do arise.
Other links you may find helpful:
Old Glory Great for helping kids learn about patriotism.
Declaration of IndependenceHelps kids learn about the Declaration of Independence. Links to each signer, so you can learn more about each one.
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