Many families consider some form of homeschooling for their children. However, there are many aspects to the process to consider. Homeschooling requires planning and persistence, but many families stick with it through high school. Familiarise yourself with some basic facts about homeschooling to begin the planning process.
One way to begin planning for homeschooling is to investigate the legality of doing so. Various states have different regulations regarding absenteeism and compulsory attendance. Consult the State Laws website (see Resources below) for an introduction to various regulations, and confirm your findings with your local school district.
There are several key concerns families and educators have regarding home schooling. A chief worry is whether children who are schooled at home receive enough social interaction with peers. Some homeschooling families join groups, clubs or classes with other children. Other concerns include limiting curricular diversity, lack of assessments and homeschooling educators not having certification .
There are various types of homeschooling. In the classical model, classic forms of education are used, beginning with grammar, dialectic and rhetoric. Unschooling is about child-centred experiences and a child's natural curiosity providing all of the learning. The traditional type uses the trappings of conventional education, with a schedule, curriculum, assignments, assessment and grading. The Unit Studies approach is about using themes and supplementary experiences to teach. Eclectic homeschooling samples from various theories depending upon the subject matter or the child's level of interest and ability. Religious homeschooling may integrate religious study into an overall curriculum, or it may comprise the entire program of study.
Some families opt to home school for only a year, while others may do so for the primary grades only. Then there are those who homeschool for the child's entire academic career, up to college. Regardless of the approach, the time commitment to homeschooling can be significant when the planning, projects, field trips, extra-curricular lessons and grading are taken into consideration.
Homeschooling is not a panacea for all the problems with public and private education. At the heart of good homeschooling is curriculum. This curriculum need not be based in textbooks or workbooks. Effective homeschooling accounts for children's multiple learning styles, is child-centred and involves hands-on activities as well as other types of curriculum.
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