The first question people asked me about homeschooling was “What about socialization?” By that I suppose they meant, “Would my son be isolated?” My response to this is that there are many ways to socialize and sitting in the school for 6 hours a day with the same children in the same age group is just one way of socializing. It’s not better, it’s not always the most positive way, it’s just the most accepted way in this country. My feeling is that children ca thrive anywhere if they are happy and they can be happy in many ways. My son was active in sports, cub scouts and in a weekly home-schooling group. No, I did not think he was isolated. In fact, my child who had become cautious about what he said or did for fear of being teased, opened up and bloomed like a beautiful flower. He became freer and happier tan he had been in a structured school.
I also believe that it is beneficial for children to be with children of all ages. This teaches us how to relate to people who are older and younger than us. SOmeone who is younger can be more advanced in math while someone older may not be as good at drawing. It also encourages helping each other, as an older brother who homeschools might teach a younger sibling. This is socialization, just not as common as we know it.
Another issue of concern is “Am I qualified to teach my children?” This may be of more concern if you do not have a teaching background. Fortunately, I suffered no qualms about teaching my son third grade. I felt confident that, having graduated high school, I could successfully teach third grade. It is my feeling that most can teach the early grades without a special background. (Check your state and county regulations on hometeaching.) In addition to deciding on a curriculum the most important part of teaching your children at home is having a good time. If you desire your child to have this experience, you are committed to it, and both of you are enjoying it, you will be successful. (Angela DiCicco)
My children have ben in private school, public school, and have been kept home for schooling–at different ages, at different times. Thankfully we have the freedom in our country to choose to do what we think is best. If nothing else, a parent should believe with all their hearts that their child’s education is their primary responsibility and not the government’s! For example, if a child is not flourishing in the given environment the aren’t should be flexible enough to make a beneficial change on behalf of the child. Sacrifices of monetary value, time and energy may be required, but the student, our child, is worth it. (Gail Signor)
One of the things I learned through homeschooling is that parents are responsible for promoting some degree of education for their children. I am still involved in my children’s schooling even though they are back in a regular school. I don’t know that I would have been that involved without my hometeaching experience. I also feel that it benefited my parenting. We now go on field trips and read together. My one suggestion for homeschooling parents is that they need to take care of themselves. Give yourself time to nurture your own dreams. (Lind Stevens)
My son wasn’t doing well in school. I took him to tutors, eye specialist, psychologists. I finally decided to homeschool. At the time I had a sixth and a fourth grader and eventually I homeschooled my youngest. It is the best thing I’ve done so far in my life. It is essential that you believe in homeschooling and are convinced that it is the right thing for you and your child.
When I first went into homeschooling, I over structured myself and the kids for the sake of education. I didn’t realize at that time the most important things was NOT that the kids would get educated, but that the would develop personally through their most important relationships with mom, dad and each other. Once relationships were established and healed, I aw improvement in their character and attitude, which became the foundation for doing well educationally. I concluded that education is secondary to personal needs, and the vehicle of homeschooling can be a great tool for this.
Finally, my most important tip is that I couldn’t have done any of this without prayer. God gave me the needed strength and wisdom in the doing, and blessed my efforts- all because I asked Him for what I lacked (which was a lot). (Linda Smelser)
My “Home Learning Manifesto” includes four points. First, the home is the best place to learn. No school (public or private) can build self-esteem, install parental values and morals, and encourage creative, self-motivated learning and thinking as effectively as teaching children at home. Second, learning is fun and everyone likes to learn. A child learning at home can delve into any subject he likes, to any extent he likes, usually surpassing “age-appropriate” curricula. Third, God has given each child personal, individual gifts. Knowledge, understanding, and use of their individual gifts gives children a healthy, non-egostistic self-esteem and purpose to their lives. Fourth, home learning instills leadership which is individualism balanced by a healthy consideration for other individuals and other age groups. Finally, the joy of discovery becomes infectious–inspiring and motivating the other to learn and explore. (Donna Mashburn)
Encouragement: A publication by Angela DiCicco and Gail Signor
This Works for Me: Tips for Teaching at Home coming Thursday.