Month: December 2015

More Parents Opting for Home Schooling

The American educational system has often been criticized for its shortfalls and mistakes in judgment and planning. When parents lack confidence in the school system to provide the education they want their children to have, they often turn to private schools or charter schools. But private schools can be prohibitively expensive, and charter schools are still governed to some degree by the state department of public instruction. So home schooling is becoming increasingly popular among parents who have the time and resources to devote to it.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, more than 1.5 million American children were home schooled in 2007. The U.S. Department of Education says that the definition of ‘home schooled’ children includes students whose parents claim that they are schooled in the home for at least part of their education, instead of at a private or public school, and who were not enrolled for more than 25 hours a week if they attended school part-time. Students who were temporarily schooled at home because of illness were not considered to be home schooled.

The Department of Education also studied why parents chose this option. One of the primary reasons was they wanted to provide their own take on moral, ethical, or religious instruction, which would be different from the approach taken in public schools. The most popular reason parents offered was that they were concerned about the general ‘makeup’ of the population at public schools. A small percentage of parents were not satisfied with the academic curricula available at public or private schools.

Every state has its own requirements and laws applying to home schooling, so it is vital for any parent considering this to do their homework first. In some states, parents must meet certain minimum educational achievements such as a high school diploma or the equivalent. Some home schools must be inspected for fire safety. Most must keep accurate and thorough records proving completion of coursework, and many states require annual achievement testing to ensure children are staying on track with education as regularly as they would in a public school. There is a great deal of variance from state to state, so it is critical for parents to find out the requirements that apply to their particular situation, by contacting the local state department of public instruction. That office will also be able to supply a list of support groups, providers of home schooling teaching material, and other resources for parents.

Despite the challenges of home schooling, it is fast becoming more traditional, and can be enjoyable, creative, and memorable for children as well as parents. When carried out successfully, it can often be more successful and well-rounded than other educational options. But because a child’s education is extremely important to success as an adult, the decision to home school should be carefully considered, and approached with confidence and commitment.

Negative Effects of Homeschooling

There are many parents who are not satisfied by the teaching methods in public schools owing to improper or no religious instructions, or inappropriate schools safety conditions. For such parents, homeschooling is the correct option. Homeschooling relates to parents taking up the responsibility to teach their children using the standard curriculum, but in their own way. Parents may even hire tutors for teaching their children.

The education is, however, regulated by the state, and the person who is responsible for homeschooling the children is required to report the progress to the state as per the regulations. When we think of it vs. public schools, we generally refer to homeschooling as a good thing. Nevertheless, with the benefits, comes a substantial share of negative effects.

Negative Effects on Children

No Social Interaction
As a homeschool would have just children from one or two families, there is not much scope for social interaction. In public schools, there are number of students coming from different cultures and family backgrounds, so students are sufficiently exposed to social interaction which builds their social skills and enables them to learn the proper way to communicate with others. Loneliness is also one of the negative effects.

Lack of Confidence
Since a home-schooled student will not get adequate tasks to do at home as compared to the tasks and challenges that are to be faced in public schools, he will not develop the needed confidence for doing any task. Due to lack in confidence, he will also not be able to interact with other students who are not home-schooled.

Excessive Dependence on Parents or Tutors
In a homeschool, students think that parents or tutors are the whole and sole of their lives. Therefore, they are not able to take decisions on their own. For every single thing or task, they have to depend on their parents or tutors and ask for guidance. On the other hand, in public schools, students mostly learn many general things all on their own. One exception to this is that, if a home-schooled child is a good and quick learner, he may learn things at the same pace as his public-schooled peers.

Low Pace of Learning
Even though parents have the freedom to teach the curriculum in the way they think their children would learn, this usually results in a low pace of learning. Just because children know that it is only their parents who are going to teach them, they do not pay much attention to the time required for study. And this is what makes their learning pace slow than that of the students studying in public schools.

No Specific Routine
As the learning hours and tasks can be flexible in homeschooling, children do not get accustomed to a particular study or daily routine. And a daily routine with disciplined hours is absolutely essential for being prompt and punctual in everyday life.

Negative Effects on Parents

Parents may even get affected by homeschooling their children. They may face criticism from the public or from those who oppose the homeschooling concept. In the case of working parents, one parent will have to stay back at home for teaching the children, which may adversely affect the family income. Homeschooling is in no way an easy task for parents. They have to teach all the lessons to children, draft paperwork, make sure the children’s learning is in progress, and report the progress to the appropriate state educational authorities.

If we happen to compare the pros and cons, there are more negative effects than advantages. But there is also the fact that every family or parent has a different situation to handle, so decide accordingly.

Why Homeschooling is Better

If you are one of those people who always felt that whatever you learned in school, you had to unlearn later in life to become the person who you are today, then let me say that you are not alone. Many people share this belief that the classroom environment, where every child is taught the same things, the same way, without taking into consideration individual needs and interests, kills creativity. Schools and classroom environment churn out students who think on the same lines. Any kind of uniqueness or an out-of-box thinking, gets nipped in the bud right in childhood due to classroom teaching. So what is the other option left for parents? How can parents ensure that their children learn well, and at the same time retain their individuality? Well, the answer lies in homeschooling.

Advantages of Homeschooling
Although homeschooling requires lots of hard work and patience on part of the parents, yet, it’s advantages are unparalleled. Firstly, no one knows children better than their parents. This helps them to teach the children in a way they will enjoy learning. Contrast this with classroom learning, where a child may not really understand or pay attention to what is being taught, as he is bored with the way it is being fed to him by the teacher, which can be very disadvantageous. Secondly, while at school, children are mostly interacting with other children who are of the same age. However, when learning at home, children get a chance to communicate more with people of all age groups – their parents, neighbors, relatives, etc. This contributes to their overall personality development.

Speaking of the pros and cons of homeschooling, another reason is that almost all children face peer pressure at school. This makes them talk, look, and behave in ways which is not at all them. Homeschooling cuts down peer pressure, and thus, children learn to be at ease with whom they are. They no longer have to pretend to be someone else just to ‘fit in’ with their classmates. Moreover, children who are taught at home by parents, do not have to go through the stress of meeting deadlines for assignments or examinations. All these things make them turn out into healthy and confident adults.

A very big benefit of homeschooling is that it gives enough time for family bonding. Children’s interactions with their parents increases, and thus, they become closer as a family. Parents on their part, can take the children out on vacations or a visit to a zoo or a market, whenever they want to. They do not have to plan educational or fun outings on the basis of the school schedule. In fact, it reduces the stress of parents too. Besides the flexibility it offers, parents do not have to worry about the safety and security of their children.

These are some of the reasons to understand why homeschool is a better option than sending children to schools. However, before making the final decision, parents should keep the negative effects into consideration as well. Homeschooling can sometimes slow down the learning of a child, especially if the parents are unable to put in the needed hours everyday for teaching. Secondly, as a child is taught alone, he does not learn how to compete with others. Due to this, he may not do well in work or business environment later in life. From the parent’s point of view, to teach the child at home, one of the parents has to quit their job. This can isolate the parent from others, leading to emotional problems for them, as well as financial problems for the family. So, all parents considering homeschooling, should look into the pros and cons, and then take this important decision.

Homeschooling Requirements

Homeschooling RequirementsConsidering the advantages that homeschooling offers, many parents are looking forward to it as a convenient option for educating their children. Starting a home school is no doubt a challenging task because you need to provide your kid all those facilities that are well set up in a public school. You also need to abide by the laws implemented for homeschooling and the standard of your education should be in par with the state run schools.

Parents always want to provide the best resources to their kids, so that they become well qualified. Although, the idea of educating your kids solely under your tutelage is great, homeschooling entails a lot of responsibilities. At the outset, you must be mentally prepared to take up this challenge and then proceed gradually to make it a success. We shall explain you the most important homeschooling requirements over here.

1. Understanding the Laws
You should be well aware of the laws imposed by the State regarding homeschooling. In some states, the laws are very stringent and following the rules enforced by the legal body is mandatory. The laws pertain to the method of teaching, the attendance of your kids, qualification of parents, the subjects being taught, conducting exams and annual reports. Thus, you need to consult a legal advisory body before setting up a homeschooling. On the contrary, in some states there are no rules at all for establishing a home school.

2. Qualification of Parents
You should be well qualified to educate your children. The course and syllabus should be in conjunction with that followed by regular schools. You should also be accustomed with the teaching methodologies. The task becomes difficult as your child grows and reaches a higher grade. You need to upgrade your teaching abilities constantly so that your children do not face any difficulty. Having a sound knowledge in every subject is not within your ambit. Thus, you can hire teachers (paid or voluntary) for the purpose of teaching your kids the subjects in which you do not have much hold. You should dedicate enough time to your kids to make the teaching sessions effective. And remember, that even teachers need to do a lot of homework to fulfill the expectations of their students.

3. Requisitions for the School
You will definitely want your kid to get all the privileges that a regular school provides. This task is easily accomplished when your kid is in lower grades. Purchase textbooks according to the syllabus decided by you. Also provide them notebooks, pencils, pens and other materials that are necessary while studying. The school should be equipped with computers, laptops and Internet connection, as they have become indispensable today. These are some basic things that a home school must have. You can also set up plasma screens, boards and a library. Constructing a lab inside the school should be done under the guidance of a lab teacher who is well experienced with the interior makeup and safety guidelines of a lab.

4. Implementing the School Curriculum
Maintaining discipline inside the school is the most important point to consider. The rules can be either enforced as per the state laws or you can implement your own guidelines. You should monitor your kid during class hours and you must ensure that he does his homework on regular basis. Conduct regular tests and interactive sessions to find out whether he is understanding the subjects being taught to him. Exams, exhibitions and project works should be an annual affair that would contribute to the promotion of your kid to the higher grade. You should also maintain a record of his attendance and performance inside the class.

Your attitude towards taking up this challenge matters a lot to achieve success. Consider your financial position before making any decision and you can also approach to other home school organizations for initial support. Try your level best to impart the best quality of education to your kid, that would prove beneficial to him in the future.