Homeschooled Kids Online is a site designed for the family that educates at home. Homeschoolers, their families, christian educators, and those who love children will find resources designed just for them at www.homeschooled-kids.com.
WHY Choose Homeschooling?
Homeschooling is more than an alternative form of education, it is a completely different lifestyle altogether. Having homeschooled my oldest daughter through high school, I can certainly attest to this. We began homeschooling our oldest daughter when she was 8 years old and I am proud to say that she not only was accepted to college but she also received two scholarships.
It is a very individual decision that families make when deciding to homeschool their children. No two families choose this alternative lifestyle for the same reason. Most families that homeschool do share the notion that a loving caring parent can provide a better education catered to their child’s individual interest.
Why do homeschoolers think this way? A parent knows their child’s strengths and weaknesses better than anyone else. With a one to one tutor type relationship, a parent is able to focus on their child and his or her needs. In a classroom of 20 or 25 students, a teacher must spread herself around the classroom. There is not a great deal of time to spend with the individual student and the opportunities to individualize a curriculum are nearly impossible.
New Homeschoolers And Socialization
The funny thing about the socialization issue is that it is really just NOT an issue at all. It has been my family’s particular experience that school socialization proved to be far more harmful than beneficial. It starts in the early grades and only worsens over the years. It begins with simple issues such as “You can’t be in our club because you don’t know how to burp and talk at the same time.” Laughable, Right! Not so funny though when your child is the one who is left out because he hasn’t mastered the burp technique. This actually happened to a friend of mine. With girls, it may be exclusion based on how cool you happen to be this week and whether or not you STILL play with Barbies. In the older grades, socialization concerns are far more serious and dangerous. Peer pressure abounds and drugs continue to be a problem for middle and high schoolers. The pressure to conform and be cool can sometimes be too strong for a child to resist.
Homeschooled children are not hidden away in the back room and only brought out into the daylight for Sunday school and church services. We actually do take our children in public everyday! Gasp! Without homework pressing down on you every evening, homeschoolers have the opportunity to become involved in many more extracurricular activities. My daughters are both competitive tennis players and homeschooling has given us more flexibility with their practice schedules. Most homeschoolers are very active in their communities and participate in organized sports and activities. When a child is enrolled in school, there is homework to complete, dinner and baths and not as much free time to pursue individual interests.
So, to sum it up, socialization not an issue!
New Homeschoolers – How to Get Started
The best advice I can give a new homeschooler is to talk to someone in your area who home schools. Try and arrange a visit at a homeschooling friend’s home during their “schooling” time. While no two families “school” alike, it is very helpful to observe an actual homeschool in action.
Visit our links page for state and local resources and contact a local representative who will be able to give you necessary information for getting started. One of the most important things that you need to do is to investigate the laws concerning homeschooling in your particular state. I strongly suggest that you visit the Homeschool Legal Defense Association web site and check out the laws that apply to you. Every state is different and each has its own particulars. It is very important that you start off correctly and observe the laws to protect you and your family. Homeschooling is legal in every state.
Visit this site for the latest legal information regarding homeschooling families.
Homeschooling may sound warm and cozy with images of you and your children cuddling together reading a classic by the crackling fire. You may envision your eager 9 year old working away in a workbook while you cook a nutritious dinner. In reality, that same sweet 9 year old may have no desire to “do school” and the day will come when dinner will consists of cold cereal or burned grilled cheese sandwiches. I think it is very important to go into homeschooling with REALISTIC expectations of what your day will really be like and what you can REALISTICALLY accomplish. Do NOT over plan your day and do not set UN-REALISTIC goals for yourself or your children. If you have a “set in stone” schedule with Mt. Everest type goals, then you are destined to burn out and so are your children. By all means, take a day off here and there. If you child has mastered a math concept by problem 5, do not feel compelled to finish the worksheet. YOU and you only know what is best for your child. Trust yourself and RELAX. By entering homeschooling with realistic goals and expectations, you are much more likely to enjoy the experience and not to encounter burn out which can be a problem for homeschooling families.
New Homeschoolers – What and How Do I Teach
What and How?
Once you make the decision to begin homeschooling, the rest is easy. Take a breath and relax. Take your time thinking about what you want to accomplish by homeschooling your children.
There are different styles of learning and different methods of teaching. It is very helpful to know what type learner your child is to help you decide how best to teach him or her. Learning Styles is a great web site which focuses on the different ways that children learn. Below are a few more links that should be helpful to you in determining what type learner your child is.
Let’s learn about learning styles!
Seven Styles of Learning
These web-sites below will help you explore the different methods and styles of education.
A Comparison of Different Methods and Approaches to Homeschooling
Choosing A Homeschool Curriculum
There are many concerns when choosing curriculum. For most of us, cost is of course a concern. If you go with a packaged curriculum such as Calvert or Abeka, then you are going to incur significantly higher cost than if you put together a curriculum of your own. Many homeschooling families mix and match their homeschool supplies – hodge podge. Unit studies are a great way to go and have a very low burn out rate. I have used a packaged curriculum with Calvert but I did not necessarily do every lesson and I “made it my own” by adjusting my daughter’s lesson plans to fit my schedule and my daughter’s needs. The advantages to this type curriculum is that it comes complete with everything you need to get started teaching and that includes a very comprehensive teachers manual which I could not have done without. Calvert enabled me to teach effectively and confidently because they had everything all nicely laid out for me. It is a little more expensive than other curriculum sources but it was worth it for me individually. I liked having the day “planned” ahead where all I had to do was sit down at the table and teach.
Basically parents have the choice of using unit studies, hodge-podge (mix & match), workbooks or textbooks, or unschooling. It is up to you and your family to choose which best suits you and your children’s needs best. Check out the scope and sequence pages at World Book to get a general idea of what your child “should” be studying and learning at each grade level.
Visit our Curriculum Site for links to curriculum suppliers and check out our review site for the latest information from our internet visitors concerning the different types of curriculum.
New Homeschoolers – Homeschool Support Groups
Dont’ Go At It Alone!
The single most important thing that you can do as a homeschooling family is to join a support group. A support group will provide you with much more than “friendships,” although that is a nice benefit also. Most support groups offer art classes, gymnastics, choir, track, park days, pizza parties, oral presentation days, standardized testing, graduations, and so much more. I can’t stress enough the importance of belonging to a good support group. Homeschooled children whose families participate in support groups definitely are not at a shortage for socialization opportunities. Many families often find that the opposite is true – finding time for “school” with all of their “social engagements!”
Dont’ Go At It Alone!
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