Advantages of Education Games Used in a Home School Environment

The operations manual for the most important piece of equipment imaginable – the brain. There are resources and materials which can assist a child to access and apply their brains’ immense powers. Parents can learn with their children.how to assemble and paint their own planetarium model, highlight it to create the glow effect and charge it with any light source. Can you navigate a ball through a mind-bending obstacle course as quickly as you can? LET A CHILD SHOW YOU HOW!

*Teachers and Parents can easily access the Sentence Building and Farmyard Dominoes that teach spelling and counting. Cubes printed with numbers are an interactive and visual way to get to grips with mathematics. This hands-on manipulative kit can be used to teach a range of maths concepts to all ages. The Pizza Fraction Action Snap is a fantastic learning tool where teachers and parents can guide youngsters to experience learning with little formal teaching. These resources are invaluable as they are designed to encourage natural interaction, which gives the child a feeling of great satisfaction.

*Learning Physics with children can be quite exciting: The Sphere is an expanding and contracting ball. It cleverly combines mathematics and geometry to create a surprising motion that fascinates children and adults alike. Can you imagine how a toy such as this could lead to an interest in physics at University level?

*The British Isles jigsaw will test the memory of parents and teachers and enhance the visual and physical skills of young learners. Geography has never been easier. This jigsaw is multifaceted. Youngsters in a short time learn to connect shapes which are linked to counties, towns, rivers and other physical aspects of the United Kingdom. This style of learning lays down strong cognitive schemas which enlarges children’s memory processes.

All the resources are easily accessible, very inexpensive and dispatched to reach the recipient within 24 hours. All the material is accessible for all children at all levels of learning from toddlers pre-school, through kindergarten, 3, 5 and 6 year olds, up to high school. Even parents will enjoy the vast array of educational toys and games that are available for their children.

The equipment encompasses primary learning, active, outdoor and intelligent learning. Many teachers such as those involved with International Baccalaureate schools, independent primary schools and nurseries find these games to be invaluable. So whether children are being educated at home or school is immaterial, the resources are excellent.

Home Tuition – How Can It Be Advantageous for Your Child?

Schools are meant to provide kids with the basic education that is needed prior to choosing a specific stream. However, school education has a one-size-fits-all approach and teaches pupils at the same pace whereas the pace of learning tends to vary with each child. This means that every kid learns at his own pace, something that cannot be accommodated by school education system. If your child fails to understand and grasp specific parts of the curriculum at the same pace as others, which is quite natural, it is a good idea to opt for home tuition. These are some excellent advantages of having private tutors to guide your kids at home.

Easy adjustment

Research shows that many children find it difficult to adjust to a new educational environment, even if it is the home or coaching class of a private tutor and not necessarily a school. At home, your kid will not feel any difficulty in adjustment and will feel more comfortable when he or she is learning from the tutor. Your kid will not feel embarrassed to ask questions, share opinions and seek advice from home tutors.

Complete attention from tutors

With a home tutor, your child can get complete attention and not have to share his tutor with others. The teacher will not need to concentrate on other students, and give his complete focus to your kid. This can help him to ask questions at any time that he likes, and not feel disinterested and de-motivated at any time during the study. Also, he will be unable to while away time as he will need to respond to the tutor at any given moment while studying.

No competition

Peer pressure can be extremely damaging for education. With a home tutor, your child will not feel that his actions and answers are being scrutinized by other students. Thus, he will be able to express himself more clearly and the tutor can spot his problems and weak areas. The tutor can even alter the curriculum in such a way that it gets more appropriate for your kid. With no negative sense of competition, your kid will not hold back his queries and feel free to make mistakes and learn from them.

Promise of better ranks

With complete focus and better understanding of the curriculum, your kid can offer more satisfactory answers and achieve better ranks in school. Even if your child is a decent student, he can fare much better in various subjects with more attention and a more suitable pace of learning.

Greater sense of confidence

With more personalized attention and the ability to dig into more detail about the curriculum, your kid can feel more confident about his studies and even overcome his fears of exams. You can even keep an eye on the extent of progress of your child and find out whether or his or her pace of improvement is satisfactory. With home tutors who are well-qualified, you can rest assured about the overall academic progress of your kid.

Home Schooling in Your Motorhome

At first glance the terms “hitting the road” and “hitting the books” might appear mutually exclusive. But if you home school your children and have access to a motor home, read on.

Your one room school house on wheels.

One of major concerns of parents who decide to home school their children is that their child is not exposed to the wide array of mental stimuli encountered by children who participate in a more conventional education. Children who go to public and even private schools are exposed to many different cultures, personalities and diverse beliefs. However, children schooled in the home sometimes are not exposed to a wide variety of other children. Co-operative home schooling, which brings a number of families together to share the work in educating their children, helps somewhat but home schooled children still, may not experience the plethora of mental stimuli experienced by their more traditionally schooled counterparts. One way to ensure that your child has access to these stimuli is to pack up your motor home and hit the road.

Math Class

As you head down the highway in your one room school house on wheels, opportunities for teaching abound. In addition to the regular daily lesson plan, you can incorporate trip specific lessons into the daily work. For example, the math lesson begins when you stop at the neighborhood filling station to top off your tank. Consult the owners’ manual of your motor home and find out the capacity in gallons of your fuel tank. If age and grade appropriate have your young student convert this measurement from gallons to liters. For younger children, a fun activity is to let them watch the pump through the RV window and count the gallons or even tenths of gallons that pour into your motor homes fuel tank. Of course with the current price of gasoline, this activity will be much more fun for them than for you.

Once you’ve filled your tank, get out the map and sit with your student to study your route. Consult your motor home’s manual again and find how many miles per gallon you can expect to get. Help your young student compose a formula to find how far down the planned route you’ll be able to travel before your motor home requires fuel again. You can help your child use the map to help navigate as you travel along. Plan a side trip at the spur of the moment. Ask your child to tell you how this side trip will affect your timetable and fuel bill?

History Lessons.

Plan your trip so that you follow an historical route. Follow the Trail of Tears, maybe the Oregon Trail. Travel the dusty path the cowboys rode in cattle drives from Texas to Dodge City, Kansas. If you’ve got the time, follow the route of Lewis and Clark or, explore the vast expanse of the Louisiana Purchase. What ever path you choose to follow, make sure you have plenty of supplemental materials for your young student to study. Many motor home parks have high speed internet available to their campers. At the end of each day, have your child connect to the Internet and gather information about the history of the places you’ve visited.

Social Studies

Take a trip through Appalachia. Venture some distance from the Interstate into the heart of some small town. Stop at a small store or local diner. Observe the people who live and work there. Listen to their accents or, eavesdrop on a conversation. There is no better way to discover how other people live than to explore these microcosms of America. You might even want to contact local parents who also home school their children and arrange a visit to learn more about each other and compare home school curriculums.

Other Destinations

Many home schooling co-operatives hold events at various motor home parks to compare and refine home school curriculums and provide new experiences for their home schooled students. An Internet search for these home school meet ups will yield many entertaining and informative events. If you choose to make one of these trips, be prepared to have a good time and be sure to bring your favorite covered dish.

Exercises such as these are entertaining and exciting to your child and if properly presented, your young student may not even realize he is in school. But remember, as entertaining, exciting and educational as these road exercises are, they are not a replacement for the well planned curriculum and lesson plans available to parents home schooling their children.

Is a Boarding School Really a Good Option for Your Child’s Future?

Gaining admittance into a Swiss boarding school isn’t easy. A lot of preparation is required to ensure the best chances of success. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

1. Work with a boarding schools placements consultant.

You want a consultancy company or an expert specializing in Swiss boarding schools and international placements. Aside from helping you choose the most suitable school, these consultants can also help your child gain admission. Selecting and getting into some of the best schools in Switzerland certainly becomes easier with the help of a professional, who can guide you to the right facility that meets your requirements and expectations in terms of curriculum, method of teaching, facilities, and even tuition.

2. Submit the application way ahead of the deadline.

It might take you some time to complete your admissions folder, so start early and submit all the required documents in advance. An educational consultant can help you with this. The admission staffs of Swiss boarding schools are likely to appreciate the promptness and care you will show to complete the application files as soon as you can. The earlier you submit, the earlier they can begin the review process.

3. Seek and submit recommendation forms early.

You will likely need two to three recommendation forms from your child’s current teachers. Request them early. A week before the due date is too late; it’s also discourteous to rush the teachers. Thoughtful recommendations take time to complete properly. Give the teachers as much time as possible.

4. Practice and hire a tutor.

It’s a good idea to hire a tutor should your child need extra help. Buy the practice materials early, so your child can begin practicing for admissions testing ahead of others. While it’s not the only factor considered, your child’s admissions test scores indicate his or her level of learning to date, and how well he or she is likely to perform at the Swiss boarding school you are eyeing.

5. Iron out financial aids in advance.

Do you have concerns about the tuition? If you don’t think you can afford the entire amount, it’s best to look for financial grants and scholarships ahead of time. Waiting until the last minute is never a good idea-especially when it comes to seeking financial aid. Grant and scholarship decisions are typically made separately from admission decisions. There is limited funding for aid, so you should adhere to the deadlines scrupulously of you don’t want to risk having your request turned down.

Thinking About Homeschooling? Teachers Are

One might be surprised to know that the biggest influx to the home school arena today are professional teachers. The reasons they give are very interesting.

  •  In the 60s teachers had more say so about what happened in their class rooms. However the government is more in control these days. It is important to know that the Vietnam War taught us that the war cannot be won from the White House. Likewise the teacher, who is in the trenches (metaphorically speaking) knows what her kids need. Unlike the bureaucracy, She sees them as human beings, and not as statistics. Heck the school lunches were even much better in the 60s.
  •  Teachers rightfully complain they must now teach their children to pass the government mandated tests requiring them to sacrifice teaching the basics.
  •  Class sizes have become so large that kids are taught to act like robots rather than individuals. Teachers find themselves having to teach as if a one size fits all…they are less able to individualize their curriculum.
  •  Recess and play time are being decreased. Many teachers complain this is creating stress, and forcing little ones to fit into unhealthy and unnatural molds.

Teachers are getting a bum wrap when they are blamed for the increasing decline in the U.S. public school system, and few people are listening to “those in the trenches”. It is more likely that government bureaucracy is to blame. Is it any wonder that so many teachers are choosing to home school their own families?

Most home school students out perform public school children on college entrance exams. Obviously most parents are doing something right whether they have teaching credentials or not.

Are there some sad stories about children that are not receiving an adequate education in the home school venue? The answer is yes, but there are more such stories found in the public school system. Government intervention is not a solution. Parent awareness and involvement (“those in the trenches”) is the solution. That is the case whether one has children in the home school or public school systems.

This is not said to put an impossible burden or even blame on parents. I say this to empower parents. The solution to today’s education is noticeably coming from you, the people.

Homeschooling Mentoring and Support

Mentoring and support groups are a great way to meet other homeschoolers in your area. They give parents an opportunity to ask questions and get answers from reliable sources. These groups have a variety of different children who are different ages. Therefore, the parents of such children are able to mentor new mothers or fathers in their next step if they need any help. Will and Sue enthusiastically recommended the mentors they and their children had had throughout their homeschooling journey:

When going about on different camps or outings, the other parents really do become mentors to the children and that’s really valuable and is the beginning of a relationship that extends into the children’s lives. Mentoring can be a tremendously important when they go off to study or move away from home, to have these stable adult contacts in their lives year after year, who are interested in their lives. Mentors are there if they need help, advice, wisdom, prayer support or whatever it is. It’s a relationship of trust. Its’ been a support for us and an encouragement for our kids to have these other people. They’re all very different, but they’re all able to contribute in their own way. To have that continuity is special. For instance, we held Jono when he was a baby, and now Jono is married and he has babies of his own.

Veteran homeschool parents in home groups find themselves becoming mentors to new homeschool families. As a new homeschooler, and one that wishes to continue homeschooling without burning out, it is vitally important to become involved in a home group, as these are the basis of training and support in the home. Experienced homeschool parents take a role in educating and initiating new families into the routines of life as a homeschooler. For instance, if parents are not sure what to do for high school, another parent/s in these groups may suggest helpful ideas or explain how they did it. In Canberra, for instance, there is a secular group (Home Education Network Canberra and Southern Tablelands or HENCAST) and a Christian group (Christian Home Education Canberra or CHEC). This is just the beginning of the groups available, especially with the advent of Facebook, Twitter and other social media websites.

Homeschooled children also benefit by the influence of older mentors in their lives. These mentors can often be a generation or two older. They can be grandparents, friends or other homeschooling parents whom the homeschooled children spend time with. When asked if he had any mentors, homeschool student, Ben replied:

Yes, I did, especially when it came to building. I have three or four friends now who are 60 years old and onwards. Some have even passed on now. They taught me heaps and heaps. I spent a lot of time in people’s garages, tinkering away with a bird cage and all kinds of things. The mentors sat and spent their time with me. The grandparents were also pretty good. I spent a lot of time in the shed doing metal work… welding up bits of tractors and things like that as a child. My parents would be inside with the grandmother while I was spending time in the garage with granddad.

Homeschooling magazines and website are also other great and supportive resources. The Home Education Network Otherways Magazine gives parent’s a great opportunity for encouragement and advice in their homeschooling journey. Each issue is delivered quarterly in the mail (or alternately it can be downloaded online). Subscribers can also access all back issues printed. These publications are great for answering the plethora of questions the homeschool mum or dad has, as well as raising other issues close to their heart.

Facebook groups are a great way to ask experienced and fellow homeschooling parent’s questions. For instance, the last three posts in the ‘Homeschool Australia’ forum group I participated in have been:

o Can anyone recommend movies based on historical events? Preferably Australian but not too bothered. – 51 responses

o My 12yr old has totally thrown his sleep cycle out of whack. Today he didn’t go to sleep until 8am. So not much learning is being done because when I’m asleep he is awake and when I am awake he is asleep. How can I fix this? – 27 responses

o Just wondering what outcomes I can meet with a hip hop workshop my 12yr old, year 6 son is doing? It involves composing a beat, adding extra instruments to it, writing a song and performing it. He also does hip hop dancing, aboriginal dancing and learning about the history of rap/hip hop music. – 4 responses

The range of questions, as can be seen, are as wide-ranging and frank as can be. Many parents would discover the answer to their own questions via these forums. This particular group has over 2800 members and is closely monitored by a few administration members who ensure the group stays on topic. Most groups in Australia are closed groups, and require prospective members to tell the administration a little about themselves before they join, in order that vandals or anti-homeschooling activists do not join.

I hope this article has been helpful in giving you a bit of support!

Homeschooling Facebook Groups:

Homeschool Australia

Homeschool Buy Swap and Sell

Homeschooling with Art

Homeschooling with Apps

Homeschooling with Pinterest

Homeschooling with YouTube

Christian Homeschooling Families

Secular Homeschooling Families

And so on…

Homeschool Graduate: Now What?

If your homeschool student isn’t the type who wants to immediately head straight to college out of high school, don’t despair this does not mean you have failed in your job! As a parent, your work during high school includes planning for and providing the best possible education for your child so they can learn the life skills that they need, preparing them to be ready for a variety of different possibilities, and then encouraging them to pursue the work skills and things they’ll need to know in order to function in their job, whether that includes college or not. In the midst of the variety of different options for high school graduates, distance learning and working are two great alternatives you might want to look into.

Although it seems very trendy today, many people will be surprised to learn that distance learning is not a new phenomenon; it has actually been around for decades. Years ago, people did distance learning as well. They would mail in their tests and their papers instead of emailing or faxing them, but it was really the exact same thing. Resources for distance learning have been around for a long time. One of the books we used for distance learning is “Bear’s Guide to Earning Degrees by Distance Learning,” which was published for the first time decades ago! There are many reasons that distance learning might be a good fit for your student, including finances, work schedules, and environment concerns. For more great information, I recommend the book “Accelerated Distance Learning” by Brad Voeller.

Education is not just a matter of climbing up the ladder; it’s also about what you’re going to do after you’ve climbed up the ladder–where you’re going to work. Many students will decide that they want to work after high school. I have a friend whose teen-aged son said he was going to work and not go to college. He got a job working at a local fast food restaurant and he loved it. He was getting higher and higher in management as a teenager, and finally decided that he really wanted to own a business. He quickly found out that this required a business degree, so he decided that he wanted to go to college. He easily passed the college entrance exams, because his mother had taught him everything he needed to know during high school. The message here is that you always need to be prepared remember that kids will change their minds! You just don’t know what the future is going to hold; kids mature and change their minds and the next thing you know, they want to own a business of their own and they need a degree. If you’ve prepared them in high school, then they will be ready for whatever they ultimately choose college, distance learning, work in whatever order they need it! That’s success in homeschooling!

Homeschooling Methods: From Charlotte Mason to Classical Education

Homeschooling? Unschooling? Charlotte Mason? Waldorf? Part-time? Full-time? The variations within homeschooling can be overwhelming. But don’t worry — it’s not as scary as it first seems.

Consider these common curriculums and educational philosophies used by homeschoolers. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but does cover many major programs and should help you feel more comfortable deciding what kind of homeschooler you are.

Unit Studies

In unit studies, one subject is intensely focused on at a time. This can teach the ability to both compartmentalize and synthesize information. Examples are doing an in-depth study of the presidents of the United States, or spending the month before a vacation to the ocean studying the sea and weather patterns. Unit studies can also use a child’s interests to study a broader subject; for example, studying fashion trends through the ages in order to see how major events in history affected day-to-day living.

Charlotte Mason

The Charlotte Mason method is based on the work of British educator Charlotte Mason. She believed that “education is an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life.” She believed that atmosphere makes up one-third of a child’s education, that cultivating good habits makes up another third, and that children should be taught living, practical ideas rather than dry facts.

Waldorf

Waldorf education aims to educate the whole child, “head, heart, and hands.” Waldorf tries to encourage a genuine love of learning in each child and incorporates arts and activities to create students who are able to create meaning in their lives without external help.

Montessori

The Montessori method focuses on student-directed learning that aims to support a child’s natural way of learning. Montessori involves one-on-one attention and teacher observation and emphasizes all five senses rather than just the visual and auditory senses used in reading, listening, and watching.

Multiple Intelligences

Multiple intelligences education is based on Dr. Howard Gardner’s eight areas of intelligence and learning styles: linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalist. Each individual has strengths in one or more of these intelligences, and the multiple intelligences method involves discovering those strong areas and teaching through them (for example, a student strong in bodily-kinesthetic, or touch-related, knowledge will be most likely to learn by doing, whereas a linguistically-strong child will learn best through reading, writing, and playing with words).

Classical Education

Classical education utilizes three age groups or learning periods, called the “grammar period” (which focuses on the building blocks of education, memorization, and and rules of basic math, phonetics, etc.), the “logic stage” (when cause-and-effect relationships are explored and the child is challenged to ask “Why,” engage in critical thinking, and synthesize ideas), and the “rhetoric stage” (when the student learns to use language to clearly and powerful explain his/her ideas, and begins to focus on areas of knowledge that draw his/her interest; this stage can sometimes involve internships, apprenticeships, college courses, and other forms of higher/specialized education).

Thomas Jefferson Education

Thomas Jefferson Education, also known as “Leadership Education,” also follows three periods: the “foundational phases” (which focus on core values and love of learning), “educational phases” (which teach study skills and discipline; at this stage students engage in a mentor-guided program such as an internship or setting and reaching a personal goal), and “applicational phases” that exist after formal schooling and last the rest of the student’s life (during which the student focuses on contribution to community, and acts as a mentor or community leader). Thomas Jefferson education focuses heavily on love of learning, commitment to values, and seven keys to great teaching.

Accredited Curriculum/Long-Distance/Internet Schooling

This type of homeschool, sometimes referred to as “public school at home” is highly structured and uses state-approved curricula that mirror the curricula being used in public schools. The parent acts as teacher and there is usually a satellite teacher or mentor that the student reports to. Examples include K12.com, LUOnlineAcademy.com, and various university-affiliated high school programs such as Penn Foster High School and BYU Independent Study.

Delayed Schooling

This type of schooling follows the belief that children are not ready for formal schooling until the ages of 7-9. This approach encourages play and natural curiosity in the early years and moves toward more formal learning as the child reaches age 7 (with flexibility depending on the child). This philosophy, though sometimes challenged, is becoming commonly accepted even in some mainstream schools, particularly in the U.K., and is fairly common among unschoolers.

Principle Approach

The Principle Approach to education, which is based on the writing of Rosalie J. Slater and Verna M. Hall, looks at all subjects and information through a Christian worldview. The Bible is used as a major textbook and the student creates notebooks that incorporate both school material and his/her thoughts and meditations. The Principle Approach uses “the 4 Rs,” Research (finding God’s word and identifying religious principles), Reasoning (discovering cause and effect relationships), Relate (applying information to the student), and Record (writing down or otherwise recording the student’s applications and impressions).

Faith-Based

Similar to the Principle Approach but more flexible and not specific to any belief system, faith-based homeschooling incorporates both secular and religious knowledge, and religious beliefs and the family’s values are worked freely into learning and discussions. Though this intermingling is a natural side effect of being homeschooled in a religious household, faith-based education more obviously connects academic knowledge to religion. Spiritual beliefs and experiences are considered as or more important to the child’s education as secular knowledge, and the parent actively seeks to incorporate religious beliefs into the student’s curriculum/educational experience.

Learning Centers

Though not often used full-time as a replacement for public or private school, many homeschoolers find it useful to supplement their curricula with courses and/or tutoring at learning centers such as Kumon, Sylvan, and Huntington. These centers can be especially useful as a student approaches college, as many of them offer ACT and SAT prep courses.

As always, homeschooling is a deeply individual individual matter that should be altered to fit your family. As long as your homeschooling method works for you, keep it, love it, change it as needed, and enjoy the adventure.

Ten Myths About Homeschooling and Anti-Homeschooling Excuses

Prospective homeschool parents have to face fears, doubts and myths that keep them from taking the decision to homeschool their children. This article is an attempt to do some myth-busting, dispel the fears and disqualify the anti-homeschooling excuses that prevent many parents from the awesome experience of homeschooling their families…(yes, not just the kids, the parents get HOME schooled too!)

1. I don’t get on with my kids/ My kids have bad attitudes/ My kids won’t listen to me.

This, to me, is one of the best reasons to homeschool. Instead of running from discipline issues that need to be tackled, loving parents need to embrace opportunities to teach and train their children to be respectful and obedient. They need to learn to reach their children’s hearts, not just apply various methods of behaviour modification and punishment, but actually build heart-to-heart relationships with their children.

Ignoring a problem issue or expecting a teacher to deal with it, does not show love and commitment to children. They will test their boundaries and they need parents to care enough to establish and enforce boundaries. Homeschooling facilitates plenty of opportunities for parent-child relationship-building.

2. I am not well-educated/ I can’t teach subjects like Maths and Science

Research has shown that the level of education of homeschooling parents is not a factor determining successful homeschooling. Even parents that dropped out of high school have successfully homeschooled their children all through high school. Parents who did not have a good school career are often able to fill in the ‘gaps’ in their own education as they progress through various concepts with their children.

Homeschool curricula are designed to be used by parents that are not trained, professionals and for students pursuing self-study. In most cases, clear instructions are given, parent guides and solutions are provided. Some curricula even provide instructional DVD’s where a teacher teaches the new concepts for the benefit of both the parent and the student.

As a last resort, homeschoolers can also do what school-going children do if they battle with a subject – they can go for private tuition.

3. I can’t afford it.

With all the options and choices of curricula available plus free resources available on the internet, there are no grounds for this excuse. Most homeschooling families survive on one income and still give their children a good quality education.

At the very worst, you can limit yourself to spend the same amount as it would cost to have your children attend school, without the extras like school clothing, lunch money, contributions to fund-raising and other school-related expenses.

Since most of your money will be spent on books and materials which can be re-used with younger siblings, you can get a lot of value for your money.

4. My children just LOVE being with their friends

If your children prefer being with their friends, than with their family, perhaps they have already developed an unhealthy peer dependency. This might not seem to be a problem at preschool or primary school level, but just wait until they hit the teen years!

As an alternative, homeschooling enables children to build good relationships with both their parents and their siblings. When their identities are strongly rooted in their families and they have good family values, then children are better able to develop healthy friendships outside the home.

Homeschooling enables parents to choose the social interactions that their children experience. Parents can keep them from negative peer group pressure or bad influences until the children are old enough to gradually be exposed to them and are mature enough to make good decisions and build good relationships.

Homeschoolers don’t just stay at home. They also socialize- just not during school time!

Research has also shown that in general, homeschoolers have better social skills with a wider ranger of age groups than school-going children, whose social interactions are largely limited to their own age group.

5. I don’t have the patience

When I first started homeschooling, I read somewhere that you only get patience if you need it!

The same is true of other character qualities that homeschooling parents need such as perseverance, humility, self-sacrifice, compassion, diligence, etc.

It is through homeschooling that our characters are shaped, moulded and matured and we become equipped to do what we are called to do.

6. I am scared of failing.

I often tell my children that, “Courage is doing what we have to do, EVEN WHEN WE FEEL AFRAID.”

It’s amazing to me how many parents are afraid that they might mess up their children’s education, but they seem to have no fear that some teacher might mess up even better!

When you see how many children suffer for various reasons in the school system, it is even more amazing that parents are willing to entrust their precious blessings to total strangers for 6 hours of the day or more!

As a parent, you love your children like no teacher ever will, you have their best interests at heart and you are able to give them a tailor-made education, suited to their individual needs.

Unless you are not committed to successful homeschooling and dealing with the parenting and discipline issues that may crop up, there is no reason why you should not do an equal or better job than a paid professional.

Now, I am not saying that any parent can be a school teacher – no, I think one does need special training to teach a class of 35 plus children that are not your own in a school situation…but I do believe that committed parents can do a good job in homeschooling their own.

7. Will I cope? I am stressed out already.

Many outsiders see homeschooling only as an added responsibility – the burden of the academic training of their children. However, to give it a different perspective, homeschooling is a lifestyle that brings a lot of flexibility to a family’s day-to-day life. This might be just the thing to help a stressed out parent cope better with the demands of a family.

Since everyone is together, not rushing out in different directions, life is usually simplified. Children are home and can be trained to help out around the house too.

Sometimes a parent may initially need to stop certain outside activities or commitments, like additional church programs, sports or hobbies. However, this is not always the case and many homeschoolers are equally, if not more involved in their communities than non-homeschooling families.

Sometimes these activities just need to be re-scheduled to accommodate the homeschool lifestyle.

Learning to adapt and put family first is often a good thing. I know of too many people whose children are treated like second-rate citizens for the so-called good of the community, so that parents can find approval from their own peer group for their good deeds and commitments!

8. We have such a nice teacher/school.

There certainly are some very nice teachers and schools with good results and good reputations. However, does the teacher or the school’s values match your family values? Will the nice teacher always be the one to teach your child?

Often a school is legally bound to teach a curriculum which may be in conflict with your beliefs. No education is neutral. If you don’t know what your children are being taught, perhaps you should find out the underlying belief system.

No matter how nice the teacher or the school, only YOU have an intimate love relationship with your child and ultimately you are responsible for your child’s education, whether you delegate that responsibility to a school or not.

9. I need more stimulation/ I can’t just stay home / I love my job.

As career-workers, many of us initially find our identity in our job, satisfaction in the approval from our co-workers, boss or simply the pay check at the end of the month.

Choosing to stay home as a wife and mother demands a shift in one’s mindset and accepting that at the end of many days and months there is no tangible reward. You come to realize that raising well-educated, confident and secure children is one of the greatest achievements that one can strive towards. For many of us, its obedience to a God-given calling.

Although the stimulation may be of a different kind to that of a job, homeschooling can be very stimulating for parents as it offers you the opportunity to learn and explore topics of interest along with your children. It affords you the time to enjoy educational trips, tours, outings, co-ops, crafts, hobbies, sport and even home-based business opportunities.

(Many homeschooling parents, like me have website-based businesses that earn them a good income and they get to work at their own pace! See links below.)

10. My parents, in-laws, friends, neighbours or church, etc. won’t approve.

For some reason, we all like to have the approval of others, especially those whom we respect and with whom we have intimate relationships. However, if you and your spouse are in agreement that homeschooling is best for your children, you need to have the guts to stand up for your convictions.

To many non-homeschoolers, homeschooling is a foreign concept and people don’t understand why you are NOT just doing the done thing and sending your children to school.

Sometimes people feel that by your choice to homeschool, you are silently judging their choice of schooling and rating it as second best, so they attack your choice because attack is their best defence.

Ultimately, you are responsible for your children, not your family and peers…and a good answer is to tell others that you feel your choice is best for YOUR family but you realize it may not be the same for other families. You don’t even have to explain your reasons!

Many homeschoolers have had to face criticism and skepticism from outsiders, yet in the end, the ‘proof has been in the pudding’ as they say. Many times, after a few years, others have seen the good fruit of a homeschooling family and they have earned the respect and support which was lacking at first!

Home Schooling Benefits and Help

Some years ago a grandson came to live with me who have problems at school. He had bad attention span and was noisy in class. That, however, was only part of the problem. He was also bowel incontinent and at the ages of 6-8 years that was hard for teachers and students to put up with. After he was sent home within an hour of arrival on various excuses I decided to home school him.

As my education level was high having degrees from university the task was obviously not going to be that hard. In fact, it was so easy and so enjoyable for both of us that he picked up quite rapidly. He was attentive and easy to manage. Explaining things to him on a one on one basis meant that he readily absorbed the lessons.

There was also a lot of help available out in the community. There were even gatherings with other home school students. They could play games and interact as they would in a play-ground or class-room. The parents got along as well.

If someone is in a situation where the alternative to home schooling is a bad situation, then don’t hesitate to take it on. Anyone who has been to school and passed through primary with no trouble will have a great experience refreshing their memory and expounding on their knowledge.

Books are also available for parents to use to help students. They get the same text books as in a class-room with the added advantage that lessons can be ongoing once a subject has been introduced. It is surprising how many questions come up from time to time over dinner or when relaxing that add to the knowledge bank.

Children who are home-schooled in Australia are usually ahead of the pack when it comes to qualifying later in life. If someone is thinking about it then my advice is to give it a go. After all what do you have to lose?