Sunday, January 17, 2010

Quality Education: Home Schooling

I used to blog for my old company, but they took the blog down. I am
not actually allowed to own the writings I put up on that blog, but as
I reference them on occasion in my writing I am putting those articles
up in my archives here for reference sake. I'll put the tag GS on those
articles noting that they were originally published on the

Education: Home Schooling

7, 2008 – 6:21 am by

As a teacher most
people assume that I don’t agree with people who choose to home
school their children. Actually, nothing could be further from the
truth, I am a strong believer in home schooling children. As long as
you are using home schooling to educate instead of indoctrinate I
think home schooling is a great idea.

It isn’t
absolutely necessary for a person to be formally trained in education
to be a good teacher, and not
trained educators are good teachers. The two most important
requirements for a good teacher, in my opinion, are a passion to do a
good job and knowing how the student learns. Assuming a person with
passion I would learn the necessary skills to do a good job.

That being said most
any parent who has the time and inclination could home school their
child if they so chose. (Except in California, where you must be
certified, but even then getting a quick home school certification
can be done)The time and desire to teach your children is very
important. If you want to home school your children, expect to spend
up to 12 hours a day either teaching of preparing to teach on top of
any other at home chores you would normally have. Today though, let’s
just look at the positives and the possibilities.

Not long ago if you
choose to home school you might be the only homeschooler you knew or
spoke with on a regular basis. With the advent of the Internet, and
the global communications that it allows, homeschoolers have the
ability to learn from and collaborate with people all around the
world. This is much more important than giving your children the
ability to research online or share science experiments with students
around the world. The Internet has allowed home school teachers
around the world the share in their successes and failures. It has
allowed parents around the world to form home school groups.

One fear that kept
many people from homeschooling their children is that they might not
be able to teach a certain subject, especially in high school. If you
were the only home school family you knew in the area you might be
worried. Ten years ago or so a homeschooler would have to basically
teach him or herself certain subjects in high school if they weren’t
lucky enough to live close to someone who could and would teach that
subject. Today it is possible to
and or tutor the subject online
A home school child may still teach him or herself high school math,
but if he or she gets stuck they will be able to get help from a
qualified tutor.

The best part about
homeschooling is it is so much more child-centered. If your child
shows an interest in Math or Reading it is very easy to shift the
focus towards those areas. If your child is struggling with a certain
concepts it is so much easier to stop and focus on that until you are
sure your child understands. If you fall behind it is possible to
catch up later. If you go ahead there is no reason to slow down and
wait. Also there is no summer vacation to forget everything you

Most public schools
today are based on what the average child should learn and when. Home
schools are not constrained by these averages they can teach the
subject children show more interest in when they are interested in
them. Schools are forced to bring large numbers of children into one
building to learn. Homeschoolers can take the children out to the
world to learn. Schools are too often forced to focus on making sure
everyone meets a minimum standard, even sacrificing possibilities of
exploring beyond the regular curriculum sometimes. Homeschoolers just
focus on their own progress.

If you have ever
thought of home schooling your child I would suggest doing a bit of
research. Find a good home school program to use as a starting point.
Join a couple of home school groups to learn about problems and
pitfalls you will encounter. Search for places you can get

when needed, and you will need it several times. Call your local
school district and learn about the support they can give. (Home
school children can usually go to music, and P.E. classes as well as
join school sponsored teams) Then give it a test run. Try teaching,
plan a unit in a subject or subjects, teach using a desk in the
basement. Give the test at the end of the unit and evaluate not only
how well your child learned, but how well you taught. Then decide if
the time and effort you put in matched with the results you earned
are worth home schooling your child.


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