When my sister told my family she was planning to home school her children, we were all kind of confused. My siblings and I had gone to both public and private schools and we didn’t really understand what was wrong with doing the same for our kids.
Our first thoughts went sadly recalled typical, movie stereotypes where the kids were socially awkward, shy and hard to get along with because of being, what many call, too “sheltered.” But going to college and meeting quite a few home schoolers changed all of that in my mind. So if you’re thinking about going the home school route, here are some things you should know.
- Find a good local support group or organization. You’re not alone. Homeschooling has become more popular in recent years due to the overwhelming statistics in favor of it, which means there are local groups and organizations to be found everywhere. So don’t feel overwhelmed or afraid that you might mess up your child’s life or not be up to the challenge. All you need is a GED or high school diploma to teach your children. Try plugging in to a larger home school group to help with any problems you might face. There are always people who have home schooled children for years in those groups and they can teach you just as you teach your children. Want your child to have proms, clubs, group classes, even a graduation ceremony? They can, even with home schooling. These organizations plan everything from weekly group meetings to yearly proms for the kids.
- Teacher, parent, tutor. Basically, you live the life of a live-in tutor when you decide to home school and studies have shown that home schooled children have less behavioral problems and do much better in reading tests than the general population. When home schooled children excel in a subject, they can move at a pace that is best for them, therefore they can sometimes learn much faster. But the scholastic statistics aren’t always the driving force for parents considering home schooling. The thing my sister loves most about being the one teaching her children: “I get to be the one who sees the light bulbs going off.”