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Topic : Homeschooling

Number of Replies: 374
New Messages This Week: 0
Last Reply On:
Created on : Friday, July 01, 2005, 01:17:37 pm
Author : dataimport
Do you prefer an alternative to traditional schooling? Share tips, advice, support, and chat with others that homeschool their children.

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January 21, 2006, 10:24 am CST

4 year old

Quote From: joceysmom

I am not homeschooling my daughter, she is only 4.  However my sister is homeschooling her children, so we discuss the things that they do  quite often. I also think that each child is an individual and should be treated as such.  I understand what you are saying about being a soft place to fall for our children, however,   We can't protect them from the world forever, we just have to equip them with the tools they need to succeed in life.  When my daughter has an issue with kids or teachers, or anything, I would like to have the opportunity to talk to her about it.  If she never has experiences as a child, how will she deal with these things when she is an adult and I am not always ther to discuss it.   

I also have a 4 year old and I do home school her. She is starting to read and loves to print her numbers, letters, her name and the names of her family members. I spend time with her each day doing these things and other things that she's interested in like going to the Y.M.C.A to play with other children, or playing with her older sister, or having a play date with a neighborhood child. Home schooling certainly isn't doing nothing all day like some think. I wish we could have more boring days actually, lol. My 4 year ols loves to draw, colour and doodle and so we always make sure she has a large supply of things she needs to just be creative. She does this while I clean and do other things I need to do. I'm not right by her side all the time, but I do always know what she's doing and I love to spend time around my children.  

Are you planning to home school your daughter? 

Sherri 

 
January 23, 2006, 7:17 pm CST

I agree!

Quote From: jettav

You did post some good info but I must disagree on the idea that a homeschooling parent would have to spend 24 hours a day with the child, unless of course the other parent is not willing/able to help out. But even then, if the child is regularly spending his day on schooling and even with outings, I still don't see why a parent can't go have time for themselves. I don't see any difference in a working parent, picking their child up from school, giving them a quick dinner, drop him off to a sitter and going out for the evening. I see it all the time. Why wouldn't a home schooling parent have this option, are there actually parents who school their children 24/7? proabably not!....... And of course you are comparing this to public schooling (right?), well, in my case, I would be sending my children to a private school (maybe Montessory-haven't checked those out)and I can almost bet that those would cost more then home schooling. One really doesn't have to invest a lot in curriculum as there is so much offered out there, depends on what route they go as far as their style and all...........Any way, again, don't take this post wrong, I think this is decent stuff, I am just not so sure I agree with it all. But I think it can be helpful to those who need a start in some info and hopefully they would do their own research and go with theri own gut feeling..........

I feel the same way. I need my own time as well and I have hubby take over at times and I set up play dates where we take turns. Mikayla is going for a playdate tomorrow from 9:30am-11:30 am and I do the same once a week and then the other mom and I get a break. Her son goes to school in the afternoon.  

Sherri 

 
January 23, 2006, 7:26 pm CST

Homeschooling

You'll have to spend more money on your child's education
You'll have to spend 24 hours a day with your child for days at a time
It will take more effort to find children with whom yours can build quality relationships
Significant time is required to plan and develop lessons, curriculums, and subjects
 

  

This I disagree with the most.  

Money? You can spend as little or as much as you want on curricilum. I build my own curriculum using a wide variety of resourses and who is to say that you can't do that. The library is free, the internet costs little depending on what you go with. Garage sales have great books for pennies, etc.  

 

Who spends 24 hours side by side with their children?  

 

It takes little effort for me to find children for Mikayla to interact with.  

 

I spent less time on home schooling than I did on helping with homework, helping with projects and countless other school related activities.  

 

I believe my children learn more from being at home just by everyday living and not sitting behind a desk for the majority of the day. I just don't think that god gave children all that energy to sit all day and show me a classroom full of smiling happy faces as they sit and do lessons all day long. Again this is just my opinion and I am quite opinionated and I find most home schoolers are. We are passionate about our number 1 priority-our children. 

Sherri 

 
January 23, 2006, 7:31 pm CST

Homeschooling

I was reading what Amy posted about the disadvantages of home schooling and I don't think there are any.  

  

I would post the many disadvantages of schools, but that would take a very long time, but if you want to look that up and post it, I would love to see that one.  

 

Sherri 

 
January 23, 2006, 7:33 pm CST

here is my research

What are some of the benefits of homeschooling?

A wise man once said, "We can teach our children to have courage, faith and endurance; they can teach us to laugh, to sing, and to love." For many, the deepest and most abiding benefit of homeschooling is the claiming (or reclaiming) of their family. Homeschooling families spend incredible amounts of time together living, learning and playing. They have the opportunity to develop a depth of understanding and a commitment to the family that is difficult to attain when family members spend their days going in separate directions. Many families like the flexibility homeschooling provides both parents and children. Children can learn about things they are interested in and at a time in their lives when they are ready to learn. No preconceived schedule forces them ahead or holds them back. Vacations and outings can be planned for times when the family is ready - and often when the crowds are smaller or the costs are lower. Children can learn about the 'real world' by being a part of it - no artificial settings to 'provide exposure.' Children can receive a superior education attuned specifically to their own needs, learning styles, personalities, and interests - at far less cost than that of a private or public school. 

Therefore, the benefits of homeschooling include:  

  • closer family bonds
  • course of study can be tailored to the child's individual interests and abilities
  • the learning environment is more relaxed and natural
  • children can learn free from physical and psychological bullying
  • diminished influence of peers and "peer pressure"
  • more positive and broader socialization experiences with children of various ages as well as adults
 
January 23, 2006, 7:33 pm CST

Homeschooling

How many children are homeschooled?

Many home educating parents do not register with local school officials so an exact number is not known. However, it is estimated that approximately 1% to 2% of all school-age children in Ontario are homeschooled which translates into 20,000 children. The estimated number for Canada as a whole is approximately 60,000 homeschooled children. Estimates for the United States range between 1 million to 2 million children being homeschooled. 

 
January 23, 2006, 7:35 pm CST

Homeschooling

Do I need to be a certified teacher to homeschool my children?

No, there is no requirement in the Ontario Education Act stating that a parent must be a certified teacher to homeschool their children. Though many teachers have chosen home schooling for their children, parents from a wide variety of professional and educational backgrounds successfully educate their children at home. Research has shown that homeschooling parents who are not professional teachers do just as well, if not better, than a homeschooling parent who is a certified teacher. 

 
January 23, 2006, 7:41 pm CST

Homeschooling

How long can you home school?

From birth to whatever age the child leaves home. 

How do home schooling parents avoid burnout?

Academic pursuits take fewer hours a week than in school because of the one-on-one tutoring, therefore a homeschooling parent does not need to spend the same amount of time, as the school system, to teach their children. Learning to work independently teaches children how to fill their time wisely which is more feasible in the homeschooling environment with the parent acting as a resource and facilitator. It has often been noticed that when a child is ready, many concepts that can take years to learn in the school system are mastered within a matter of weeks. Readiness is everything. Here are some ways to avoid burnout:  

  • join a local support group to participate in activities and field trips and network with other parents;
  • have other parents teach material to your child that you may find difficult or are not familiar with;
  • in order to allow some free time for the parent who is home with the children on a regular basis, have the parent who is gone during the day for "paid employment" ( if this is the situation that exists in your home) interact and spend as much time as possible with their children when they are at home - i.e. talk to and/or play with them, read or teach some curriculum material to their children in the evening or weekends (note: learning doesn't just happen between 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Monday to Friday, September to June).

Many families do not experience the feeling of burnout since they fall into a natural rhythm of being home with their children on a regular basis. If the child attended school then the family usually follows the schedule of the school - i.e. getting their child to school, picking them up at the end of the day, finding alternative child care on school closure days, March break, summer break, staying home from work with sick children and taking paid vacation days or unpaid days, etc. In the homeschool environment the family can set their own schedule. If a child is sick then any activities that were scheduled can be cancelled with minimum fuss. Parents do not have to worry about who is going to watch their children when they are not in school due to illness or school closure days since they are home with their children on a daily basis and have taken full responsibility for the care and education of their children. 

- FAQ menu - main menu - top

What do I teach? Must I follow a curriculum?

The goal of education is to understand the world we live in, to gain self-awareness, and to be able to find out what we want to know. Curriculum is a tool, a context within which education takes place. Some parents use a structured learning curriculum. Others follow a child-centered approach, believing that a child learns best when she is fully engaged and interested in the subjects being studied. Some families use a mixture of the two approaches - concentrating on a few core subjects: reading, writing, math, and research, and allowing the child to follow their interests in other subjects. There are many texts, workbooks, curricula, video taped lectures and other resources available. Please note that there is nothing in the Ontario Education Act that states you must use curriculum. Therefore, the decision of whether or not to use curriculum is determined by each homeschooling family. 

See our pages on resources for ideas and suppliers. If you wish to follow the same grade-by-grade sequence as the public school system, see the Ministry of Education's Ontario curriculum guidelines

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Is homeschooling expensive?

Homeschooling can be as expensive or as inexpensive as you make it. It depends on many factors, including what kinds of materials and resources you choose to use, how many children you will be homeschooling, and whether or not you will be giving up paid employment in order to homeschool your children. If you choose to purchase a curriculum package it could become cost effective if you use it with more than one child in the family (i.e. a Grade 4 curriculum that is used with one child can be used with another child when they reach the Grade 4 curriculum level). Parents can easily spend a small fortune on all the wonderful learning materials and books available. On the other hand, a superior education can also be accomplished using free resources found through the public library, interlibrary loan, and learning opportunities found in your community, such as museums and trips to interesting places, purchasing used curriculum and resources at curriculum fairs, garage sales, book sales and used book stores. 

Please note that in Ontario the Ministry of Education does not provide any funding to homeschooling families. Therefore, if you plan to purchase any curriculum materials or resources you will have to pay for them yourself. 

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How do I know which materials and resources to use?

This is, perhaps, the most difficult question to answer - be prepared for your answer to change over time and be aware that you may make choices that won't work out. Before you think about what you need, think about what learning means to you. School curriculum and methodology have evolved to reflect an environment where 25 or 30 children learn at the behest of one adult. Curriculum developed by experts for this usage has been designed for ease of teaching, but not necessarily for sparking the interest of an individual child. As a homeschooling family, you can accept as many or as few of these materials as you like. Some families like the ease and security of having a prepackaged curriculum, while others choose to make their own decisions about what is important to learn and what is useful and helpful in their daily lives. Discuss this with your children. What do they want to do? How do they learn best? Look at sample copies of materials before you choose. As homeschoolers, you will be in charge of your learning - take advantage of all the adventure has to offer! 

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Where can I get materials and resources?

Materials and resources come in all sizes and shapes - and many don't look 'schoolish' at all. Many families find their most treasured learning resources at garage sales and thrift shops. Think of building and needlework materials, cooking tools, books, magazines, motors, gears, etc... Other families frequent the bookstores and educational supply stores in their communities. Some find videos from the video rental store valuable. Most think the public library is the best possible resource. Send for the catalogs that look interesting to you. They are filled with resources which you may find helpful. If you are interested in finding out more about prepackaged curriculum or correspondence schools write for their brochures and informative flyers. Homeschooling conferences and learning fairs are another place for looking at materials and getting ideas. Check with your local or state/provincial support groups for information about these. 

See our pages on resources for ideas and suppliers. 

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What if my child wants to learn something I can't teach?

Children have the most amazing ability to want to learn the one thing about which we know absolutely nothing! It's a universal attribute. Homeschooling families are blessed in having the 'world as their classroom.' There are classes (correspondence, video, support groups, community centers, colleges, etc...) taught by experts, but many children are very capable of teaching themselves - just as adults do when they have something new they want to learn. One of the most powerful learning experiences for a child is to have a parent learning right alongside the child. Parents, thankfully, do not have to be the expert in every area. Learn with your child, or search your community for resources that will help your child learn. And when searching for 'teachers,' don't overlook friends, acquaintances, and businesspeople in your community - most people are delighted to have a young person around who is sincerely interested in what they do and know. 

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How will my child learn to get along in the world?

This is the question homeschoolers often grimace about and call the "S" question (socialization). The real concern, it seems, is whether homeschooled children will be able to function out in the world if they don't have the experiences schooled children have. Think for a moment about what schools really do. They classify and segregate children by age and ability, reinforce class, gender and racial prejudice, and strip from children the right to any real interaction or private life. Socialization, in this respect, becomes submitting one's will to that of the group (or person in charge). This is not the basis for healthy relationships. Home educated children, because they spend so much of their time out in the real world, generally are able to communicate well with both adults and children and to have friends of all ages. They choose to spend time with others because they enjoy their company or have a similar interest - just like adults. Many homeschooling families join or start a local homeschooling support group. In this way their children can socialize with children of various ages as well as adults and participate in many activities. Research on homeschooling has shown that homeschooled children are not lacking in the area of socialization and are just as busy if not busier than their schooled counterparts. 

For more information, read the research paper on Social Behaviors: Public vs. Home Educated Children

 
January 23, 2006, 7:44 pm CST

Homeschooling

How do I know if my children are learning?

Children are always learning - they just can't help it! Just like when they were babies and toddlers, you can discover what they are learning by spending time with them and observing the growth in their understanding of the world. Observation as an assessment (titled 'authentic assessment' and a big educational buzzword these days) acknowledges growth in understanding and skill level. Homeschooling allows for direct observation by the parents who knows their child better than anyone else. There is a smaller child to adult ratio in the home environment (compared to 1:25 or 1:30in schools) so it is easier to observe the progress of the child. Unlike standardized testing, direct observation by the parent doesn't give a 'snapshot' that attempts to quantify learning at one point in time. It is fluid and flexible and has no preconceived notions about what a child 'should' be able to do. You can look at the whole person and concentrate on what your child knows, instead of what your child does not know. 

Children are constantly asking questions so we know that they are thinking and curious. Everyone has their own internal schedule for learning (i.e. not every child is ready to read at the age of 5-some may start to read as early as age 3 and others may not be ready until they are 8, or 9, or 10) and we need to try to respect the internal schedule of each child. If you use a curriculum package with your child you will know whether or not they understand the material they are learning when you review the lessons with them and look at their work. 

- FAQ menu - main menu - top

Should I test my child?

Testing, like many other educational concerns, should be a personal decision. Some questions to consider before making this decision include: which tests will be used and why, how might the testing process affect the learner, how will the test results be used, and are there less intrusive alternatives that can be utilized instead? Testing, in the home environment where parents are always very aware of how well their children are doing, is unnecessary and intrusive. Testing is under fire from many teachers and educators, and many educational establishments are attempting to eliminate standardized testing in their schools. Very careful consideration should be taken before any testing is done to children for any reason.  

See our page on testing for more information. 

- FAQ menu - main menu - top

What about higher education?

Homeschooled children can and do attend college and university. Many homeschool through the elementary years and attend high school to get their diploma. Others homeschool through the high school years and obtain credits through correspondence schools and virtual schools. Many universities and colleges in Ontario are starting to prepare admissions policies for homeschoolers. However, even if a college or university does not have a specific policy, homeschoolers have still been able to gain admittance to many of these institutions. Another option for homeschoolers, who do not have a secondary school diploma, is to attend college or university as a mature student - age 21 for university and age 19 for college - since the criteria for the admission of a mature student is different than it would be for a student under the age of 19 or 21. It is recommended that you determine what the admissions policy is for homeschoolers (if a policy exists) or determine what the admissions policy is, in general, for a particular college or university that you are interested in attending. It is also a good idea to speak to the Registrar to inform them of your particular situation in order to determine what criteria is necessary for you to gain admittance. 

In the United States, hundreds of colleges, universities and vocational institutes all over the nation are accepting homeschooled students. In fact, many actively recruit home schooled students because of their creativity, independence and ability to work on their own. Most are thrilled with these intelligent, responsible, capable young people and many are actively recruiting them. Most of these institutions value ability and attitude over formal transcripts, diplomas or GEDs. Most libraries and bookstores carry a wide assortment of books, directories and guides that will help older homeschoolers get information and prepare for this next step. On the other hand, many homeschoolers ultimately choose an apprenticeship over formal schooling as a faster and more satisfying entry into their adult lives. Cafi Cohen's book "And What About College?" (Holt Associates, 1998) and Grace Llewellyn's "Teenage Liberation Handbook" can be great helps to families working through these decisions. It should be noted that college is not necessarily the only or even the best route for every young person. Going to college without a clear idea of what you expect to gain can be a very expensive form of self-discovery. And for many teens who already know where they are headed, apprenticeship opportunities and other forms of 'on-the-job' training can be a faster and more satisfying entry into their adult lives. And remember, the decision to forgo college is never irrevocable. Most institutions highly value older students, since they are usually enthusiastic and focused on learning. 

Some well-known homeschoolers include: John Quincy Adams, Winston Churchill, Alexander Graham Bell, Albert Einstein, Agatha Christie , Astronaut Sally Ride, Noel Coward, Mark Twain, Thomas Edison, George Bernard Shaw, Benjamin Franklin and Theodore Roosevelt. 

"It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education." ~ Albert Einstein
"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." ~ Mark Twain 

See our pages on University/College Information for more details. 

 
January 23, 2006, 8:16 pm CST

lost

Quote From: danamikayl

How do I know if my children are learning?

Children are always learning - they just can't help it! Just like when they were babies and toddlers, you can discover what they are learning by spending time with them and observing the growth in their understanding of the world. Observation as an assessment (titled 'authentic assessment' and a big educational buzzword these days) acknowledges growth in understanding and skill level. Homeschooling allows for direct observation by the parents who knows their child better than anyone else. There is a smaller child to adult ratio in the home environment (compared to 1:25 or 1:30in schools) so it is easier to observe the progress of the child. Unlike standardized testing, direct observation by the parent doesn't give a 'snapshot' that attempts to quantify learning at one point in time. It is fluid and flexible and has no preconceived notions about what a child 'should' be able to do. You can look at the whole person and concentrate on what your child knows, instead of what your child does not know. 

Children are constantly asking questions so we know that they are thinking and curious. Everyone has their own internal schedule for learning (i.e. not every child is ready to read at the age of 5-some may start to read as early as age 3 and others may not be ready until they are 8, or 9, or 10) and we need to try to respect the internal schedule of each child. If you use a curriculum package with your child you will know whether or not they understand the material they are learning when you review the lessons with them and look at their work. 

- FAQ menu - main menu - top

Should I test my child?

Testing, like many other educational concerns, should be a personal decision. Some questions to consider before making this decision include: which tests will be used and why, how might the testing process affect the learner, how will the test results be used, and are there less intrusive alternatives that can be utilized instead? Testing, in the home environment where parents are always very aware of how well their children are doing, is unnecessary and intrusive. Testing is under fire from many teachers and educators, and many educational establishments are attempting to eliminate standardized testing in their schools. Very careful consideration should be taken before any testing is done to children for any reason.  

See our page on testing for more information. 

- FAQ menu - main menu - top

What about higher education?

Homeschooled children can and do attend college and university. Many homeschool through the elementary years and attend high school to get their diploma. Others homeschool through the high school years and obtain credits through correspondence schools and virtual schools. Many universities and colleges in Ontario are starting to prepare admissions policies for homeschoolers. However, even if a college or university does not have a specific policy, homeschoolers have still been able to gain admittance to many of these institutions. Another option for homeschoolers, who do not have a secondary school diploma, is to attend college or university as a mature student - age 21 for university and age 19 for college - since the criteria for the admission of a mature student is different than it would be for a student under the age of 19 or 21. It is recommended that you determine what the admissions policy is for homeschoolers (if a policy exists) or determine what the admissions policy is, in general, for a particular college or university that you are interested in attending. It is also a good idea to speak to the Registrar to inform them of your particular situation in order to determine what criteria is necessary for you to gain admittance. 

In the United States, hundreds of colleges, universities and vocational institutes all over the nation are accepting homeschooled students. In fact, many actively recruit home schooled students because of their creativity, independence and ability to work on their own. Most are thrilled with these intelligent, responsible, capable young people and many are actively recruiting them. Most of these institutions value ability and attitude over formal transcripts, diplomas or GEDs. Most libraries and bookstores carry a wide assortment of books, directories and guides that will help older homeschoolers get information and prepare for this next step. On the other hand, many homeschoolers ultimately choose an apprenticeship over formal schooling as a faster and more satisfying entry into their adult lives. Cafi Cohen's book "And What About College?" (Holt Associates, 1998) and Grace Llewellyn's "Teenage Liberation Handbook" can be great helps to families working through these decisions. It should be noted that college is not necessarily the only or even the best route for every young person. Going to college without a clear idea of what you expect to gain can be a very expensive form of self-discovery. And for many teens who already know where they are headed, apprenticeship opportunities and other forms of 'on-the-job' training can be a faster and more satisfying entry into their adult lives. And remember, the decision to forgo college is never irrevocable. Most institutions highly value older students, since they are usually enthusiastic and focused on learning. 

Some well-known homeschoolers include: John Quincy Adams, Winston Churchill, Alexander Graham Bell, Albert Einstein, Agatha Christie , Astronaut Sally Ride, Noel Coward, Mark Twain, Thomas Edison, George Bernard Shaw, Benjamin Franklin and Theodore Roosevelt. 

"It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education." Albert Einstein
"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." Mark Twain 

See our pages on University/College Information for more details. 

I was looking for your info you refer to here and on these posts and cant find it i am interested in homeschooling my children but am totally lost at how to go about it and if it would benefit them or not my oldest is 4.5 

  

 
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