Links to articles published by
Educational Resource Information Center and listed with permission.
related to the issues of homeschooling re-published by permission of the authors for
reproduced with permission by author Christine Webb, Home Educator's Magazine Information
and Resource Guide, 1997.
Thinking About Homeschooling?
Families come to the decision
to homeschool in a variety of ways. For some it is a lifestyle decision, for others it is
an education choice. Deciding to homeschool can be a little daunting. It will take
research, insight, thought discussion and perhaps a little courage, but it is a commitment
that is made each year for hundreds of thousands of children across the nation. Regardless
of your situation, learning about homeschooling is an important first step. To help you
get started we have provided some answers to the most commonly asked questions.
What does it mean to homeschool?
What are some of the
benefits of homeschooling?
Homeschooling means different
things to different people. For some, homeschooling is simply the best method for
educating their children. For others, it is a lifestyle choice that reflects their
commitment to a strong and nurturing family life. Homeschooling offers families the
opportunity to provide a loving environment in which their children can mature and learn.
For many, the
most important benefit is the strengthening of their family life. Others appreciate
providing a superior education geared to their children's individual needs, learning
styles, personalities, and interests. Most families enjoy the flexibility homeschooling
Is homeschooling legal?
is legal in all 50 states. Laws and regulations vary from state to state, and
interpretations can vary among school districts. Read the laws for your state yourself in
addition to asking homeschooling organizations for information. A copy of your law can be
found in your public library, on the Internet, or from a local homeschool support group.
How do I find out about
homeschooling in my state?
Contact your state or local
homeschooling support group. The support groups usually have copies of the state law,
information about getting started, lists of activities and resources and many offer a
newsletter as well. They can offer opportunities for getting together with other families,
activities for children and adults, advice and help with resource materials and even
cooperative classes for children.
How do I know what approach to use?
Read ask questions, listen
carefully and observe. There are as many homeschooling styles as there are homeschooling
families. The approach you choose should fit comfortably into your lifestyle. This
decision will depend on your philosophy of learning, the structure of your family's life,
and the types of resources through which each of your children learns best. Households
that thrive on schedules are often most comfortable setting a regular time each day for
homeschooling activities. Others approach homeschooling as an integral part of what they
do each day, with no set schedule. A child who likes textbooks and workbooks might use a
ready-made curriculum. For a more wholistic learner you may choose to use the library,
museums, and life experiences as your primary learning resources. Resources will vary in
time commitment, philosophy of learning, and expense. Be prepared to do some experimenting
to find the combination that works best for each child and understand that as children
mature or situations change so, too, might your approach.
Where can I get materials and resources?
Book stores, catalogs, teacher
supply stores, curriculum companies, sewing stores and your local libraries are all good
places to find resources. Homeschooling conferences and learning fairs are another place
for looking at materials and getting ideas. Check with your local or state support groups
for information about these. Supplies can be expensive so research carefully before
committing your dollars. Remember that homeschooling resources can be found in unlikely
What if my child wants to learn something I can't teach?
You do not have to be the
"teacher" for everything your child wants to learn. Your child may successfully
opt to self-teach, or to get together with other students to form a study group around a
particular subject. You can hire a tutor or barter for help with another interested
family. Classes over the Internet or via television, videos and computer software are
increasingly available options for many families. Some students choose to take classes at
a community college. When searching for teachers, don't overlook friends, businesspeople
in your community-most people are delighted to have a young person around who is sincerely
interested in what they know and do.
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 the are learning by spending time with them and observe the growth in their
understanding. A standardized test cannot give you the kind of valuable information you
will get simply by spending time with your children and observing their interests and
activities from day to day.
How will my child learn to get along in the world?
Our children are quick to
point out that they live an early age how to succeed in the world at large because they
participate in it with their families. For instance, they shop, bank, and visit nursing
homes. Older children volunteer in the community, hold part-time jobs, take classes, and
participate in mentoring projects with adults.
There are opportunities in
many communities for homeschooled children to get together for activities: roller-skating,
theater groups, studzortunity to play sports, to join community groups like scouts or 4-H
and to participate in religious communities. Homeschooled children have the opportunity to
develop friendships with children of widely varying ages.
What about higher education?
Hundreds of colleges across
the country are enrolling homeschoolers. Colleges are interested in capable, motivated
learners and responsible people, and they find both in homeschooled students. If your
child is interested in attending college, a first good step is to contact several colleges
and talk to them about their policies for admitting homeschooled students. Many
homeschoolers ultimately choose an apprenticeship over formal schooling as a faster and
more satisfying entry into their adult lives.
The resources listed in
Homeschooling Corner are not necessarily endorsed, supported or reflective of
the views of E-tutor or Strategic Studies. This listing is intended
solely for the purpose of providing our students and their educators with a directory of
homeschooling resources available for the options of selecting information regarding