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Links to articles published by Educational Resource Information Center and listed with permission.

An article related to the issues of homeschooling re-published by permission of the authors for E-tutor.

Article 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?
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.

What are some of the benefits of homeschooling?
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 provides.

Is homeschooling legal?
Homeschooling 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 places!

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 homeschooling.

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