Q: What is Home Education?
Home education is the most flexible and diverse educational option available today. The variety of homeschooling styles reflects the diversity of the people who choose this method. Some families organize their homeschool the same as a traditional school, with the children studying the same subjects the same way as public school students. Some families use the opposite approach and "unschool" their children - a far less structured approach where the children's schedule is determined by their interests and readiness.
Most homeschoolers, however, use an eclectic approach that is partly structured and partly interest-based. This method allows parents to pick and choose the classes and materials that meet their children's needs. Homeschooling is as unique as your family is.
Q: Is it legal to teach you children at home?
Q: How much does home education cost?
Depending on the choices you make, home education can cost either a little or a lot. If you had to, you could home educate practically for free using public resources like libraries, online resources, museums, and hand-me-down educational supplies.
In general, homeschooling costs more if you use a complete boxed curriculum. Also, homeschooling costs tend to be higher for teenagers than for elementary school students.
You will also want to budget additional funding for extracurricular activities such as soccer, gymnastics, martial arts, piano lessons, and the like. Since homeschooled children have more time, they tend to participate in more of these activities.
The bottom line is that: (1) you have complete control over how much homeschooling will cost and (2) you can give your child a quality education no matter how much or how little money you have.
Q: What are the advantages of Homeschooling?
For many homeschoolers, one of the greatest benefits of homeschooling is the strengthening of family bonds. Homeschooling families spend lots of time learning and playing together and this naturally creates close ties between brothers and sisters and between children and parents.
Homeschoolers also have a great deal of flexibility in how and what they learn, allowing them to learn about the"real world" by being part of it. These advantages allow homeschooled children to receive a superior education that is attuned specifically to their own needs, learning style, personality, and interests.
Q: What are the disadvantages of Homeschooling?
According to homeschoolers' feedback on Homeschool.com, the biggest disadvantage facing the homeschooling family is loss of income. Someone must be home, at least part-time, to facilitate the children's learning. At a time when it can often be difficult to get by on two incomes, it can be a real challenge to get by on just one.
Some of the other difficulties facing homeschooling parents include lack of confidence in their own and their children's abilities, public and/or family criticism, and adjusting career goals and work schedules to accommodate the needs of the family. One last challenge humorously cited by homeschoolers is that of housekeeping. When you use your home full-time for homeschooling (and in some cases even for work), things can get a bit messy. But don't worry, those books piled high on the coffee table, the science experiment on the table, and the art project in the patio are all signs that your child is learning.
Q: How will they socialize?
It used to be that if you announced that you were going to homeschool your children people would ask you, "How will your children learn anything?" Now that fears have been put to rest regarding homeschoolers' academic achievement, the most commonly asked question is, "But what about socialization?" The assumption is that children will not learn to get along with others and will not develop good social skills unless they go to school. However, several studies have been conducted over the years that show that homeschooled children are more self-confident and less peer dependent than traditionally schooled students.
Many people believe that homeschoolers spend all their time around the kitchen table, but that simply is not the case. Since homeschooled students do not spend six hours a day in a classroom sitting behind a desk, they have more time to participate in activities outside the home like music, sports, and Scouts. Also, whereas schoolchildren rarely have the opportunity to interact with children who are not the same age, homeschooled children interact with and learn from people of all ages, genders, and interests.
Q: Will my children be able to succeed in the "real world" if they do not go to school?
Those exploring homeschooling for the first time sometimes worry that their child will not be able to function in the"real world" if they don't attend school and have the same social experiences as schooled children. But what do schools really do? They separate kids by age and ability, reinforce class and gender stereotypes, and limit children's interactions to short recess periods. Schoolchildren are forced to socialize with children only their own age and are trapped in a room six to seven hours a day, allowed to view the outside world only through a textbook. Where in the real world are adults forced to socialize with only someone their own age? Competition, bullying, consumerism, and cruel teasing are often the social values children learn at school. Homeschooled children are more likely to base their decisions on values they learn from their parents instead of feeling compelled to go along with the crowd and accept the behaviour of what other children are displaying as the "norm". Because homeschoolers spend so much time out in the real world, they are able to communicate well and get along with both adults and children. They even get along with their siblings, and it is common for homeschooling families to receive positive comments about their children's strong, warm sibling relationships.
Adapted from http://www.homeschool.com/new/faq.asp