Monday, July 20, 2009

How to Find Other Homeschoolers

  • Check HERE, on the HSLDA site!
  • Google "homeschool in _____" (your state). My state has a couple big homeschool conventions, and the organizations behind them have a list of local groups. Yours probably does too. 
  • Search Facebook! There are many online support groups... local, state-wide, and nation-wide. There are groups based on your homeschool method, and support groups for various curriculum. Look around. 
  • Ask at church, the library, or a community center.
  • Go to home school events and classes advertised in your area.

Have any other suggestions? Please comment below. 

Monday, July 13, 2009

Missing Out

*This article is posted with permission from its author, Brandy Pack, and was originally posted HERE.

Spring is such a wonderful time if year with flowers blooming and so many baby animals coming forth into the world. The world would be such a gloomy place if we didn't have this fresh and energizing season to enjoy. It doesn't matter if you have been a home school family for several years or a novice like me I'm sure you've all heard these comments....

"Don't you think they'll miss out on something?" "Don't you think the children NEED to be around some "things" so they'll know how to deal with it when the grow up?" "Aren't you afraid they won't get to socialize with kids their age?" "Don't you worry that you can't you teach them everything they need to know, after all you only finished High School yourself?"

We have all heard these questions at some point or another haven't we? You might tell them.. "Oh Yeah they will definitely miss out on some things. They will miss out on learning about sex from some weirdo on the bus." Or you might say…. "When ever I want my children to be exposed to all the sin and filth in the world I can turn on the TV or better yet, I'll take them to Wal-Mart and Six Flags so they can see all the immodestly dressed people they want. " They might be surprise if you answered… "Why would I want my kids to socialize with those people in public school anyway?"And last but not least … "NO! I'm not a bit worried about what I can teach them. I can do just as good a job as anyone because I know my child best." Those are all common responses that many homeschoolers give out for those questions. However, let's look a littler closer at each question to see if we might have a better answer.

"Don't you think they'll miss out on something?" 
"I know they will miss out on a few things, but I am confident that we will find ways to replace those activities here at home. Many umbrella schools offer their enrollee's some of the same benefits that public school students can receive. The best part about that is we can do many of them as a family. Another great benefit of these kind of activities is that the atmosphere is Christian oriented, and parents are always welcome, so we don't have as many worries about the children learning about sex or other topics too early in life."

"Don't you think the children NEED to be around some "things" so they'll know how to deal with it when the grow up?" 
"We are hoping that by 'training the children up in the way they show go' and showing them how to be disciples for Christ they will be able to recognize sin when they see it and flee from it. We are making a special effort to educate the children about worldliness in a more controlled environment so they don't have any misconceptions about certain subjects. We pray often about every decision we make and we believe that God will show us the way."

"Aren't you afraid they won't get to socialize with kids their age?"
"The truth is I was a little worried about this at first. I was surprised when I learned just home many families in our area home school. Not only that, but they have all sorts of meetings that are fun and encouraging for me and the children. The school covers offer activities for boys and girls to do both together and separate. There are field trips, P.E. groups, scouting type groups for boys and girls, talent shows, fun parties and anything else you can dream up for children to do. Again the greatest advantage for us is that we can get with groups of people that have a lot in common with us. I also think about the future and I realized that as adults we are not confined to socializing with only those in our age group. Homeschoolers are able to learning early how to communicate with people of all ages with our supervision."

"Don't you worry that you can't you teach them everything they need to know, after all you only finished High School yourself?"
"We are fortunate today that parents have almost unlimited resources for teaching their children at home anything that might be taught in public school. Satellite programs offer many high school course that could be difficult for some parents to teach. These are becoming more affordable for the average family too. There are also teachers on tape that are very good at explaining harder math problems. Of course the internet has anything we need and sometimes its even free! Most importantly, we will have more time to teach our children what is really important in life. We can educate them on what God's will is in every subject and how God made all the things that are worth learning anyway. Anytime we think our children are not being educated properly, we can be comforted by the fact that children who have been homeschooled adjust to being put into public school as well very well. We are going to take it on year at a time, after all we can't know what the future will bring anyway."

Of course there are those who are never satisfied with any answer you may give. You will run into people how have a definite and unchangeable mindset about what it is really like to home school. These people are unlearned and often times prefer to remain in such a state. In these cases its often best to say nothing at all. Spring is a time for watering and fertilizing so that our plants may grow strong and true. My children are now in the spring of their life. If I want them to grow strong and true then I must take advantage of this time of fertilizing and watering. Spring time is such a glorious and energizing time. I am so thankful that God helped me to see it before I missed out on it!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Blessings of Home Schooling

  • Quality education... You choose what to teach, when to teach it, and how to teach it. 
  • You set the pace, and can work with your child's learning style. Your child doesn't have to slow down his pace to wait for other students to catch up on skills he's already mastered, and he won't be left behind after a few sick days because everyone else has already learned something he hasn't yet. You can also enjoy an abundance of real life learning and hands-on experiences, instead of trying to imitate them in an institutional setting. 
  • Real Life Learning... Home schoolers can explore and learn through hands-on, real life experiences, instead of having to try to simulate them in a classroom. Children's creativity and curiosity is encouraged and pursued instead of squashed out with rigid, standardized lesson plans. When your child shows interest in a subject, he can explore it in greater depth.  This free learning environment encourages critical thinking and self-led learning and exploration... two things the school system tends to weaken.