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Homeschooling - The Age Factor

Aug 17, 2007
Home schooling is a trend that few people can ignore. There has been a consistent increase in the number of children who have left the formal education system in exchange for home schooling. If you're interested in home schooling your child, you must be wondering what it takes to begin. Many parents like you often wonder if there's a particular age range that is most viable for home schooling, or if most local education agencies impose a compulsory age at which you can take your child out of the formal system for home schooling. More generally, perhaps you are simply wondering how age factors into home schooling.

However, you'll be pleased to know that when it comes to the question of age viability or minimum age for home schooling, there is actually no such requirement. When you find it appropriate to home school your child, his or her age will determine what you have to do in order to complete the transition into home schooling. Moreover, age matters very little when it comes to home schooling. This has perhaps been one of its most esteemed and valued characteristics.

Most parents who opt for home schooling are those parents who have children already enrolled in an educational institution of sorts. Regardless of what educational level or age your child is, he or she is good to go. However, because of the fact that your child has gone through some sort of schooling, you have to first consult with the educational institution. Once there, you must get your child's records assessing clearly the educational level and subsequent attainment achieved while in the school.

If your child is not yet within schooling age but you've already planning on home schooling him or her, then there's no other consultation you have to go through. All you have to do is follow the required procedure in your state for home schooling. That is, if your state requires being informed of the intention to home school your child, you must follow this and whatever other requirements they have set before you can go about home schooling. Otherwise, you're free to start home schooling your child anytime.

The fact that home schooling your child is not reliant on age surprises many individuals, and this may include you. While some parents move their children out of the formal learning environment to give them a more age-appropriate curriculum, home schooling in fact (and at times unknowingly) steps away from age-appropriateness to intellectual-appropriateness. While children in schools may be required to follow one standardized curriculum, you may opt to either give your child more time on the required materials you wish to teach, or advance to more complex materials if your child is more than qualified to take on harder materials. As such, the system is based more on merit than on age. Moreover, it allows you to create a curriculum designed to address your child as a growing individual, instead of a statistical age group recommended to take a particular group of lessons from a generalized spectrum of disciplines.

Another issue that home schooling addresses in a far more effective way is socialization. In schools, students are more or less encouraged to be in the company of peers within the same age group, give or take a year or two. This has resulted in age-based socialization. Some parents contend that this sort of limit on the social environment most accessible to their children actually hampers a more enriched interpersonal growth. While this sort of socialization is greatly emphasized with the various year levels in schools, the fact that age-based socialization is something seemingly arbitrary is quite evident. Comparing this to the home school environment with a child able to interact freely with people in his or her community without the pressures of a formal educational system, you can already see an inherent comparative advantage. It gives children greater experience and opportunities to grow at a pace dictated only by their intellectual and emotional maturity.

Home schooling is perhaps not the easiest decision you have to make, but it's certainly one worth considering. After all, a little work in the beginning can go a long way, especially if you want your child to learn of values and other pertinent academic matter that you wish the school discussed but didn't. The best part is, age is no obstacle.
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