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Addressing Homeschooling's Three Concerns

Aug 17, 2007
Many homeschoolers or families contemplating homeschool face a barrage of criticisms and scrutiny for their inquiries and decisions. Homeschooling is actually precess that can contribute to a solid family life and bonds.

The biggest concerns in undertaking homeschooling are loss of two parent income, choice of curriculum and socialization.

From the perspective of committed homeschooling, here are answers to those concerns.

Homeschooling actually benefits families in innumerable ways. Teaching your kids at home is not as difficult as it might seem, either. Anyone can do it. Keep in mind this is different than thinking anyone should do it.

1. One Paycheck
For many families choosing to homeschool, it means only one parent is earning a paycheck.

Sometimes its a choice that comes down to choosing kids over cash. Besides the loss in income, there is the cost on home school curriculum each year. However, there are many ways homeschoolers can mitigate the costs of homeschooling and even come out on the positive income side of the equation. There is no peer pressure to keep up or have the latest styles under thrat of being made fun of.

Many homeschoolers use a variety of curricula over the years. When choosing a curriculum, the family must also factor in the cost. Home school materials are not cheap, but they probably won't break the bank, either. As time passes, however, those costs potentially drop because families are able to reuse some materials.

Home school children may be spared schoolyard ridicule, but critics, including the National. Education Association, say keeping kids at home also cheats them out of a chance to develop important social skills.

2. Curriculum
When a family decides to home school, perhaps the biggest question that must be answered is, what to teach. The possibilities are nearly endless.

First, parents are able to choose any curriculum and choose it to match the child. Some people choose a curriculum and stick with that curriculum and use that for all their subjects. They can also try one for history and try another for science, for example.

Many homeschoolers use a variety of curricula over the years. When choosing a curriculum, the family must also factor in the cost. Home school materials are not cheap, but they probably won't break the bank, either. As time passes, however, those costs potentially drop because families are able to reuse some materials.

3. Socialization
The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest teacher's union, said there is another hidden cost to home education. Home-educated students miss out on opportunities to build socials skills by not studying with their peers.

In a Feb. 26, 2002 letter to the National Home Education Network, former NEA president Bob Chase wrote his organization was concerned that homeschooled students were not provided a comprehensive education experience because they did not have an opportunity to interact with students of different cultures, economic status or learning styles. They felt homeschooled students learned in a setting primarily made up of family members and friends.

Family and friends aren't the problem. They are the solution. You don't want an 8-year-old teaching an 8-year-old how to behave. You want them to learn how to behave from someone who hopefully knows how and then practice it on the other 8-year-olds. Forced socialization with misbehaving, misguided peers is something to be avoided, not embraced.

Homeschoolers have heard this before and the notion that home schooling retards children's social growth is ridiculous. They actually learn better socialization skills because they're around people of all different ages all the time.

Public schools are not necessarily a real representation of what life is like. We don't all go around in little clusters with only people our own age.
About the Author
Joyce Jackson is an educational expert and consultant in northern California. For her latest book and information see Homeschooling Easy.
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