Many parents, frustrated by corrupt school boards, lack of religious instruction, underpaid teachers or unsafe conditions, have opted to teach their kids at home. Most parents cite family togetherness, more control over curriculum, and having a say over what their children learn as reasons to home school. Many of the families who home school also do so for religious reasons.
There are many advantages to home schooling. For instance, parents teach their children one-on-one, rather than twenty- or thirty-to-one in a crowded classroom. With more personal attention, children often understand the material more quickly instead of lagging behind because they don't understand. Parents also like being able to enjoy more time together as a family, instead of a few hurried hours in the evening.
Children are safe in a home school situation. They don't have to worry about playground bullies or guns and knives in the rest rooms. They're also less likely to be influenced by peer pressure and partake in drugs and alcohol. In addition, parents get to choose their childrens' curriculum and work at each child's own pace. Students also have a better chance of learning the material rather than skating by with mediocre grades. There's no such thing as "social promotion" in a home school.
There are disadvantages as well. For instance, home schooling is often lonely because children aren't socializing with other children their own age. They don't get to commiserate with their peers about things like parents and homework, and they do not get to participate in school sponsored extra curricular activities. Parents are also isolated socially as days are spent teaching children, rather than communicating with other adults in a work environment or neighborhood groups. In addition, students may not get the benefits of many of the services and programs available to those within the school system.
If you're interested in learning more about home schooling, it's imperative you learn your state's home schooling laws. You can contact your state's Homeschooling Association to learn more details. If you will be home schooling, and your child previously went to a public school, be sure to pay a visit to the school's office and withdraw your child. Otherwise, he'll still be marked as absent. Too many absences can result in being paid visits by truant officers or social workers. Call ahead of time to find out what information will be needed. In many cases, a note will have to be written to the principal or school board informing them of your intentions. You'll need to check with your state's guidelines. If your child is not enrolled in the school system already, you're ready to teach.
Only you can make the decision whether or not homeschooling is right for you and your family. Take the time to do the research and weigh the pros and cons. After that, congratulate yourself for taking whatever steps were necessary to ensure your child is getting a proper education and for making an informed choice.
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