I have been homeschooling 5 years now. Why do I homeschool?
I once read in a fortune cookie that I later framed and sits on my desk in our school room, “The home is the chief school of human virtues”. This is the number one reason why I home school in a nutshell (Well, in this case a fortune cookie.) I hope to instill in my children a moral goodness first and foremost and want them to retain this throughout life. I guess I want to protect them from outside influences beyond my control as much as humanly possible for as long as possible. But there are other reasons including:
- keep them out of an oversized classroom,
- ensure that they are each receiving the best instructional design that meets their unique needs (everyone learns differently),
- use our time most proficiently (We might slow down, but we do not break for summer. Also, they do not have wasted down time on a bus or at recess where they only pick up bad habits.),
- help them develop their own personal identities and be mentally & intellectually strong and confident,
- know exactly who they socialize with (I get to know everyone involved in the children’s extra curricular activities and sports. If I am unhappy I can choose a different social outlet for my children. In public school you cannot possibly know who comes in contact with your child everyday.),
- have complete & total control over their curriculum including incorporating a lot of music, life lessons and God,
- shelter them from an accelerated, harmful “reality” and introduce “reality” at a more suitable pace as I deem appropriate,
- shield them from violence (You can never know if your school will be the next involved in a shooting or drug search.)
- and teach them family values and give them a family support group.
If you are not able to homeschool you can still provide a good frame-work for your children at home before and after school. It is important that they have a good sense of love, security, confidence and caring.
Perhaps you disagree with homeschooling. The number one reason I hear from critiques against me homeschooling the kids is that I’m not “qualified”. No, I do not have a teaching degree, but parents can be just as qualified to teach their children. As a parent I will put these specific children’s needs first and search for the very best learning resources for their education. I don’t need classroom management skills so long as I can handle my own children and provide a classroom-like, structural environment for them to learn in. Nor do I need to know everything my children need to learn. I just need to be resourceful; and it helps to be willing to learn with them.
Speaking of resources, listed below are a few websites that have helped me over the years.
From a homeschooling perspective, wvhea.org (West Virginia Home Educators Association) is 100% supportive and helpful to homeschool parents with information on WV state laws, getting started, local support groups, and educational homeschool group outings. There is a Home Educators Association in every state. Each has its own site. Definitely check them out. nhen.org is the equivalent on a national level.
wvde.state.wv.us (West Virginia Department of Education) is a great site for overall research on WV state standards. If you hover your mouse over the “Educators” tab, you will open up pathways to free curriculums and lesson plans available to anyone that the public school teachers refer to and use. If you are not homeschooling in WV, search for your states Department of Education website.
thinkfinity.org is an easy site to navigate that allows you to search lesson plans by grade level and also provides information on ALL state’s standards.
sascurriculumpathways.com is great for learning materials. This site provides free access to numerous lesson plans, educational videos, online learning tools, and apps for your ipad or whatever you and your children use. It only requires you to set up a user name and password.
The last site I’m going to include is ixl.com. I love this site for quizzing the kids in math. I base my children’s math lesson plans around this site to make sure we are learning everything we should be. (You can look up your state’s math standards on this site as well.) Also this site has something for every grade level! The quizzes help us to know when we are ready to move on, and give them computer time on a site I know I can trust.
There are so many beneficial resources available to homeschool parents! I am so relieved to have found all of this information at my finger tips over the course of my years as a home educator. It certainly has made it easier and less stressful for me. Hopefully I’ve helped other parents with similar goals to become more confident in their homeschool endeavours.