Today more than a million children across the United States are getting their education at home, that number is expected to increase, partially because of the rise of violence in schoolyards. These parents see home schooling their children as an investment in the lives of their children and are actively searching for exceptional home school curriculum. Not only does teaching their children at home give these parents a feeling of comfort over their children’s safety, but it also enables them to feel confident in the home school curriculum they select. After all, no two children learn alike and many have vastly different learning needs and styles. Parents that also play the role of teacher to their children are able to find homeschool curriculum that satisfies the different needs of their children that may get overlooked in the crowed public school room.
With about two per cent of all of U.S. school-aged kids in home school, there’s obviously more driving this phenomenon than just fear of schoolyard violence. Some other reasons contributing to the popularity of home schooling include parents’ desire to spend more time with their kids, religious guidelines and concern about the morals taught at school. With home schooling growing in popularity by 10 to 20 per cent a year, the choices in good home school curriculum is rapidly expanding, offering concerned parents even more options. As such, each state has it’s own guidelines on homeschool curriculum.
Although the benefits to home schooling are obvious, there is a downside that all parents need to consider before embarking on this journey. The first is the time sacrifice required. Time not only to sit down with children daily to teach, but also the time required to find good home school curriculum and to plan interactive activities that enhance learning. It’s also difficult for parents to evaluate their own children. In addition to finding homeschool curriculum that will help kids keep pace with their public school educated counter parts, parents need to also ensure that their children can be tested to meet academic standards.
With the popularity of home schooling, each state now recognizes the parental right to home school and to choose the best home school curriculum for their children. Unlike 15 years ago, today all 50 states have legislation or case law governing academic standards. In most cases, attendance records don’t have to be kept, parents don’t have to be certified to teach and there’s no mandatory testing. Although having good homeschool curriculum is important, arranging for testing should be an essential part of every parents’ teaching strategy. Most schools will allow parents to have their children tested each year through the school district. Parents that choose to go this route should choose home school curriculum that reflects what the child will be tested on.
Aside from finding good home school curriculum and arranging for standard testing, one of the biggest drawbacks to home schooling is isolation. Critics of home schooling usually focus less on home school curriculum and more on the fact that these children aren’t exposed to a wide variety of people, have limited opportunity to learn to interact with others and generally develop a lack of socialization skills. In order to combat this criticism, many parents incorporate social events as part of their homeschool curriculum, such as field trips with other home school children or organized athletic activities.
For parents that believe that they can provide the best educational opportunity for their children, there are many steps they can take to address the critics. To start, choose home school curriculum that is approved by the state department of education. Arrange for standardized testing each year and ensure that the homeschool curriculum chosen reflects what will be tested. Then add some social activities and your children should be as well rounded and educated as the next.