Why do families homeschool?
Many parents commit to schooling their children at home. Their
motivation is the conviction that this is the best for the moral and
spiritual development of their family, and it is the best way to provide
a solid education for their children. They know what their
children are being taught in the areas of spiritual and character
development, as well as about the social and academic well being of
Specific Advantages have been expressed as follows:
· Homeschooling makes quality time available to train and influence children in all areas of life.
· Each child receives individual attention and has his unique needs met.
· Parents can control destructive influences such as negative peer pressure and offensive curriculum.
· Opportunity is available for spiritual training and presenting a biblical perspective of all academic subjects.
· Children gain respect for their parents as teachers
· The family experiences unity, closeness, and mutual enjoyment of each other.
· Children develop confidence and independent thinking, away from negative peer pressure to conform, in the security of their own home.
· Children have time to think and explore new interests.
· Communication between different age groups is enhanced.
· Flexible scheduling can accommodate parents' work and vacation times and allow time for many activities.
The courts have declared the public system of education in Canada to be purely secular. There is no room for religious instruction and, in particular, Christian instruction in government schools. However, parents continue to have the right to direct the education of their children on their own, including religious training, if they so desire. That right is safeguarded by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and protected by the courts.
Are parents qualified to teach their children?
You know your children better than anyone and
have the deepest love and concern for them. You also have the most
direct and long-term responsibility for your children.
Your example and enthusiasm in learning with your children will motivate and encourage then far more than striving to appear you know it all. You do not need to know everything in order to teach. It has been found that home educated children score at about a 76th percentile in all subject areas. (The national average of all conventionally schooled children is the 50th percentile.)
Tutoring children has always been superior to the typical classroom. Homeschooling epitomizes this method, providing the essentials for success and a close relationship between the student and the teacher, motivation, flexibility, and individualization.
Several resources are available to give you on-the-job training:
· Homeschool conventions, workshops, and book fairs at local, regional, and provincial levels provide practical instruction in teaching techniques unique to home instruction. Up-to-date information on these events is a regular features of homeschooling magazines and provincial homeschool association newsletters.
· Homeschool magazines present articles that inform, encourage, and inspire you in various principles and techniques of home teaching.
· Provincial and local homeschool support groups can greatly encourage and help you as ideas and information are exchanged.
Is homeschooling legal in every province?
Yes. Each province sets its own laws governing home education. Meeting the requirements of these laws may be as simple as informing the school district or department of education of your intent to homeschool or as complex as having your children tested and fulfilling detailed requirements of provincial regulations. Legislation is continually being proposed and considered in provinces. It is important for you to work with your provincial and local school organizations to aid the passage of favorable legislation and regulations which guarantee parental rights and maximize freedom to educate.
How much time does it take?
Homeschooling requires a time commitment,
although not as much as you might expect. One-to-one tutoring is
more efficient than classroom instruction and, therefore, requires less
The time requirement varies according to the students' abilities, number of children in the family, and ages of the children.
With the Accelerated Christian Education curriculum there is no lesson planning. The student take responsibility for his learning. He sets his goals for the next day. Each day he is responsible for completing his goals. As a parent, you are there to supervise and make sure the student completes his work for the day. You may also need to assist the student in subjects he finds more difficult.
Can we teach several children at once?
The Accelerated Christian Education curriculum makes it east to teach more than one child at a time. Because you are basically their supervisor, you can oversee a number of children at one time.
What about socialization?
This is perhaps the most misunderstood aspect of
homeschooling. It is the positive aspects of socialization
through the home that attracts many families to this lifestyle.
Popular opinion assumes that children need periods on interaction with a group of peers to acquire social skills. By contrast, however, many believe that extensive peer contact during childhood can cause undesirable and negative peer dependency.
Young children are more likely to be influenced by the majority than to be independent and an example to others. Children who receive their education outside the home are prone to accept their peers; and teachers' values over those of their parents.
Some advantages of freedom from peer pressure can be self-confidence, independent thinking, the ability to relate to people of all ages, and better family relationships.
Moral principles of interaction can be taught, demonstrated, and reinforced at home by parents. Children can learn needed social skills by interaction with siblings or other children and adults under their parents supervision. Young people who have had this type of training have adjusted very well to adult life.
You can help your children build and maintain lasting friendships with people of all ages through church and family friends.
Do you want our child to model after you or after his peers, after his teachers at school or his teachers at home? What kind of socialization do you want for your child, positive or negative?
What about my child's special interests?
A wealth of experiences outside the home can
supplement and enrich home education. Unlimited possibilities
abound for field trips that individual families or groups can take.
These provide valuable in-the-field learning laboratories.
Specialized classes are often available through parks, museums, art schools, or private lessons. Church and community teams offer various sports opportunities.
There is actually more time and opportunities available for enrichment activities for home taught students than for those in conventional schools.
What about higher education and career preparation?
Several institutions throughout North America
have welcomed home educated students. Many of these schools
actively recruit home educated graduate because of their maturity,
independent thinking skills, creativity, and extensive academic
In preparation for university or college entrance or any vocational training program, parents should prepare a thorough transcript of high school level work, award a diploma, and specify and actual high school graduation date. Occasionally, GED test may be required by a college or employer for additional verification. Some provincial homeschool associations are officially hosting graduation ceremonies for high school graduates.
Some homeschoolers are entering their chosen fields through apprenticeship programs designed and supervised by parents and professionals.
What are some difficulties?
The following are common difficulties and suggested solutions.
Lack of confidence:
At first, you may lack confidence in choosing materials and methods, and in your ability to teach. With experience, you will gain confidence. Find a homeschool support group so you can interact with experienced homeschool families.
Fear of being unable to work with your own
Parents who do not have their children's respect will have trouble getting their cooperation. Gaining their respect through proper discipline, training, and example should be the parents top priority, whether or not they are homeschooling. Often discipline problems come from exposure to negative attitudes learned from negative peer pressure. homeschooling can provide the incentive and optimum setting to overcome this.
Inadequate Time and Energy:
Home teaching requires and investment of time and energy, especially by mothers. Self-disciplined and good organization will help ensure a well run household. A daily schedule, lesson plans, and a chore list can keep school and housework organized. Well trained children will give back to you by helping with practical life skills like cooking, laundry, and household chores.
Lack of Commitment:
Families who are homeschooling only for convenience or because it is a popular thing to do may soon drop out unless they develop the conviction that homeschooling is best of their family.
Pressure for well-meaning friends or relatives can be a real deterrent. Make a well-informed decision and then stand on your convictions. More information and a loving attitude often help others understand and accept your decision to homeschool.
Costs of materials or programs vary considerably but are always less expensive than a private school. Many materials can be reused for siblings as well.