Defining homeschooling

Homeschooling is a progressive movement around the world where parents educate their own children at home.

The homeschooling movement began in the 1970s when researchers and authors such as John Holt and Dorothy and Raymond Moore started writing about educational reform. They promoted homeschooling as an alternative educational option.

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What Is Homeschooling? A Guide for Parents and Students

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For the majority of parents who homeschool, the only prerequisite is the desire and dedication to take on the education of their children.

Author John Holt pointed out that the most important thing parents need to homeschool their children is "to like them, enjoy their company, their physical presence, their energy, foolishness, and passion."

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the key to [educational] transformation is not to standardize education, but to personalize it, to build achievement on discovering the individual talents of each child, to put students in an environment where they want to learn and where they can naturally discover their true pass

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Some homeschooling families prefer to test their children to ensure they are progressing academically, while other homeschoolers don't test until a child reaches high school.

Homeschooling can continue until a student graduates and enters college.

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  • Those with young children can begin home education when their child turns school age. They also have to adhere to the requirements in their particular state. Legal requirements vary from place to place.
  • Parents who have children in school must first write a letter of withdrawal to the school principal. The letter should describe the parent's intent to remove a child from school. After the notification, parents continue to follow their district's specific guidelines.

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The educational philosophy a homeschooling family chooses will influence their daily structure.

  • Most of us are familiar with only the traditional education system of textbooks, desks, and standardized testing. However, a wide array of educational philosophies exist. These include Waldorf, Montessori, Charlotte Mason, Classical education, Interest-led learning, and more.
  • Homeschoolers blend methods that best meet their children's needs and have freedom over the structure of their school year.

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Homeschooling provides a natural setting where parents can instruct in a way that matches the child's unique interests, ability, and learning style.

There is a wide variety of available curricula and resources. Subjects typically taught include the standard disciples followed in a traditional school and include subjects that capitalize on the child's interests. Homeschooling families often combine certain subjects that are not grade- or age-specific, such as history, literature, and the arts.

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One advantage of homeschooling is that students can progress at their own pace. Children can be ahead in certain subjects but behind in others.

A study done by the National Home Education Research Institute found that homeschoolers had an average standardized test score in the 87th percentile, compared to the average score in the 50th percentile of children in the public schools.

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Homeschoolers have access to an array of resources and social networks.

Home educators form co-ops, in which families group together to have classes. Home educators also arrange social events such as lectures, field trips, art classes, music instruction, sports, and playdates.

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Homeschooling lessens the need for traditional homework. Without 20 or more children in one class, schoolwork can often be completed in a shorter time frame, eliminating the need for extra work afterwards.

Since the parent observes the children as they learn, they know the child's ability and struggles, and tailor assignments accordingly. Children progress at their own pace until they have mastered the necessary materials.

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