What Is Needed from Your Kids and Family to Homeschool Successfully?
Obviously, homeschool is all about preparing your kids for life so they have a major participating role in the process. The requirements from kids to be homeschooled successfully aren't really that much different from those involved in a traditional school situation. They need to be able and willing to learn, be disciplined to do the work that is required of them, and so on.
One thing that will be required is for them to accept that their lives are different from many other kids who are involved in a traditional school that they will encounter along the way. Some kids accept this difference more easily than others do. Mostly, the acceptance of homeschooling by your children will depend on the attitudes that you convey.
Accepting this difference isn't usually a problem for homeschoolers who have been in homeschool their entire school lives. In such cases, homeschool is all the children have known so it doesn't seem different to them. Sure, they know that most kids go to a traditional school, but because they can't relate to that experience, not doing so isn't a problem for them.
And, most homeschooled children, whether they have been so their entire school lives or not, understand the benefits being homeschooled offers to them such as shorter, more efficient school days, more variety in what they do from day to day, avoiding some of the nastiness that is involved with institutional education, and so on.
However, for some children who have been in institutional education for a significant period of time, acceptance of being homeschooled can be a challenge, especially if a child derives most of his or her value from being involved with peers (which might be part of the reason you decided to homeschool them to begin with!). If they are to be successful in a homeschool, you will need to help these kids make and accept the transition to homeschool.
In any case, a big part of making kids feel comfortable about being homeschoolers is being involved with other homeschooled kids. For this and other reasons, having close relationships with other homeschoolers is a must to have a successful homeschool.
One of the great things about a homeschool is that it involves your whole family. It is definitely a family effort and requires that everyone in your family is involved and in close relationships with one another. Along with being a requirement, this is also one of the major benefits of a homeschool. Homeschooling is a family project and your ability to homeschool effectively will require that your family works together.
One of the most important things you can do to help you decide if you want to homeschool your children is to talk to people you know and respect who are homeschoolers. Ask questions of these people, such as why they homeschool, what the challenges are, what the benefits are, and so on. If you don't have any homeschoolers in your immediate circle.
Deciding to homeschool doesn't mean that you are locked into that decision for life. Many people decide to homeschool on an annual basis. The first year may be to try it out to see if you can make it work. The decision to homeschool for subsequent years might involve testing and assessing a student's progress, considering your own capabilities and desires, and so on. Typically, this decision is easier when children are young and it gets more difficult as they move toward college.
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Reproduced from Absolute Beginner's Guide to Homeschooling, by Brad Miser, by permission of Pearson Education. Copyright © 2005 by Que Publishing. Please visit http://www.informit.com/store/product.aspx?isbn=0789732777 to order your own copy.