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Q: I believe my nine-year-old son would benefit from homeschooling. He is struggling in school, even though he is extremely bright. He has gotten to hate school, and his homework takes up all his free time after school, which doesn't allow for extracurricular activities, such as music and sports. Are there any cooperative homeschooling groups in my area? I live in the San Fernando Valley, in California. Maybe if he were taught more "one-on-one," he would have more time for the things he loves in life, and be a happier child. Thanks.
A: Homeschooling works exceptionally well for many families. If you decide to homeschool your son, it will definitely give him more time for his extracurricular activities because you will be able to accomplish in two hours what takes six hours in a typical school day. Furthermore, he will have a lot of time left over for reading, doing projects, pursuing his interests, and participating in academic and recreational activities with other homeschoolers.
Cooperative homeschooling has become popular in the past twenty years. It involves a few families getting together one or two days a week for a couple of hours so parents can share their expertise in one or more subjects. Or an expert may be brought in to teach in an area such as science, art, or karate. If your child were to work four or more days a week with other homeschoolers, we would be inclined to say that he is attending a private school rather than being homeschooled which is essentially home-based education.
In the San Fernando Valley where you live, there are probably dozens of homeschoolers who are working together cooperatively. You should be able to find the names of some of these families by talking to your local school corporation. You can find a listing of homeschool organizations for a particular state on the Homeschool World website. Before you make a definite commitment to homeschool your son, talk to as many homeschoolers as you can. They will be able to tell you what is really involved in homeschooling a child.
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Peggy Gisler and Marge Eberts are experienced teachers who have more than 60 educational publications to their credit. They began writing books together in 1979. Careers for Bookworms was a Book-of-the-Month Club paperback selection, and Pancakes, Crackers, and Pizza received recognition from the Children's Reading Roundtable. Gisler and Eberts taught in classrooms from kindergarten through graduate school. Both have been supervisors at the Butler University Reading Center.