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Q: I have been considering homeschooling as an alternative to the unstable educational standards I am seeing in my community in Montana. But, how can families afford to homeschool when both parents need to work? Do vouchers exist for homeschoolers? What advice can you give to help me decide whether I should venture into homeschooling? P.S.: I'm glad that you're here for first-timers like myself.
A: We were all first-timers once, and we were all guided by those who went before us. I'm happy to share my experiences with you.
As far as I know, vouchers are not available for homeschoolers. Nor do homeschoolers really want them. Right now, in most states, parents who homeschool have the freedom to teach what is appropriate for their family. With government money comes government interference testing, regulations, and requirements. Most homeschoolers would say, "No thank you," to vouchers. "I'll teach my children as I please and just live more modestly."
If you want your children to learn in freedom and discover who they really are, free of negative influences and pressure, then homeschooling is for you. Can you do it? Absolutely!
Find out what the laws are in your state, along with homeschooling support groups, at: www.homefires.com.
The best all-around books on the philosophy of and need for homeschooling are: How Children Learn and How Children Fail by John Holt.
Working and homeschooling require a little juggling. Psychologists I know who homeschool have shifted their schedules to allow each parent to have time with the children. I am able to work from my home. My musician friend works at night. Anything is possible be creative! FamilyEducation is here to help make your homeschooling life a little easier. Good luck!
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Isabel Shaw is a freelance writer and homeschooling mom of 15 years. She and her husband Ray homeschool their two daughters, Jessica and Amanda. Besides being a contributor to FamilyEducation.com, Shaw has written for Home Education Magazine, The Link, Homeschooling Horizons Magazine, The Homeschool Gazette, and other publications.