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Thinking About Homeschooling
Q: How can parents get started in homeschooling their children?
A: Parents all across the country are jumping aboard the homeschooling bandwagon. There's no question that it is working for more than one million families. Besides increasing family unity, it is an academic winner. Homeschoolers average above the 77th percentile in reading, mathematics, and language. Here are some tips on getting started in homeschooling:
- Learn all you can about homeschooling.
For the nitty-gritty of what homeschooling is really like, you need to talk with experienced homeschoolers. Go online to teachinghome.com or homeschool.com to find the names of homeschoolers and support groups in your area as well as to get solid information about homeschooling.
- Determine if homeschooling is right for your family.
Homeschooling isn't right for everyone. Husbands and wives must agree that this is the way to educate their children. Plus, the parent who will do most of the homeschooling needs to be patient, organized, and enjoy spending time with his or her children. On the other side, the children will need to respect the parent as a teacher.
- Find out about your state's laws that govern homeschooling.
Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states. However, every state has its own laws about things that you must do to comply with state regulations. Go online to the Home School Legal Defense Association for a summary of state laws.
- Choose teaching materials and methods.
At first, you may wish to use a prepared curriculum from a homeschool publisher, a correspondence school, or your local school district to guide your teaching. Visit the previously described websites, talk to other homeschoolers, and attend a homeschooling association conference to discover the wealth of materials you can use. As you become more experienced, you can adapt materials to meet your children's needs.
- Set up your homeschool.
Establish a place for learning and studying with all the necessary equipment, supplies, and books. Also, establish a school schedule as well as a schedule for family chores.
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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.