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Mother Wants to Homeschool, but Father Is Reluctant

Homeschooling Expert Advice from Isabel Shaw

Q: I have been praying to be able to homeschool my children, but my husband thinks I can't do it because I am not a trained teacher. Do you have to become a teacher to be able to teach your children at home, or can you learn as you go? When my kids were in private school, I used to order their next class text books and teacher answer books and practice with them over the summer. Now they are going to public school and it seems my children are being sapped away from me. I want to give homeschooling an opportunity, but I need help in how to go about it.

A: Many moms tell me their spouses are not supportive of their desire to homeschool. The good news is, within a few months or so, these same dads usually feel quite differently. They see a wonderful change in their children and their family. No longer tied to a school schedule, families relax and learn to interact and communicate on a different level. Hours of school busywork and mindless homework are replaced by relevant studies geared to the child's learning style and ability.

Your husband may not realize the toll peer pressure takes on today's kids. The need to look and act like everyone else is enormous. For some, especially very bright kids, this pressure is unbearable. They begin to act up, unconsciously, and exhibit undesirable or inappropriate behavior. Homeschoolers, however, are free to make their decisions based on personal choice, not on what the other 25 kids in the class deem is acceptable that week.

Homeschooled children repeatedly outperform their schooled peers on standardized tests. These high scores are consistent, regardless of the education level of the parents. In other words, whether the parents had an advanced degree or never finished high school, their children's scores were consistently higher than their public- or private-schooled counterparts. A teaching degree is not necessary to teach your children. A loving safe environment with a variety of learning opportunities will provide your kids with everything they need to succeed.

Please visit our How to Homeschool area for more information about getting started. Leaving School and Learning at Home provides practical advice about what to expect as you begin your homeschool journey. 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.

Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

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