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Homeschooling Two Children
Q: I have two children with completely opposite views on learning. My nine-year-old boy has been retained in second grade and still complains and finds it difficult (he also receives resource class and after-school tutoring). I feel like my best option is to eventually homeschool him. My five-year-old daughter, on the other hand, is begging to learn anything and everything and loves to go to school. She would do great in any setting, but I feel like she would either miss going to school, or feel left out if not homeschooled with her brother. Any advice?
A: When siblings are homeschooled together, a special closeness develops between them -- they become each other's best friends. For this reason alone, you may wish to homeschool your children together.
Both of your children should profit from homeschooling. The homeschool environment should make it easier for your son to acquire basic skills in reading and math, since he will actually be focused on academic activities more of the time. Plus, he will have the one-on-one mentoring needed to help him get a better grasp of his schoolwork. And your daughter, who is such an eager learner, will have the advantage of an individualized curriculum that takes into account her special interests and talents. Furthermore, both children will be able to advance academically at a rate that is appropriate for them.
You are definitely not alone in your desire to homeschool your children. More and more parents of both special needs and gifted and talented children are eagerly joining the ranks of homeschoolers. They see homeschooling as an excellent way to focus on the whole child rather than the child's academic problems or academic strengths, as both special education and gifted programs tend to do.
Homeschooling is not for everyone. Before embarking on this path, learn as much as you can about it. Here are two websites with good information about what is involved in homeschooling: The Teaching Home and Homeschool.com. Also, be sure to check out familyeducation.com's homeschooling information.
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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.