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home and school

Why would someone educate their child at home? My husband actually had this question, as he had never known much about homeschooling until he met me and we began to look at homeschooling ourselves. Grab some coffee and let me share with y’all some common misconceptions and fears I have heard, even recently, as the school year is coming soon. Homeschooling has been super fun in my life and I look forward to starting this year of homeschool with my little student! Again, my parents are public school grads, as well as my three siblings, so I will send a little love to all you public school kids out there! I collaborated with my mama for this blog since she began homeschooling me in third grade and has 15 years of experience, so enjoy!

weirdness. Let me start here while I laugh to myself! Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about! I know this word comes to mind and is a thought for some when they hear “homeschooler.” I thought that too…and I was one! Family has a big influence on how kids act. There are all kinds of people in public school and who are homeschooled. Back in the day, I would almost be embarrassed when people asked me where I went to school and answered that I was homeschooled because I knew what they might think! This form of education has become more accepted since I began, thankfully. This homeschooler went to college on a cheerleading scholarship, so don't worry that all homeschoolers are introverted. Some may think homeschoolers don’t “fit in” but who are they supposed to be fitting in with? Maybe that’s not always a bad thing?

socialization. This is usually the main concern for people when considering homeschooling. Socialization is secondary until middle school and at the latest high school. Children need the relationship foundation with their parents first, according to psychological research. Children who are social and love people have many ways besides school to interact with friends through arts, theater, church groups, sports. Homeschool groups also have classes to offer and activities to participate in. Having friends over is a great way to learn to relate and share with others. Relationships with siblings also teaches how to get along and support each other. Parents don’t have to feel guilty that they are stifling their child’s social life when they realize how many opportunities there are for social outings with others. I have found in some cases, homeschoolers are some of the most busy people I know! I loved roller skating day back in elementary school, free movies for homeschoolers at the local movie theater, and library story time where I checked out books to the limit and hung out with my friends.

learning. Many parents express concerns about whether their child will learn enough during the year. Worrying about goofing off or not understanding concepts may be a concern. Conscientious parents take schooling seriously. Curriculums often have lesson plans that are easy to follow and provide all the resources necessary for the education level. There are new innovations for learning, such as DVDs, apps, and personal instruction.

listening. Parents may worry their child won’t listen to them. Some parents and students clash in the home and attempting to educate their child scares them. I am a strong-willed child, so the fear was there. Planning, using fun manipulatives, taking breaks, and participating in fun activities in the afternoons creates an exciting school Taking a break for little ones in the morning to ride bikes and get the wiggles out makes for a great day. No homework is also an incentive! From a strong-willed person, I surprisingly never had a problem taking instruction from my parents and learning in school.

Parents working together helps make for a great team effort. One parent can provide strengths in a subject where another is weaker. This also is a perfect example of working together and a healthy parental relationship in the home. Bonus!

Balancing a homeschool schedule is important. Keeping a routine, not too rigid, provides a way to ensure work gets done, while having fun at the same time. Individual attention allows parent educators to slow down when necessary and accelerate when possible. Being able to take breaks through the day and participate in field trips even before traditional schools are out is a nice bonus as well. We were expected to get up, get dressed, have breakfast, and start school at a certain time. There is not a best way to homeschool, since all families are different, but this worked for us.

Parent involvement is essentially the key to a successful education no matter the school setting. Children thrive in life, not simply education, when parents are present in the lives of their children. Knowing their parents support them and care enough to know their friends, know what their fears, support them in activities makes the difference. Homeschooling has been shown to raise self-esteem and provide a strong foundation for confidence in sports and other activities, and when they decide to attend a traditional school or head to college.

I totally get homeschooling is not for everyone. We have decided to take it year to year, depending on the child, the school district, and life circumstances. Where they want to go to school should also be taken into consideration as well. The sweet babes should have a voice, although parents ultimately know what is best. Homeschooling has its perks and positives so I want to be sure that those who are not familiar with it understand it just a bit more. It has been shown to increase self-esteem, especially in the littles, and can be super fun while instilling a love for learning. Individual attention and teaching in ways that engage the children the lessons are intended for, provide success in these little lives. The success they feel pushes them to continue learning and trying!

There is much more to be said about homeschooling and I would love to be able to sit down with you and talk over a cheese danish. This just briefly describes it, when there is so much to know! What fears do you have? If you have taught at home, how have you made sure your experience was successful? I love to hear peoples’ stories and would love to hear yours too!

Love, Charis

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