Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Back from M.I.A.

I'm really sorry everyone. I really had intended to be much more faithful to this blog because I know it is important to people looking for information, tips and support for homeschooling. Unfortunately, my computer has been on the fritz. It still isn't working as well as it should and a repairman will be coming out to take a look at it on Monday, an expensive endeavor, but we really rely on this machine. It is a wonderful help when homeschooling when it is working properly AND, as long as you use precautions because it can be a great help or a danger.

Anyway, I would like to continue with the Common Questions of Homeschoolers from the little pamphlet that came with one of my issues of The Old Schoolhouse magazine.

"Elementary age seems pretty easy, but what about high school?"
Sure, the early years can be a lot of fun, but just thinking about upper level math and science can seem daunting to some parents. It isn't necessary to send your children back to an institution! You can learn right along with your kids in those grades. In a lot of cases, kids are self-teachers by that time. Diana Johnson, homeschooling mother of 22 years wrote, "There is something very comfortable about homeschooling elementary age children ... then high school looms and our confidence often evaporates ... Fortunately, we can dilute this fear by carefully planning the high school years."
You have heard the saying "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." This is true in almost any situation, but other factors are also involved. Once you instill in your children a love of learning and ground them in the basics, they will "finish the race." And, if you still need help, you can find tutors (in person or online) on just about any subject.

"I hate math and even flunked in school. How am I supposed to teach that?"
Children have the most astonishing ability to want to learn about the one thing we know absolutely nothing about! But for homeschoolers, this challenge is easily overcome.
You can find classes taught by experts or people who have a passion for a certain subject. You'll find classes available as correspondence courses via snail mail, Internet courses, and video courses. Support groups, community centers, and colleges will also offer classes.
You'll find that many children are capable of teaching themselves. Think about this: when you decide to buy a computer, you do research about different brands, features, styles, service, and prices. Just as you "homeschool" yourself when you need to buy a new computer, your children can too.
When you're searching for teachers, don't overlook friends, acquaintances, and business people--most people are delighted to have a young person around who has an honest interest in what they do and know.
Parents don't have to be experts in every area their child learns about. That's one of the most wonderful things about homeschooling. Parents and children learn together!

"Won't they miss out on things like class field trips and activities?"
What about field trips and other activities that school students get to participate in? Many homeschool moms spend a lot of time exploring local museums and attractions with their children, and they are always educational! Whether you do it alone or with a group, exploring historic sites and museums can be incorporated into your children's course of study or just be a way to enjoy your area while getting an education. Museums have trained highly knowledgeable docents, and conversing with them is a great way for kids to learn new things and to sharpen their communication skills.
Support groups almost always have a field trip coordinator, or you can organize one yourself! Just get plugged in to your local group's email network and start exploring your world with other families. You and your kids can also volunteer at museums, libraries, or living history museums.

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