Why do families choose to home educate their children?
Are parents qualified to teach their children?
Is home education legal in every province?
What about socialization?
What about higher education and career preparation?
How much time does it take to home educate?
What about children with special needs?
What about a child's special interests?
What materials are available?
How do you get started in home educating?
The primary motivations to home educate are proactive: to achieve certain ideals or goals. Parents who home educate believe that it is the best option for the moral and spiritual development of their family, and that it is the best way to provide a solid education for their children, according to the research project, Home Education in Canada: A Report on the Pan-Canadian Study on Home Education 2003. (View study synopsis here and order the synopsis and/or complete report on our online store here).
Parents know their children better than anyone and have the deepest love and concern for them. They also have the most direct and long-term responsibility for their children.
Educationally, one-to-one tutoring of a child has many advantages over the typical classroom where one teacher tries to meet the needs of many children at different learning levels.
The example and enthusiasm of a parent learning with their children will motivate and encourage them far more than striving to appear as if they know it all. Parents do not need to know everything in order to teach.
Yes. Each province sets its own laws governing home education. Meeting the requirements of these laws may be as simple as informing the school district or department of education of intent to homeschool or as complex as having children tested and fulfilling detailed requirements of provincial regulations.
Legislation is continually being proposed and considered in provinces. It is important for parents to work with their provincial and local homeschool organizations to aid the passage of favorable legislation and regulations which guarantee parental rights and maximize freedom to home educate.
This is perhaps the most misunderstood aspect of home education. It is the positive aspects of socialization through the home that attract many families to this lifestyle.
Popular opinion assumes that children need periods of interaction with a group of peers to acquire social skills. By contrast however, many believe that extensive peer contact during childhood can cause undesirable and negative peer dependency.
Young children are more likely to be influenced by the majority than to be independent and an example to others. Children who receive their education outside the home are prone to accept their peers' and teachers' values over those of their parents. Dr. Bronfenbrenner of Cornell university found that children who spend more time with their peers than with their parents generally become dependant on those peers and parental influence is quickly lost.
Some advantages of freedom from peer pressure can be self-confidence, independent thinking, the ability to relate to people of all ages, and better family relationships.
Moral principles of interaction can be taught, demonstrated and reinforced at home by parents. Children can learn needed social skills by interaction with siblings or other children and adults under their parent's supervision. Young people who have had this type of training have adjusted very well to adult life.
Parents can help their children build and maintain lasting friendships with people of all ages.
"In their book Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers, Doctors Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Maté discuss attachment orientation; how children both attach to and orient themselves towards either their parents or their peers. The authors define attachment as a child's innate need to connect with others for his sense of security and belonging. Children are increasingly bonding with their peers to the detriment of their attachment with their parents, seeking instruction, modeling, and guidance from friends." (Chapman, Christine. "Hold on to your kids: why parents need to matter more than peers." Court Report & Communique Spring 2011, Volume XVII Number 1: 3. Print.) To purchase this resource visit our store.
Many institutions throughout North America have welcomed home-educated students. "Many of these schools actively recruit home-educated graduates because of their maturity, independent thinking skills, creativity, and extensive academic preparation," says Inge Cannon, executive director of Education PLUS.
In anticipation of university or college entrance or any vocational training program, parents should prepare a thorough transcript of high school level work, award a diploma, and specify an actual high school graduation date. Occasionally tests may be required by a college or university for additional verification. Some provincial homeschool associations are officially hosting graduation ceremonies for high school graduates.
Parents should contact post-secondary institutions early to determine specific requirements for admission.
Home education requires a time commitment, although not as much as you might expect. One-to-one tutoring is more efficient than classroom instruction and therefore, requires less time.
The time requirement varies according to the methods used, the ages of the children and the number of children in the family.
Daily academic instruction might begin with one-half to one hour for the early grades and work up to a few hours of instruction plus independent study for upper grades.
Most correspondence courses state that their work can be completed in four or five hours per day.
Many children with special needs are being successfully home educated. Membership in HSLDA of Canada provides parents with access to research and information, which can assist and encourage those parents with special needs children to homeschool.
Visit the store for special needs resources.
A wealth of experiences outside the home can supplement and enrich home education. Unlimited possibilities abound for field trips that individual families or groups can take. These provide valuable in-the-field learning laboratories.
Specialized classes are often available through parks, museums, art school or private lessons. Church and community teams offer various sports opportunities.
There is actually more time and opportunity available for enrichment activities for home educated students than for those in conventional schools.
Fine materials developed for Christian and private schools are available to home educators. With the huge growth of the home education movement new materials have been developed or adapted especially for use in home teaching. New curriculum has been written and published by homeschool moms and dads, as well.
These materials may be obtained in several basic ways: you may order texts and teaching aids directly from the publishers, through mail-order companies or by shopping at a homeschool conference. Shopping at a homeschool conference seems to be the most popular way to obtain materials as parents can view the materials, speak to curriculum experts, and when possible, their students can have input on the curriculum choices.
Home education magazines regularly presented advertisements of numerous suppliers of quality teaching materials, but with the shifting trends of the present day this information is now available all "online".
For some, correspondence or online courses are the best way for their students to learn. There are numerous schools offering courses to homeschool students. With these courses, testing and transcripts are available.
Testing can also be done by purchasing the CAT test through the Canadian Test Centre to determine the skill placement of your students.
Home educators can choose or combine elements of a variety of teaching approaches for their family or individual students.
Visit the Resources pageClick here to contact us for help getting started on your journey of home education.
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