Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Homeschool: Your Questions Answered

There is so much misinformation out there about homeschooling in America, that I thought I would share this handy chart with you all!

Homeschooled: How American Homeschoolers Measure Up

As some of you know, I homeschool my children, although I did not start out that way with my oldest son. He attended public school preschool and Kindergarten, and while his teachers were absolutely amazing, his overall experience was not all that positive. He was picked on, taught inappropriate behavior, and by the time he would get home each day, all there was time for was his homework, dinner, and then bed. We lost his best hours to school.

When we decided to homeschool, we were incredibly nervous. Alex was an average student (all of his standardized tests said so) and I was concerned with my ability to teach him effectively. All my fears were allayed, however, when in one year, he went from scoring in the 50th percentile (national average) to scoring well into the 90th for most of his subjects. He was also doing work a year ahead of his peers, while spending less time actually doing the work.

He has his good days and his bad. He is like every other kid out there, not always excited about learning, but he will tell you that he is happy that we brought him home. He is a happier and better-behaved child because of it.

Lest you think we simply shut ourselves indoors and my children are not properly "socialized" (this is one of those long standing misconceptions about homeschooling!), he is actually spending lots of time outdoors, at Boy Scouts, church activities, etc. He has the opportunity to not only spend time with children his own age, but with people in all walks of life. He loves conversing with our elderly neighbor, usually asking a million questions.

This year, his younger sister starts Kindergarten, and she is so excited! While my job has now become more time consuming, it is also more of a joy. She is in a phase where every new thing learned is amazing and wonderful, and some of that joy is rubbing off on her brother. They are both best friends (because you can't completely alienate your recess buddy!) and typical brother and sisters, always needling each other.

Homeschooling has been wonderful for our family. While it is not for everyone (and I certainly would not suggest otherwise!), it is a lot less 'weird' than it once was. We aren't all wearing long skirts and bonnets, and we have a variety of methods, motivators, and backgrounds.

My wish is for everyone to give the homeschoolers around you a chance. Don't hear the words "home learning" and start looking for the nearest exit. Most people who homeschool have heard the good, the bad and the ugly from people who are curious, and so we have a thick skin. If you have a question, ask! I, for one, am more than happy to answer whatever questions arise.

Do you have any questions about homeschooling? I would be happy to answer them!

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  1. Thank you so much for this post! My husband and I had talked about homeschooling, because several of our family members are homeschooling their kids for many of the reasons listed above. My son started Kindergarten this year and has been having behavioral problems, even though the teacher says he's exceptionally smart! I'm wondering if homeschooling is best. Thanks again and I'll be sharing this with my husband today. :)

    1. I'm so glad this has been helpful to you! Let me know if you have questions!

  2. I actually just saw that chart the other day that thought it was so informative! Thanks for posting. I love hearing about other people's homeschool experiences. My children are not school age yet (2 year old daughter and 6 month old son) but we have started some very basic stuff with my daughter such as her letters and numbers. I hope I'm still about to stay home to homeschool them in a few years!

  3. I am attempting to get going with my daughter. She is 3 1/2. I'm not talking anything strenuous, just some alphabet/number sheets or something. Do you have any recommendations for this age?

    1. There are some great websites for her age! You can try Starfall.com (free) or ABCMouse.com (small fee per month) or I also wrote about making your own flashcard game with sight words, but it could be easily modified for ABC's and 123's. http://www.mtmommy.com/2013/05/playing-to-learn-with-sight-words.html

  4. I didn't realize that in 1980 only 20 states said homeschooling was legal. Interesting.

  5. Thank you for this post! I helped me understand more about homeschooling and to be honest I didn't have a clue until now.


  6. Thank you for these stats. It has been 13 years since my youngest graduated from our homeschool. He is married has a successful job and his wife is expecting their first child. I would not have changed my decision to homeschool for anything and my son feels the same way.

  7. It's always great to hear from someone who has been through the battle, so to speak. Is your son planning on homeschooling their child?

  8. I homeschool my daughter who is 14. She has NEVER been to public school. I also have 4 boys who were homeschooled by me that are grown, and I absolutley see a difference in them as adults compared to thier peers. and it is GOOD! Schools arent what they used to be peoples. I remember my 2 youngest boys went to Headstart together. They came home flipping each other off and others!! This was one very upset momma. When I went to the headstart to complain, I was told they were not allowed to discipline others children, so they had a unruly child who the WHOLE class was following! Ok, nope, not doing that! I even went above thier heads I was so upset! I understand that this child needed to be loved, but I also understood that this child needed discipline and he wasnt getting it! In school, they were not allowed to swat or discipline in that manner, so guess what...It got worse. Yep I took them out. My heart does go out for this child as he is now 25 or so, and I look around me at what is going on in this world and say, NOPE I am homeschooling my daughter. I talked to a Jr in High school a few years back and she informed me the kids cuss, and theres nothing the teachers can do, but gee they cuss at us also! So glad my daughter isnt in PS!

    1. I think that public schools are great for some. They don't work for our family, but I definitely see the need for them. Your experience sounds like a case of a bad apple ruining the barrel! :(

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