Your Family's Incredible Lifestyle Begins HERE – With Homeschooling
Wednesday November 5th 2014

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Would Love Your Input on Homeschooling!

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I’ve been invited to do an hour radio call-in talk show next month. I don’t know anything about it except that it’s well-syndicated and, well, they asked me to talk about homeschooling. I never have to be asked twice to talk about homeschooling, in the hope that reaching just one more parent will make life and learning richer and more meaningful for yet another child (who will soon be yet another adult in our society).

NewsI write to ask for your input and ideas as to what you believe are the most important aspects of homeschooling today that should be shared with listeners.

If you were to tell people just one thing you think is most important about homeschooling, what would that be?

What was your reason for turning to homeschooling in the first place?

Did you think you would homeschool short-term and wind up sticking with it? If so, why?

Have you familiarized yourself with the history of homeschooling? Why or why not?

What’s your best guess as to how many homeschoolers there are today?

Anything else you might like to say?

Thanks so much for reading – I’m very much looking forward to reading your thoughts and ideas!

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18 Responses to “Would Love Your Input on Homeschooling!”

  1. Kelly says:

    If you were to tell people just one thing you think is most important about homeschooling, what would that be?

    That kids get to work at their own pace, which allows them to have a firm grasp of the basics instead of being pushed through.

    What was your reason for turning to homeschooling in the first place?

    I like that I can give my kids one on one instruction, they can work at their own pace without feeling pressure to keep up or being bored if they are ahead.

    Did you think you would homeschool short-term and wind up sticking with it? If so, why?

    Mine are still young, I'm not sure if we'll continue through high school or not. I think we will give them the option.

    Have you familiarized yourself with the history of homeschooling? Why or why not?

    Not really. I don't really see the need.

    What’s your best guess as to how many homeschoolers there are today?

    I saw a statistic the other day that said there were around 1.2 million.

    Anything else you might like to say?

    I feel very fortunate that I am able to give my children a love for learning that I feel public school sucks out of them at such an early age.

  2. rowena___. says:

    "If you were to tell people just one thing you think is most important about homeschooling, what would that be?"

    the MOST important thing will vary from family to family, so i'd say the most important thing is to know your children well so as to be able to respond to their needs as the arise. luckily that comes easily when you spend your days with them.

    "What was your reason for turning to homeschooling in the first place?"

    there were so many reasons pointing us to homeschool–we lacked confidence in the ability of our local schools to educate our child–but we also wanted to be the primary influence in our child's life. we didn't want her to learn values, ethics, or mores from people who were, to us, strangers. and frankly we LIKE our child, we enjoy her company and she likes us, and that is too precious to just give away.

    "Did you think you would homeschool short-term and wind up sticking with it? If so, why?"

    our goal is to homeschool as long as possible but we remain open to other possibilities as life unfolds.

    "Have you familiarized yourself with the history of homeschooling? Why or why not?"

    yes, i did a massive (some would say too much) study and research before starting, while my child was still a baby even. i knew from the start that i WANTED to homeschool, so all i had to do was figure out HOW. :) reading about other experiences in homeschooling reaffirmed my belief that we could do it.

    "What’s your best guess as to how many homeschoolers there are today?"

    hmmmmmm, i'd guess about 3%-5% of the school-age population in america.

    "Anything else you might like to say?"

    yes–like most parents, we are just trying to do what's best for our own families. our choices are not a silent judgement on anybody else's choice. :) we respect that other families have other beliefs about education and child rearing and that those beliefs lead them down other paths.

    another thing i'd say is that homeschoolers are not all th same, just as other schoolers are not all the same. some homeschool because of religious beliefs but i'd say nearly an equal number do so for other reasons. in our case, religion had nothing to do with our choice to homeschool.

    also, i don't wear denim. ever. i'm a high-heels and cocktail dress kind of girl. :)

  3. Carri Ann says:

    If you were to tell people just one thing you think is most important about homeschooling, what would that be?

    It's individualized education at its best! Kids are allowed to go at their own pace in every area, so they aren't held back by age/grade restrictions in areas that they excel in, nor are they forced to move too quickly in areas that they are struggling in.

    What was your reason for turning to homeschooling in the first place?

    Public school wasn't the right fit for our son or our family. We looked into private school and ruled it out due to cost, so turned to homeschooling. We didn't have any experience with it at the time and didn't know any other homeschoolers, but it turned out to be 100% the best thing that's happened to our family!

    Did you think you would homeschool short-term and wind up sticking with it? If so, why?

    Originally we only planned on homeschooling for first and second grade. Our son loved it so much, he begged to continue – and truth be told, we were pretty smitten with it ourselves :). The amount of educational freedom has been AMAZING! I truly wish that I would have been allowed to have the same choices with my childhood education that my son does. And the close bond that our family has is one of the best parts. We're now heading into our 9th year, and our son has chosen to homeschool all the way through high school.

    Have you familiarized yourself with the history of homeschooling? Why or why not?

    Yes, because I think it's important to understand how we got where we are today, and how we can keep moving forward. I also think that it's important to be able to recognize when people (both homeschool "advocates" and those opposed to homeschooling) misrepresent the facts to push their own agenda.

    What’s your best guess as to how many homeschoolers there are today?

    Well, I've heard reports of approx. 1.5 million, but I'm unsure as to how, exactly, they can try and count us all. There are states which require no notification, and many states that do require it have a large portion of families that don't comply. I'd say *at least* half of the families that we've met in the last 9 years have never registered at all.

    Anything else you might like to say?

    There are far more secular homeschoolers than people realize. Our kids lead much more active lives than assumed (we have 26 DAYS of activities in June alone – and we have an only child). Education is not one-size-fits-all, and we should quit trying to make that way.

  4. Shay Seaborne says:

    If you were to tell people just one thing you think is most important about homeschooling, what would that be?

    The best kept secret about homeschooling is that it is *fun*!

  5. If you were to tell people just one thing you think is most important about homeschooling, what would that be?

    Tune in to your heart, do what you feel to be right, trust that you can't fail, that learning is about making mistakes and picking yourself up and having another go, doing it differently, working out what works and what doesn't and that you don't have to get it perfect today or any other day, don't listen to people who don't know what they are talking about, listen – really listen, be attentive – to your children, your spouse and your intuition.

    What was your reason for turning to homeschooling in the first place?

    We just wanted to be with our daughter – seemed wrong sending her to school with a new baby in the house, too many missed opportunities for learning for her.

    Did you think you would homeschool short-term and wind up sticking with it? If so, why?

    We planned to homeschool forever. She's about to have her first baby, my youngest is 23, and we're still supporting and promoting home education. After about five years in, I said to a reporter, that our family was living in a 'bubble of love' – it simply kept getting better, the outcomes were stunning, more than I could have hoped for. That's not to say they are perfect – we're a normal family after all!

    Have you familiarized yourself with the history of homeschooling? Why or why not?

    Yes, I found it important to get sense of context, especially in the early years when I would often question if I had the right to experiment on my children with their social and educational development – I quickly learned that yes, I had that right, but do schools?

    What’s your best guess as to how many homeschoolers there are today?

    Not enough. :-)

  6. Lori T says:

    If you were to tell people just one thing you think is most important about homeschooling, what would that be?

    That it can be done, in all fifty states, and each state is different!

    I recently read a book on cutting expenses, and homeschooling was mentioned as an economical choice over private school. While the authors found it a great idea, they also had a lot of rules that do not apply to any states as far as I know, including asking permission of the board of education, and having all lesson plans approved by the school district. Good gravy!

  7. Lisa says:

    You'll worry. I worry. But who could possibly put more effort into my kids than me? Not a teacher with 30 other students.

  8. Sandra says:

    When I first started homeschooling I didn't know that it would be for the full extent of their education. I really expected them to go to high school. Once we got to that stage in their life, I gave them the choice and they both decided to stick to homeschool. They understood that it was a better way to learn, less distraction and more chance to understand the topics they were not so good at. Even when we tried some accredited courses, they asked if they could go back to the other way (homeschool way) because it wasn't fun to learn the way the courses taught. Overall, I have no doubt that our decision was the right one and now that I have one heading to college I can be proud of what we all accomplished as a homeschool family.

  9. Many thanks to those who have written for your heartfelt responses. Please don't be shy about adding your thoughts if you haven't responded so far – we'd love to hear from you!

    All best,

    Linda

  10. Melissa Platero says:

    Have you familiarized yourself with the history of homeschooling? Why or why not?

    Hi Grandma Linda!

    I would love to know the history of homeschooling. Where was it born? Who led the movement? What were the obstacles? Who are the generation of American parents who said NO MORE to public schools? I know that religion played a big factor in it. But who were the pioneers that homeschooled for non-religious reasons. The parents who homeschooled simply because they loved their children so much they couldn't bear to part with them.

  11. Ben Bennett says:

    Homeschooling isn't a pedagogy… it's a lifestyle. Homeschool like a parent, not like a public school teacher.

    All else will follow.

  12. Hi, Melissa,

    If you go to Parent at the Helm's New to Homeschooling? section you'll find "A Brief History of American Homeschooling." I haven't read it, but as an historical report I understand Milton Gaither's book is a good read.

    Enjoy discovering the answers to your questions!

    Linda

  13. carol says:

    One thing to pass on: I would say that it is extremely efficient. (People usually understand this without becoming defensive). We are done by lunch and my child has done math at her grade level and language several levels above without being bogged down in busywork waiting for the class to catch up. We now have the whole afternoon for group activities, riding lessons, cello lessons, art,exploring the woods, etc. The evenings are free for family time since our extracurricular stuff was largely accomplished much earlier in the afternoon. We can take weeks off to go on conferences with dad to Wash. DC or Philadelphia without worrying about the whether the absence was considered excused or not. ————

  14. wendy young says:

    If you were to tell people just one thing you think is most important about homeschooling, what would that be?

    What was your reason for turning to homeschooling in the first place?

    I wanted my daughter who is now 7 to have more time. More time to explore, discover, and yes learn. I do not believe that you need to "force" a child to learn, they are driven to learn and my job as a parent is to help them in that drive.

    We are secular homeschoolers with an unschooling bent. Our daughter does "lessons" in math, and english but everything else is activities we work on together. My husband and I are very science minded and we have a lot of fun making all sort of observations and experiments.

    We live in a small Inupiaq village of 600 just south of the arctic circle and have been homeshcooling for two years now. The little school here has been very supportive and allows my daughter to attend the school for classes such as Inupiaq language and culture class and music.

    Did you think you would homeschool short-term and wind up sticking with it? If so, why?

    No we planned to homeschool from the beginning.

    Have you familiarized yourself with the history of homeschooling? Why or why not?

    We read a lot in this family about all types of things including the history of homeschooling. I am just finishing the book How Lincoln Learned to Read by Daniel Wolff and am a huge fan of the Teenage Liberation Handbook by Grace Llewellyn. Both books sit on my coffee table and have been picked up and looked through by numerous visitors to our house. They are great conversation starters, especially for people who assume they know why we homeschool.

    What’s your best guess as to how many homeschoolers there are today? Are you asking in the U.S., in the world, or in my village? Well here in our village there are only three families and two of them are homeschooling highschoolers. :)

  15. Beth Dittmer says:

    If you were to tell people just one thing you think is most important about homeschooling, what would that be?

    You know what your children are learning, how they are learning, what areas they are struggling, and also where they are excelling.

    What was your reason for turning to homeschooling in the first place?

    We began our homeschooling adventure because our son was having a hard time learning in the set up at the public school and our daughter was unable to handle the emotional drama that happened every single day with her peers.

    Did you think you would homeschool short-term and wind up sticking with it? If so, why?

    We are still unsure of whether this will be short-term or long-term. I pray that it will be long-term, but am willing to accept short-term if needed.

    Have you familiarized yourself with the history of homeschooling? Why or why not?

    I have a very basic knowledge, would like to delve deeper. If you are going to do something, you need to know why you are doing it and look over the history to make sure that this is the right decision for your children, family, and yourself.

    What’s your best guess as to how many homeschoolers there are today?

    World wide, no idea. In the USA, I've read that the percentage has been increasing over the past several years, not quite sure what the number is :)

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  17. Homeschool Mom says:

    What’s your best guess as to how many homeschoolers there are today?

    Take the number given in the media and double it. Most homeschooling statics don't reflect the K – 1st graders and the 11 – 12th graders from my understanding. That's four school grades not counted in my state at all.

    Then you have all the states where no statistics are available.

    I'd say at least 4 million. Probably higher. Not to mention all the birth – preschoolers who are homeschooling.

  18. Thank you ALL for your answers, input and time! Parent at the Helm has the bestest readers on the entire Internet!

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