Education

Ask This When Deciding to Homeschool My Child

Homeschooling allows parents to control the content and quality of their children's educations. Although children who are home schooled miss out on the social experiences offered by public schools, an increasing number of parents are considering home school for their students as concerns grow regarding public school. Parents who are serious about home schooling need to have the career and income flexibility to be able to stay at home several days per week. Also, homeschooling isn't for everyone. Some students do better in traditional classroom settings, while others may be more comfortable at home. Whether home school is right for your child is a highly personal decision that must be made carefully.

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How will my child learn social skills?
Perhaps the biggest downside to homeschooling children is that students don't get the same opportunities for social development that they would at a public school. If you're considering home school for your children, then you should really think about ways that you can get your child involved with other kids through means other than schools. Encouraging your child to join youth sports teams, scouting programs, city programs and other group-oriented activities can help your child grow socially even while in home school.
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What does my child think about homeschooling?
Before making any decisions about homeschooling, be sure to seek an opinion directly from your child. It could be that your child might really miss going to school with the rest of his or her friends. This isn't as much of a factor with very young children, but the older a child gets, the more difficult adjusting to homeschool could be.
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Where can I get free home school curriculum?
There's a lot of downloadable home school curriculum on the Internet, but not all of it is good curriculum. If you can touch base with other home school parents, then you may have a better chance of finding free, high-quality curriculum that can help you save money on your home schooling budget.
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How safe is my local public school?
Public safety is a big concern these days that drives many parents to consider homeschooling. However, safety isn't the issue many parents think it is in most parts of the country. Talking to your local law enforcement agency about school safety could either alleviate your fears or reinforce your urges for homeschooling your kids. Either way, it's better to talk to an expert than to go from a gut feeling with no actual facts in front of you.
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Can I dedicate a portion of my home for homeschooling?
Children who are homeschooled should have a place at home where they can quietly study and do their assignments. Having a good work environment is key. If your homeschool area is filled with clutter and distractions, then your child could have a more difficult time staying focused on the tasks at hand.
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Which learning style is best for my child?
Homeschooling isn't as simple as downloading assignments from the Internet and turning your child loose. Different children will respond differently to different teaching styles, and there are various established methods for homeschool teachers to follow. To determine which teaching method you should use, you may want to consider talking with other parents who have gone through the homeschool process. A great way to connect with other parents is through forums on homeschooling Web sites.
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Can my household afford to homeschool?
Homeschooling isn't always cheap; there are supplies and expenses that come up, just as there are with any other aspect of raising children. The bigger issue though is whether your household can carry on with just one income, because homeschooling typically results in the loss of an annual wage (unless someone else will be handling the education of your children).

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