With the growing concern over the level of quality offered in public schools, a lot of parents are choosing to remove their children from the public education system and teach them at home. While there is no specific curriculum provided by the education board for homeschooled students, there are certain home schooling requirements that must be met. These requirements will vary by state, but all of them require instructions in the basic subjects of math, English, science, history and reading. Another requirement is that the child be given instruction for a specified amount of hours every day.
As a general rule, there is no monitoring by the public board, but a representative can choose to drop by the residence at any time during regular school hours to check up on schooling. In addition, the educational system does not provide a parent with any type of materials to use in their instructions. In the past, parents were often at a loss as to where to obtain textbooks and other materials to provide a good source of knowledge for their children. Much of this unguided instructions have been corrected through the use of online resources.
There are a lot of teachers who have created websites designed to help the homeschooling parents. Such sites offer printable pages on all types of subjects to be used as worksheets. There are also online worksheets available that students can fill in by directly entering the information using their home computer. These worksheets are corrected through an automated system and the student can see right away how well he/she did. There is no time involved when filling out these Internet papers, so the child can progress at his/her own pace.
In addition to the standard sheets, they can work on for math or English and there are a number of interactive learning games available as well. These can also be purchased as software products for in-home use and cover math, English reading and sometimes history and science. The math programs include arithmetic, mathematics, pre-algebra, algebra, geometry and trigonometry, so a student can work with the program best suited to his/her grade level. Both the software programs and the online worksheets will offer chapter tests to assess the progress the child is making. In most states, there are no tests provided by the educational system for these students to take during their K through 12 learning period.
Once a child has completed all of the grade levels, his/her can take GED or HSED exams to receive certification. These exams are given at most technical colleges and will have stipulations depending on the state they are administered in. The stipulations will include the age a child must be of in order to take the tests. In some states, the students graduating class must have graduated before the child can take his/her state exams. Each test is administered separately and will require a fee. The results are sent to the child’s home address when the papers have been corrected. These certifications are as valid as any school diploma and can be used to obtain a job or apply to a college.
Homeschooling your children in the K years is, if not necessarily easy, definitely doable. After all, kindergarten and preschool are essentially glorified day cares, albeit government-paid ones. Similarly, the elementary grades are not enormous burdens for homeschooling parents because anybody can make a volcano with play-doh and baking soda. The middle school years are when things become more difficult, however, homeschooling high school age children can be an insurmountable burden.
The problem doesn’t lie so much in the educational aspect as much as it does in the social realm. It has been said that all life is basically a repeat of high school. How, then, can a child conceivably understand the experience of those pivotal four years when their only educational experiences have taken place in the laundry room? Homeschooling high school children doesn’t have to be so difficult, though. Essentially, the main things to watch out for, and the things that a child lacks without the typical public or even private school education, are basically companionship and shared experience. The companionship aspect is easily understandable to create meaningful and lasting relationships in the real world, and a child must use their formative years as practice to understand people and interaction. This can be accomplished without a public high school, though.
Taking your child to field trips and outside functions should be par for the course for any homeschooling parent. This is the only way their children will be functioning citizens in the future and taking your child to skating rinks, bowling alley, or any similar youth filled area will allow them to mesh with their future peers. It may be overwhelming to the youngster but, after all, we must all be the new kid at certain points of life.
Shared experience is a bit trickier. Even kids who hated high school have memories of prom, homecoming, the big game, and other John Hughes fare. Not taking part in such activities may cause a child to lament his/her homeschool education in later years when they think of all the things they missed out on that are tropes of mainstream existence. This is something that is hard, if not impossible, to substitute. Then again, people can watch war movies without having been in a war and still gather the concept. Getting your child interested in current events and the state of the world will allow the child to take part in a collective consciousness that is in fact greater than the petty things that high school has to offer. Enjoying the shared experience of watching a meteor shower that only comes along every thousand years is definitely more meaningful than being able to laugh at the concept of a swirlie.