Saturday, April 29, 2006

Age in Home Schooling : An Obstacle?

Home schooling is a trend that few people can ignore. There has been a consistent increase in the number of children who have left the formal education system in exchange for home schooling. If you’re interested in home schooling your child, you must be wondering what it takes to begin. Many parents like you often wonder if there’s a particular age range that is most viable for home schooling, or if most local education agencies impose a compulsory age at which you can take your child out of the formal system for home schooling. More generally, perhaps you are simply wondering how age factors into home schooling.

However, you’d be pleased to know that when it comes to the question of age viability or minimum age for home schooling, there is actually no such requirement. When you find it appropriate to home school your child, his or her age will determine what you have to do in order to complete the transition into home schooling. Moreover, age matters very little when it comes to home schooling. This has perhaps been one of its most esteemed and valued characteristics.

Most parents who opt for home schooling are those parents who have children already enrolled in an educational institution of sorts. Regardless of what educational level or age your child is, he or she is good to go. However, because of the fact that your child has gone through some sort of schooling, you have to first consult with the educational institution. Once there, you must get your child’s records assessing clearly the educational level and subsequent attainment achieved while in the school.

If your child is not yet within schooling age but you’re already planning on home schooling him or her, then there’s no other consultation you have to go through. All you have to do is follow the required procedure in your state for home schooling. That is, if your state requires being informed of the intention to home school your child, you must follow this and whatever other requirements they have set before you can go about home schooling. Otherwise, you’re free to start home schooling your child anytime.

The fact that home schooling your child is not reliant on age surprises many individuals, and this may include you. While some parents move their children out of the formal learning environment to give them a more age-appropriate curriculum, home schooling in fact (and at times unknowingly) steps away from age-appropriateness to achievement-appropriateness. While children in schools may be required to follow one standardized curriculum, you may opt to either give your child more time on the required materials you wish to teach, or advance to more complex materials if your child is more than qualified to take on harder materials. As such, the system is based more on merit than on age. Moreover, it allows you to create a curriculum designed to address your child as a growing individual, instead of a statistical age group recommended to take a particular group of lessons from a generalized spectrum of disciplines.

Another issue that home schooling addresses in a far more effective way is socialization. In schools, students are more or less encouraged to be in the company of peers within the same age group, give or take a year or two. This has resulted in age-based socialization. Some parents contend that this sort of limit on the social environment most accessible to their children actually hampers a more enriched interpersonal growth. While this sort of socialization is greatly emphasized with the various year levels in schools, the fact that age-based socialization is something seemingly arbitrary is quite evident. Comparing this to the home school environment with a child able to interact freely with people in his or her community without the pressures of a formal educational system, you can already see an inherent comparative advantage. It gives children greater experience and opportunities to grow at a pace dictated only by their intellectual and emotional maturity.

Home schooling is perhaps not the easiest decision you’d have to make, but it’s certainly one worth considering. After all, a little work in the beginning can go a long way, especially if you want your child to learn of values and other pertinent academic matter that you wish the school discussed but didn’t. The best part is, age is no obstacle.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

A most important question - if a bit off topic

Click Here to see Report Cards

This does not appear to have anything to do with either home business or home schooling, but how we deal with illegal immigration will have a profound impact on every other aspect of America's way of life. Educate yourself and your children on this important issue, and learn where your congressmen stand.

Click Here to See Candidates

Monday, April 17, 2006

Still Time to Tell Friends About Free Trial Membership in HSLDA

Got this in the mail today - it is well worth the price, and if you are a member of a local group that gets a discounted rate, that is even better.

April 17, 2006

Dear Friends of HSLDA,

Thanks to so many of you for recommending your friends for a trial membership with Home School Legal Defense Association. We are delighted by the response we’ve received—more than 2,000 families have taken advantage of our trial offer.

As we mentioned earlier, to show our appreciation to members who have encouraged their friends to join, each week we are randomly selecting one of you to receive a free lifetime membership. So far, two families have been selected from among those who have recommended a free trial membership to a friend.

HSLDA’s free trial membership offer ends May 15. So if you think of others who might want to give us a try, there’s still time to send this offer to them. Simply forward this link:

Again, the free trial membership is good through August 15, but the window to apply is closing soon.

You, our members, are the best advertisement for the benefits of HSLDA. Without your faithful support, we could not exist. Thanks for being an advocate for HSLDA as we advocate for parental rights and homeschooling freedoms!


J. Michael Smith

Friday, April 07, 2006

Time Flies When You're Having Fun...

...and even when you're not.

This is a ridiculously busy time of year, leading up not only to the Easter break, but school board elections, our anniversary, standardized testing, and last but not least, our annual squeeze by the taxman.

I can't believe that it has been a whole month since I started this, and I have not posted a single "home business" kind of post, when that is, after all the topic of this blog: how one can successfully work at home AND home school, too.

So I guess a turnkey home business idea would be the easiest for the busy homeschooling mom, one that can actually make you money working only a few hours a day. One that I have been promoting recently is called 1 Step System. I have been working with a partner, and we made about $6000 in the last seven or eight weeks working part time.

Rather than waste a lot of time here trying to explain it again, here is a link to our very excellent review of the program entitled 1 Step System - Hype, or a Home Business Idea That Works?

ADDENDUM 2008 - I am no longer promoting this program, and while the link takes you to the same place, it now talks about how 1 Step System fell short of what we hoped it would do, and suggests another program we believe is better for the average person.