Anyone who knows me knows that I'm fairly anti-home schooling. That may be a bit of an understatement, actually. I think that home schooling is often used by parents to keep their children away from the world and in a bit of a bubble longer, and I generally don't think that's healthy. It especially bothers me, as a Christian, when Christian families home school in an attempt to keep their children away from any non-Christian influences. I just don't think that's Biblical.
However, a dear friend of mine told me she may be home schooling her daughters. I still don't think it's the best choice for most people but I have compiled a list of things to realistically consider when deciding to home school or not.
1. Do you (the home schooling parent) have enough time and energy to invest in this? Teaching is a full-time job. Remember that. Full-time. You can't do it justice if you treat it as any less.
2. Do you have any experience teaching? Being good at something is not enough. Many people are good at things and totally incapable of teaching them. Do you know any teaching strategies? Do you know how to communicate ideas and facts in a way that will help your child or children learn effectively?
3. Do you have a curriculum? Do you know anything about the curriculum or anyone who has used it? Do you have all the material for the curriculum?
4. Do you have a plan for your children to meet other children? Preferably children outside of their own racial/socio-economic/religious groups? This, in my opinion, is one of the most valuable services of public schools.
5. Do you have a plan for your children to learn to work with other children? Not just their siblings. In school, children learn to work with people they may not like, may not understand, may not get along with. This is an important life skill.
6. Do you have a grasp on all the subjects you will be teaching? In addition to teaching skills, you must understand the subjects. This is much easier with younger children and harder with secondary school, where most teachers specialize in one subject.
7. Can you handle being around your children all day every day with no breaks at all? This is too much for many people.
8. Are you willing to get professional help (teachers or tutors with the appropriate experience and credentials) if needed?
9. Are you willing to put in the time and effort to make sure you're meeting all your state's requirements? If home schooling high school students, are you willing to make sure you are meeting the requirements for college entrance?
Teachers, any more things to think about?
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