Effective classroom teachers are an endangered species.
The few good teachers left are lost in battalions of ineffective associates.
A good teacher is often disliked. Her skill and dedication make the rest look as lazy and slothful as they really are.
Our public schools have become forums of ignorance and training grounds for violence?
Why We do It
Less than 11% of graduating students receive all the courses found in the Federally Suggested Guidelines for Education published by the United States Department of Education.
If you ever moved from one town to another, you quickly leaned that your child’s new school wasn’t teaching the same material as their last school.
Why is the percentage of students who truly succeed so small?
Why do we think that demanding "standardized tests" and lowering testing standards raises the knowledge of our students?
Educational success should not be reserved for those who grow up in an enriched environment.
A good education should not be the product of luck getting into a decent public school.
Thousands upon thousands of individuals have stepped beyond the public school yard and taken matters into their own hands. Despite environmental, financial, physical, emotional, or even learning handicaps, they provide their children with a good educations.
They home education!
Without a lot of sales hype, here are the real characteristics that create a good Home-Educating parent.
You can make a plan that has the variety and depth to be exactly right for you. . .
. . .in this economy
. . .in your town
. . .based on your personal situation
. . .and your unique talents and skills.
You may possess some or even all of the above traits and still fail as a Home-Educating at-home teacher for lack of one critical ingredient:
And a plan isn't just a lesson plan.
You need a well thought-out, logical, reasonable plan to get your children from where they are now to where you want them to be.
You can develop that plan.
Many students believe a good plan for the future involves winning the lottery.
Home-Educating should far excel the education provided by most public schools.
Make a commitment!
A Good Look at the Problem
Many students receive an education that places them only slightly above illiteracy.
The greatest number learn little more than the bare necessities.
They are not learning what it takes to live beyond the current day in class, not even enough to be prepared for the next day.
Few of them ever bother with a homework assignment that can’t be completed in that class that day.
Many work just hard enough to be given a C that isn’t really earned.
Concerned parents are frustrated.
Here's what's holding most of these good parents back from Home-Educating their children?
You wouldn't be reading this if you weren't above skepticism.
Make a commitment!
Your child can't teach himself.
If your plan uses books, you must study those books so you can teach your child.
Some systems demand time and energy to re-learn everything that has to be taught.
A patch-quilt curriculum is seldom satisfactory except to the ego of those stitching it together.
Starting Your Own
Notify the local school district of your intent to home educate.
You can purchase a homeschool course with a bunch of books or CDs.
Many parents have had great success with such a plan. Other's don't.
You can buy an online Home-Educating plan that provides complete lessons and online teachers to answer questions.
No books or lesson plans or CD’s or audiotapes to purchase
Many parents love the free time such a plan provides for them. Other's don't.
Many parents create a complete curriculum on their own, with no help from any provider of lessons.
Do this only if you have what it takes to handle it, usually an extensive background or training in education.
Begin your plan by deciding.
Your desire is all you really need to start your home education.
Budget enough time to become thoroughly familiar with the format and style of your child's lessons.
By the sixth grade, most home-schooled students should be doing the majority of course work on their own.
Make a Commitment
You will likely decide to use a prepared curriculum.
You must make a commitment in two broad areas.
Doing these early lessons with your child will help you quickly overcome any fear you may have.
Become familiar with the lessons and then back off.
Let your child do most of the work alone.
A child must learn self-reliance as well as the subject material.
Daily check your child’s progress, notes, and journals.
Return to working closely with your student only if their independent work indicates the need.
The younger the student, the more time you must spend at his or her side.
The at-home teacher should always accompany a student on field trips
No parent plans to fail.
Like some stage-mothers, home education parents often spend more time dreaming about rather than planning for success.
Most Home-Educating failures occur as a result of a failure to plan.
Setting Realistic Goals
Without realistic goals, your ambition and drive will be wasted.
As a parent, you have the power to make things happen.
Take control by making realistic goals, planning ,and organizing, and by taking action.
Bad planning condemns Home-Educating goals to failure.
Organize your time so that you can spend it thoughtfully and creatively.
Goal setting is the writing of realistic hopes and dreams on paper.
Everyone says they want their child to become wealthy and happy. If a great education is the means to that end, plan now to make it happen.
List the ways you can help achieve your goals.
Now you have the start of a good plan.
Whether or not your plan to leave your job to become a full-time at-home teacher works, at least you will have advanced your child’s education and know to revise, and reschedule your goals.
Long-term Home-Education goals are those things you intend your child to accomplish between now and graduation.
Examples of long-term goals might include
Write your goals and post them on the refrigerator door .
If you have four or five goals and miss a few, you will still be heading in the right direction.
Short-term Home-Education goals are specific and attainable within one academic term.
Everything you do to accomplish these goals will put you that much closer to your long-term goals.
Short-term goals should cover all facets of Home-Educating,. Here are a few:
To strengthen your commitment, share your goals with family and friends.
Make certain that you goals are not conflicting.
Spending more time on your present job could conflict with a desire to free-up more time for Home-Educating.
Your goals should be flexible.
If your goal is to have your child graduate from high school at age seventeen, and you find after several years that it’s going to take longer than you had planned, then adjust accordingly. On the other hand, should you find that your child is going at a faster pace than you had planned, then revise it upwards.
Your goals should be measurable.
A goal for a child to become a great scholar is not measurable.
A goal to complete an academic term in six months is measurable.
An act becomes a habit when it no longer requires deliberate thought.
Change Task to Habit
An act becomes a habit by repeating it again and again.
If you make it a firm rule for your child to start at noon to spend three hours daily on home education lessons, it will become a habit.
This also applies to your goals.
We are all equal when it comes to the time we have available to us.
Planning and Time Management
Make Home-Education a positive habit by planning and organizing your schedule.
Sit with your child and make plans together. If the hours for study are two to five each afternoon, five days a week, then etch that in stone and steel.
Make it habit.
There can be no, "Gee, Mom, I can catch up later. I want to go to the mall for an hour."
Once plans are set, change them only if absolutely necessary.
Closely examine schedules to determine where you might reasonably cut back on one or more activities.
Modify some of your long established habits to accommodate your Home-Education activities.
You may want to cut back the amount of time you spend watching television.
If you want to spend time with your family and you also want to exercise, try exercising with your family.
You get the idea.
If you have what it takes, now is the time to start.
Profile of an Ideal
No one fits this profile 100%.
The ideal Home-Educating parent has a desire to see that his or her child receives a good education free from harassment, poor instruction, bad curriculum, threat of physical harm, free from drugs, and one removed from a permissive environment, and has an equal desire to insure that his or her child is educated sufficiently to be able to make independent judgments and decisions based upon logic and gained information.
The ideal Home-Educating parent is dedicated to insuring that nothing negatively effects the education of his or her child, and to the premise that they, as parent, are the best judge of what that education should contain and how it should be presented.
The ideal Home-Educating parent has the courage to face curricula which they themselves may not fully understand and demand that their student master that material. He or she has the courage to stand up to public school and state government officers who would thwart family Home-Educating efforts.
The ideal Home-Educating parents take an optimistic view of the task before them, knowing that their best is enough when coupled with parental authority and family love.
The ideal Home-Educating parent is determined to make Home-Educating work, regardless of criticism, no matter how powerful the authority of the critic.
The ideal Home-Educating parent has strong self-discipline and can administer discipline fairly when required.