Monday, June 18, 2012

Starting Homeschooling

How does a perfectly normal mom become a homeschooler of a middle schooler? It seems to be an amazing step. I had no intention of becoming a homeschooling mother when my first daughter was born, yet I find myself on that journey now. I could not have considered taking this step except that I work-from-home.
According to some statistics, there were over 1.5 million students studying in a homeschool environment in the United States in 2007, a 36% increase in 6 years since the numbers previously collected in 2003. Homeschooling used to be a fringe activity. Today in Connecticut I have at least five homeschool groups I may join with hundreds of other families.
Admittedly, I have tread these waters before. When my daughter was in elementary school, we homeschooled for a few years for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade. How does one even consider homeschooling? I have met a number of homeschoolers and it seems that there is a different reason, or constellation of reasons, for every one of them.
I have talked before about the difficulty my daughter had getting an appropriate education for her particular needs in the public school. Prior to deciding to homeschool, and part of the reason homeschooling became an option, I was already supplementing her education with on-line classes in math and writing, much like parents who take their kids to a tutor.
It was important to me that I was not my daughter's primary teacher. The on-line classes helped me realize that homeschooling was possible. There are as many ways to homeschool at there are homeschoolers. I wanted a formal learning experience for my daughter. I spent time researching additional online learning opportunities and found almost everything she needed.
Online classes are a pricier homeschooling option. In our case the cost is much less than local private school options and still allows for a curriculum flexibility that even the best private schools can't offer.

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