Christian Home Educators of the County of Kern

Questions & Answers Concerning Homeschool

Why do families home school?
Are parents qualified to teach?
How much time does it take?
Is home schooling legal?
How can I teach several children?
What about socialization?
What about higher education?
What about special interests?
What materials are available?
How do we get started?

Q. Why do families home school?
A. Many Christian parents are committed to educating their children at home because of their conviction that this is God's will for their family. They are concerned for the spiritual training and character development as well as the social and academic welfare of their children. Specific advantages have been expressed as follows:

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Q. Are parents qualified to teach?
A. You know your children better than anyone else and have the deepest love and concern for them.

You also have the most direct and long-term responsibility for your children before God, who commands parents to teach their children His Word, the most important thing they will learn. (Deut. 6:6,7)

Educationally, one-to-one tutoring has many advantages over a classroom where one teacher tries to meet the needs of many children at different learning levels.

You do not need to know everything in order to teach. Your example and enthusiasm in learning with your children will motivate and encourage them.

Dr. Brian Ray, president of the National Home Education Research Institute, conducted an analysis of standardized test results for 16,230 home-school children. He found these children to average at or above the 73rd percentile in all subject areas and demonstrated that there is little relationship between parents' education levels and the children's scores. (For more information on comprehensive report contact NHERI at (503) 364-1490 or visit them at http://www.nheri.org).

Dr. Ray says, "The tutorial method of teaching is the superior method. Home education epitomizes this method - a close student/teacher relationship, family values, motivation, flexibility, and individualization."

Resources are available to give home educators on-the-job training:

God promises His wisdom and assures you that He will supply your needs as you follow His leading. (James 1:5-7)

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Q. Home much time does it take?
A. Home schooling does require a time commitment. However, one-to-one tutoring is more efficient that classroom instruction and thus takes less time.

Time requirements vary according to the methods used, the ages of the children, and the number of children being taught.

Academic instruction might begin with one-half to one hour for the early grades and work up to a few hours instruction and/or independent study for upper grades. Most correspondence courses state that their work can be completed in four or five hours per day.

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Q. Is home schooling legal?
A. Each state sets its own laws governing home education. Complying with these laws may be as simple as informing the school district of your intent to home school and having your child tested or as complex as fulfilling requirements to be a private school.

Legislation is continually being proposed and considered in many states. It is important for you to work with your state and local Christian home-school organization to aid the passage of favorable bills.

Constitutional rights to liberty and privacy under Fourteenth Amendment and the free exercise of religion under the First Amendment guarantee parents the right to educate their children according to their convictions. However, lower courts have ruled inconsistently in applying these rights.

We encourage you to comply with the law as far as your conscience will allow.

It is important to obtain a copy of your state's law pertaining to home education. You can avoid many problems by being accurately informed and by using tact and respect in dealing with government school authorities.

Home School Legal Defense Association offers legal advice or defense. For more information, see http://www.hslda.org or call (540) 338-5600. HSLDA also offers a free summary of your state's home-school law.

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Q. How can I teach several children?
A. You can tech subjects such as Bible, science, history, and literature to several grade levels of children together.

Lessons can be presented in an amplified manner with explanations that enable all children to understand.

Older students can do much of their work independently while younger ones receive necessary tutoring in basic skills.

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Q. What about socialization
A. "Socialization" may be the most misunderstood aspect of home school.

Popular opinion assumes that children need interaction with a group of peers to acquire social skills. By contrast, many believe that extensive peer contact during childhood can cause undesirable peer dependency.

"Do not be deceived: 'Bad company corrupts good morals' " (1 Cor. 15:33).

Children are more likely to be influenced by the majority that to be an influence on them. Children who are educated outside the home are prone to accept their peers' and teachers' values over those of their parents.

Some advantages of freedom from peer pressure can be self-confidence, independent thinking, the ability to relate to people of all ages, and better family relations.

Godly principles of interaction can be taught, demonstrated, and reinforced at home by parents. Children can learn needed social skills by interacting with siblings or other children and adults under their parents' supervision. Young people who have had this type of training have adjusted well to adult life.

Your children will build lasting friendships with people of all ages as they interact with church and family friends.

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Q. What about higher education?
A. "Thousands of universities and colleges accept homeschoolers. Many of these schools actively recruit home-educated graduates because of their maturity, independent thinking skills, creativity, and extensive academic preparation," says Inge Cannon, executive director of "Education Plus".

In preparation for college entrance or vocational training programs, parents should prepare a transcript of high school work, award a diploma, and specify an actual high school graduation date. SAT of ACT scores are usually required for college admission.

A high school diploma may not be necessary for military enlistment, college enrollment, and employment when a student has 15 credit hours of college completed.

Many colleges offer nontraditional programs for off campus study.

Some home schoolers enter their chosen fields through apprenticeship programs supervised by parents and professionals.

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Q. What about special interests?
A. A wealth of experiences outside the home can supplement and enrich home education. Unlimited possibilities abound for field trips for individual families or groups.

Specialized classes are often available through parks, museums, art schools, or private teachers. Church and community teams offer various sports opportunities.

There may be more enrichment activities and time in which to do them available for home-taught students than for those in school.

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Q. What materials are available?
A. Fine Christian educational materials developed for Christian schools are available to home educators. New materials have also been developed or adapted especially for home teaching. These materials may be obtained in the following three basic ways:

Home educators can choose or combine elements of the following approaches:

Q. How do we get started in Homeschooling?
A. Here are some suggestions:

Re-evaluate and experiment with different materials and methods and make adjustments as you become more experienced.

Home schooling is a way of life in which the home is the center of life and learning. Parents can fulfill in a unique way their responsibilities to bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

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Copyright 2000 The Teaching Home
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