The Ins And Outs Of Do It Yourself Education
home schooling is often described as 'do it yourself education' and most parents immediately assume that they are the 'you' in 'yourself'. For this reason many parents who live busy lives earning a living or pursuing other important activities, and especially single parents, more or less dismiss any thoughts of home schooling out of hand. But are you right to do so?
Fortunately there are many options open to parents today and since home schooling has been going for a long time now and involves more than one million children in the US alone, it is perhaps not surprising to find that parents in just about every situation imaginable have been able to find the answer to home schooling their children.
The first and most obvious situation is that of the traditional two parent family with dad out at work and mum looking after the home and, for many families, this situation makes home schooling a relatively simple option. However, since the 1960s society has changed considerably and today we find a whole spectrum of family situations including single parents, role reversal, same-sex couples, extended families and much more.
Each of these situations can bring with it both problems and advantages when it comes to home schooling and it is simply a matter of sitting down and examining both and then looking for ways to overcome the former and enhance the latter.
Many families for example turn to their wider family or friends for help and invite family or friends into their home to help to solve the problem. This of course is nothing new and, in years gone by, it was very common for families to offer a friend or an older family member such as an aunt, uncle or grandparent accommodation with the family in exchange for helping with the care and upbringing of the children.
Neighbors too can often provide assistance. Many 'stay-at-home' moms already provide day care facilities for children and, as home schooling grows in popularity, simple babysitting services are increasingly being extended to providing home schooling. Similarly, in many cases families are getting together to provide home schooling on a 'group' basis with parents devoting some, but not all of their time, to helping out.
Another popular alternative is that of employing a tutor. This form of home schooling of course dates back many centuries and includes some notable figures such as Aristotle who tutored Alexander the Great. It is however certainly not, as many believe, simply an option for the rich.
Today tutors can be found with a wide range of different backgrounds and in all age groups and will include both specialists, such as those teaching music or languages, and general tutors. Indeed, it is increasingly common to find ex-public or private school teachers who have become dissatisfied with the 'system' turning to tutoring because they retain a love of teaching.
Most parents believe that they could not possible afford a private tutor for home schooling but, after researching the possibility carefully, are often surprised to learn that, particularly if they put there own skills to work to earn a little bit of extra money, the cost of hiring a tutor can be quite affordable.
Another important consideration is the children themselves. Many parents find that their children are well motivated by the independent nature of home schooling and that teaching a child at home can take a lot less time than you might think. While home schooling provides children with the guidance and resources which they need it is surprising to see the extent to which children will actually teach themselves. In many cases home schooling helps to bring out a natural love of learning in a child and learning almost becomes self-generating.
If you are tempted by the obvious advantages of home schooling over the present poor and failing public school system then avoid the common pitfall of dismissing the idea out-of-hand as being simply impractical. If you take the time to explore all of the options open to you may well be surprised to find that it is not as difficult as you might imagine.
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