Homeschooling - the darker side And Homeschooling the teenager

Homeschooling - the darker side

It's not all hunky-dory and smooth sailing on the homeschooling
front. Like all things in life, there is a downside that has to be
seriously considered when you explore the homeschooling option.
Though one man's bane may be another man's boon, there are certain
common reasons for concern.

The responsibility of teaching your child rests solely on you. You
cannot blame anyone else if your child is seen wanting in the
skills that his peers excel in. If your child cannot do the things
that are expected from other children of his age group, it
reflects badly on you as an educator as well as a parent.

A critical part of homeschooling is the time that you have to
spend with your children. You may have to give up your friends,
shopping and other entertainment and dedicate all these to your
child. This can become frustrating at times. You have to learn to
take the aggravation with equanimity and wait for the rewards with
patience and enthusiasm.

A parent who is dedicated to tutor his or her child single
handedly does not realistically have much time left over for a
career. This means that the family is robbed of an additional
source of income. In turn, this may lead to stress over finances.
You will have to train yourself to live on a strictly controlled
budget. While this is a matter of habit, it does need some getting
used to.

You cannot take a break when you feel like it. Feelings of guilt
will assail you if you neglect studies just because you are
feeling blue. You also fear that the child will take advantage of
the situation. Even when you have given homework, you have to be
around to give a helping hand. This means that anytime your child
is around you, you are on duty! For some, this may mean working
every waking hour. The child studying at home also needs to get
out more. This comes from staying at home all the time.
Interaction with adults and other children needs to be given
special attention.

Children tutored at home cannot develop in the various directions
that are open to children attending public schools. To achieve
that kind of exposure, you either have to be a super-parent
skilled in everything, or enroll your child to various activities.
This may not only prove too costly, but also be
counter-productive.

It is sometimes observed that homeschooled children do not do as
well in SAT tests as their school-going counterparts. Without a
diploma or a GED, some students find it difficult to get into the
military.

Lastly, if you envision enrolling your child to a public school,
there may be a certain period of emotional as well as social
adjustment. A child who is used to being at home for the whole day
and enjoying so much of uncontained freedom may have to undergo
some distressing emotional upheavals before he or she gets used to
the rigors of a regular school life.

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Homeschooling the teenager

As children start maturing into adults, parents feel insecure
about homeschooling. Many parents then discontinue the 
homeschooling process and happily hand over the reign to outside 
authorities. But is this really necessary? Is the strictly 
compartmentalized education provided in schools a better option?

If social concerns are worrying you, look for interest-oriented 
associations, clubs and societies. These offer a lot of support 
for leaders, opportunity for shared experience, and foster a sense 
of belonging. Make up your own group or share this responsibility 
with someone else. Home education support groups provide fantastic 
opportunities to meet your child's needs. This is the best way to 
develop intelligent, self-motivated, healthy and able young 
people. 

If the growing burden of some of the higher level Math or Science 
seems to be beyond you, enlist the help of someone who knows more. 
You can even barter your own services and thus save some money. 
With homeschooling becoming more and more popular, support groups 
will have innumerable resources that help you find the right 
teacher for your child. 

The underlying principle that guides homeschooling is this: any 
child has the innate capacity to grow, develop and achieve its 
full potential. All it needs is the right environment and all the 
right answers. Be there to provide these and think twice before 
you turn over this responsibility to a third party. 

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