Is it really a radical choice for parents to decide to homeschool? Or should we applaud these parents for making the right choice about their children’s education?Some parents nowadays are thinking-out-of-the-box to make sure that their children don’t have only the best education but possess also the right values, principles and attitude toward life. There is an apparent increase in the number of homeschooled students. According to U.S. Department of Education, there are approximately 1,096,000 students who were educated at home in spring of 2003. It is a big leap (approximately 29% increase) compared to spring of 1999 which has only an estimated 850,000 homeschoolers.Let us delve as to why more parents are now taking the radical choice of opting for homeschool education for their children.Away from school bullying. This is one of the primary reasons cited by parents who homeschooled their children. School bullying is very prevalent nowadays. The National Youth Violence Prevention stated that there are over 5.7 million youth who are bullied at school. It is about 30% of total youth population in the United States.It is a disturbing situation with a negative impact to children being bullied at school. Bullied students live a stressful life as they become fearful with possible bullying incidents again. They are scared to be alone like being in the bathroom or in the hallway. Victims will have less interest in attending school also and even the task of riding a bus becomes a terrifying activity.This results in depression, low self-esteem, physical illness, loneliness and in worst cases, suicidal thoughts.Most bullied children also find it difficult to learn at school as they struggle coping with their fear and anxiety. They can hardly focus in the classroom.Other Safety Concerns. Homeschooler parents are worried about the safety of their children in the traditional school. Safety concerns include drugs, negative peer pressure and accidents. Some isolated cases include children being gunned down or murdered at school. Children’s safety at school is unpredictably at stake.Some homeschooler parents perceived that homeschooled children are safer compared to children attending a regular school.Quality Learning. Parents are the primary teacher and models of the children. A ratio of one teacher to two or three students makes a huge difference in the quality of education delivered to a teacher handling 30 to 40 children in a regular classroom.Also, the fact that it is their children, education is more personalized and the result is far better. Schedules for homeschool are flexible also so children are not forced to wake up early to catch the school bus and options for what the children want to learn for the day are possible.Better Person. Parents always want to instill good values to their children. It is one of their intention and hope that their children become a better person but when children attend a regular school, parents can no longer control the other factors such friends, schoolmates and school environment. These are external factors that can influence the children either positively or negatively.Oftentimes children acquire attitudes from their friends at school. Children are vulnerable to adapting certain manners or attitudes which are relative to the kind of friends or clique they mingle and hang out with. On some occasions, they are negatively influence because of peer pressure. For the child to be part of the group or to be labeled ‘cool’ at school, sometimes they do things out of their way.Parents of homeschoolers prefer to train and raise their children the way they would have wanted them to be. They believe that they are more effective in instilling moral and religious values.24/7. This is the best advantage of homeschool. Parents are with their children 24 hours a day 7 days a week.Experience parents always encourage new parents to spend as much time as they can with their children especially in their growing years. This is the stage where children are still dependent to their parents. Once they reach puberty, they now prefer to spend time with their peers and once they reach adulthood, they will spend more time with colleagues, friends and at work.Strong bond. As parents and children spend more time together than the average parents whose children are attending a regular school, the opportunity to develop profound bond and strengthened relationship is inevitable.Homeschool reinforces the value of family.Flexibility. There are parents who are always mobile because of work related issue. Some parents find homeschool very convenient because it allows them to travel without much constraint. Travelling can be planned anytime as there are no worries of missing the classes or interrupting school activities.It indeed gives more flexibility to parents and children to travel.Without doubt, homeschool education offers many benefits to your children and to you as parents though critics always question the socialization life of the homeschool children. Are they really being deprived of their socialization skills?Homeschool curriculum nowadays have supplement activities like pottery classes, museum visits, karate classes and so on. There are many institutions also that offer and organize different activities for homeschool children. If you can just do a little research and get connected with the right network or community of homeschoolers, you will be amazed with the available socialization opportunities for homeschool children.Socialization is not limited at school only. There are so many venues that children can develop their socialization skills.So, is it really a radical or right choice to homeschool? Parents know their children better than anyone else and so does the answer to this question.Statistics Resources: www.safeyouth.org, www.ed.gov
There are many roads to homeschooling. Mine started with a conviction that it was a good thing to do. Why had I formed this conviction? Well I had been homeschooled by my mother before she sent me away to boarding school at the grand ol’ age of seven! Yes, I hear you gasp, she had no choice we lived in “woop-woop” so this was a fact of life for me and many of my contemporaries. Actually boarding school wasn’t such a bad place – in many ways it was one of the best schooling experiences I had, and by time I left school I’d had plenty of those. Three years into my schooling career we moved and I then attended a church-based day school. It wasn’t bad either really but before I moved on to Secondary School, we moved again and I ended my primary schooling and did my Secondary schooling at government day schools. By the end I had sampled a fair range – three countries, six schools, day and boarding, private and state.When theoretical merged with practical, the choice became a little blurred. Would I be wise to homeschool my beautiful baby girl or send her to school with all her little friends? I had a few years to think about that I reasoned. When she was about 2 years old, I took her to be examined by a specialist in ADD/ADHD disorders. “Yes” he said, “I’d have no trouble diagnosing her ADD”. Now was my beautiful girl going to wear a label throughout her life – NOT if I had anything to do with it. The wavering was over – despite the legislative hurdles at the time homeschooling was in.To begin with being a law-abiding citizen I had trouble coming to terms with the common understanding in the community that homeschooling was only legal if one was a teacher. Of course this was erroneous – I had every right to educate my children as I wished providing that they were educated, that’s why I live in a democracy!I attended my first homeschooling conference and approached a man whom I knew had been homeschooling for quite a number of years, he had a large family and some were even grown up and successful. “I wish to homeschool, how do I start?” It surely must be the question everyone asks. He looked me up and down and said: “Just do it.” Disappointed at the reaction and lack of purposeful direction I wandered away. What he said makes a great deal of sense now at the end of my journey but made very little at the beginning.By the time my little darling was five, I decided to start, figuring that I had a year to try homeschooling and if I failed miserably she could always just go to school. So I started schooling at home – now forgive me if I say that there is a world of difference between school at home and homeschool, but let me explain. School is mass education, up to six hours a day, particular subjects taught in a particular way – homeschooling is tailored solution – tailored to the teacher, tailored to the students, flexible and one-on-one. It was a journey from schooling at home to homeschooling and it took me a little while to figure it out.It was a bit of a struggle finding suitable material – in fact some I just couldn’t find, especially for the early reading, writing and spelling; so I helped write it! Thus I started as a partner in a literacy business.There were days when I thought it was all too hard, that I was not doing my children justice, that they’d be better going to school, that homeschooling was cramping my style because my children were with me 24/7. As I started finding material I was comfortable with (some of which was out of print – good teaching material is always ‘in date’ even if it’s ‘out of print’), and settled into a routine, it became easier. Funny thing was that every time I doubted some little thing would happen to give me determination to continue my path. Something like seeing a contemporary’s schoolwork and realizing my children could do better, or hearing school horror stories at the various social group meetings we attended.Day followed day and year followed year. As my children became high school age, I gave them the choice to continue homeschooling or attend high school. They all chose homeschooling, doing TAFE short courses as well as their schooling. When time came to go onto tertiary education, they had no trouble doing what they wanted to do. The first chose animation, the second hairdressing. The third is looking at real estate as a career and the fourth – well she’s got a couple of years yet to think about it. Looking back over the time now – hindsight is 20/20 – homeschooling is one decision I will never regret. It was one thing I did SO right.What always bemused me was the reaction I got from people when I told them I homeschooled. The most common question was “What about their socialization?” I often wondered if people asking the question really understood the meaning of the word. I wondered whether people really thought that we lived like hermits, shut away from the world, and shunning society. The answer I heard which I liked best was that if God intended children be mass socialized they’d be born in litters – however that didn’t suit every audience! Over the twenty years I’ve been homeschooling the attitude of people has changed from being quite hostile to one of admiration. Now I think I probably am doing what others lack the courage to do.Another question I got from homeschoolers and others alike was: “What are you going to do when they get to University?” I did endless research on the subject which just confirmed the process we eventually went through when my eldest tried to get into her animation course. Having picked a course she lodged her form with the Tertiary admissions centre with this course in first place. When the offers came out she’d been given her fourth place offer. She contacted the TAFE concerned and they asked if she had a student number – she had as she’d done short courses! Good they said, you are a continuing student. She also found it bemusing that her teachers and students in her class often commented that she “did so well considering she’d been homeschooled” – quite what that meant she didn’t have a clue! If you want to do something badly enough you will find a way to do that – if getting to university is your goal, I’ve no doubt you will achieve it.At the end of the road what was the most important things? Good discipline was certainly one of those – I would never recommend homeschooling to parents who cannot keep order and authority at home – that would make for a very unpleasant journey. Communication is important – your children will go through all the teenage angst but always leave the door open, and teach them never to let the sun set on their anger. Children are masters of justice – they are happy to go along with it if it is fair.Remember that the bedrock of education is literacy. Children (and adults) can educate themselves in anything if they can read, write and spell. It makes life a lot easier if they have basic numeracy – times tables, place value and understanding of the basic arithmetic functions. Recognize learning situations – far from keeping your children insulated from society, let them embrace it as the learning environment it is, challenge them to move out of their comfort zones – their security is to have you along for the experience. Keep it simple; do it well.
Home education in North America is changing, and I’m not sure that it’s for the better. Much of what I observe through working with homeschooling families is very different from what I experienced with my own children several years ago. Today, I would like to open a discussion and perhaps get some feedback from some of you.When I began homeschooling almost twenty years ago, we were a rare breed. There were so few people teaching their children at home that the average person had never heard of it, nor could people understand why we would make such an unusual educational choice. I remember being shy when discussing schooling at home, and when people asked me what I was doing, I mumbled nervously.In time, I developed confidence and my attitude changed from apologetic to proud. I became an ambassador of home education. The more responsible, outgoing homeschooled kids that I met, the more I wanted to shout to a critical world, “Socialization be hanged! Look at these kids!”In the early days of this movement, parents wanted to know why and how to homeschool before they would commit. I can’t remember anyone who casually agreed to do it. No way! In order to pull your children out of school twenty years ago, you had to be radically different, solidly focused or just plain crazy. Never did I hear anyone say, “Oh, heck! Let’s just homeschool this year and see how it goes.”Today, homeschooling is almost commonplace. It seems that everyone knows someone who homeschools, and unfortunately, it also seems as if all of us know someone who has homeschooled poorly. Stories abound of that one, odd homeschooling family that someone knew from someplace. Although not everyone understands it or accepts it, the concept itself no longer seems weird. It no longer shocks anyone. And it no longer requires naked courage to take it on.Because it’s acceptable, it’s so much easier to try it out. A person doesn’t need a burning passion, a firm commitment or a solid philosophy. In fact, many new homeschoolers don’t even know why homeschooling is a good option or how to homeschool well because they have never taken the time to find out. They don’t need to, because they aren’t risking as much today. Rather than studying to find out how to succeed, many just jump in and hope for the best.I remember reading piles of books, attending support group meetings and visiting homeschooling families before I agreed to take it on. I spent an entire summer investigating. It wasn’t an easy sell, but once I was sold on the idea, I charged forward–scared but determined, inexperienced but equipped.Not so today. At least, not everyone. And so we have many people homeschooling for the wrong reasons. And I would have to add that there are many homeschoolers who should not be doing it. Might I say that homeschooling is not for everyone? I hate to say it, but in some of the cases that I have seen in the past five to ten years, the kids would have been better off in public school.Now that I have made such a bold statement, I’m going to leave the discussion and let you mull it over. I hope that some of you will post comments.In my next article, I will continue my thoughts and tell you why I, a committed homeschooler, would dare to speak such heresy.
Ice cream is one of those snacks that feel good in the mouth no matter what time of year it is. It will cool you on a hot summer day, comfort you in the cold winter and you can enjoy as much of it as you want in the spring and autumn. Regardless of the type, slimming or fattening, this dessert is delightful in the mouth.The trend in many homes today is making their own delicious ice cream or other desserts to complement the meals being served for dinner. Owning an home maker is exciting and liberating. There are some things you must consider before buying home ice cream makers:How often do you eat ice cream?
If you do not eat that much, home ice cream makers will only serve to enhance the décor of your kitchen. Be honest when faced with the decision to buy or not to buy. Are you buying it because all your friends are buying? If however you or your kids are an addict, by all means get one. Whipping huge amounts of it will be cheaper than buying. Only be ready to dedicate some hours to preparing the ingredients, if you are using a manual maker. An electric one works faster and is a better option if you are short of time.Is there enough space in your kitchen for this home maker?
Unless you will be making this delicious dessert for a couple of people only, small home ice cream makers will not be of much help. If you will be whipping up for lots of people, then you need a bigger machine with a much higher capacity. If your kitchen is squeezed, you may have to look for another room in the house with more space, where your machine can fit. This is something you must determine before making your purchase, otherwise you won’t have a place to store it when you bring it to your squeezed home.Other things you must put into consideration when you shopping for this home maker are price and availability of ingredients. The two are dependent upon your budget. Keep searching until you find a good quality machine whose price fits within your budget range. Be sure also that you can get the ingredients needed to make a variety of flavors locally and at a cheap price. This way you get to save more.
A good number of people are interested in buying homes for sale by owner or FSBO homes. Buying these types of properties are sometimes inevitable because of the agent’s unwillingness to do negotiations with owners. Let’s take a look at the different pros and cons of buying homes for sale by owner that you need to keep in mind before you decide to do so.More Profit From Negotiation Without The Presence Of A Buyer’s AgentThe process buying a FSBO house usually involves negotiating without any help from a buyer’s agent. This can really be advantageous for the buyer since the buyer’s agent will charge him a commission. The agent will be paid a certain percentage of the sale price of the property as a commission. Aside from this, the buyer’s agent will also be entitled to get a percentage of the difference between the listed price and the purchase price. Moreover, hourly fees as well as promotional expenses add up to the tab.It’s important to take note that the buyer’s agent won’t gain any benefit from getting the buyer the best deal because the commission that he’s going to get will be based on the purchase price. Because of this, the agent may be tempted to forget the best interests of the buyer. A good advantage of having a buyer’s agent on the other hand is that this real estate professional can help market the buyer as someone who’s serious about buying a property while helping him handle paperwork and other important legalities. A good agent will appraise the property and will try really hard to get the best deal for the buyer without thinking about loss of commission.Advantages And Disadvantages Of Negotiating With An OwnerDoing direct negotiations with an owner can be really advantageous since the seller’s agent won’t be present in the scene. This decreases the chances of the price of the property from increasing because of the agent’s attempt to gain more commission. Through this, the buyer can expect that he’s going to spot a lot of cheap properties for sale. However, there’s a danger of the owner not being reasonable enough and him overestimating the value of his property. Because of this, negotiations can become harder and the buyer may be forced to reconsider his offer.It is evident that buying FSBO homes involve quite a number of challenges for people who are aspiring homeowners. The seller, on the other hand, also needs to handle the task of marketing his property without the help of an agent. This is why FSBO homes are advised to people who are confident about buying properties without any help from an agent.