School at Home

Home education is not public school at home. It actually is a completely different way of looking at education and approaching education. It really is teaching tailored specifically to individual children rather than using a standardized set of guidelines a curriculum. It is individualized and effective by virtue of the fact that it does not have to look like a public school classroom. Here are some of the ways it is different:

Standardized periods of learning are usually 45 to 90 minutes long and based on organized schedules that manage large numbers of students, versus flexible periods of learning based on individual students need. For example, if Johnny has ADHD and cannot sit for a long period of time, Reading is done in three-minute increments. Subjects that can be laborious, such as grammar can be interspersed with kinesthetic subjects like Science. Math may take a child only 15 minutes if they are good at it whereas History may take 45 minutes.

Sitting at a desk can be exchanged for lying on the floor, working on a picnic blanket outside, jumping on a trampoline or writing out a lap desk in bed. Students who need to have the freedom to move as they need to can enjoy a more relaxed learning environment and do their work in whatever setting works for them.

School at Home

Educational milestones do not follow a prescribed public school standard. Education is seen as a long-term project and the studentís progress differently in different subjects and at different rates. Each child may vary and be ahead in one subject according to public school requirements will be behind in another subject. The focus is on holistic educational attainment over the long haul versus an episodic progress according to a particular path of progression.

Learning is more collaborative rather than didactic. Students learn from an expert, children and parents participate together in investigating new information and ideas. Interaction, questioning, analyzing and debate predominate over simply listening or taking notes. Critical thinking is stressed over memorization artifact recall.

Nonacademic skills are also taught alongside academic ones. The ability to repair household items, cook meals, and basic entrepreneurship are just as important as English, Math, History, and Science. Academic skills can become practically demonstrated throughout the flow of household life.

Rigid guidelines for scope and sequence of learning our exchange for flexibility and spontaneity to make learning fun. In a certain topic in science is of interest, then trying to get to the book or keep pace is not the focus but instead students can study anything in their particular area of interest and go in depth and do additional research.

The typical classroom setting with an individual teacher is exchange for a variety of different learning environments. Co-ops, cooperative learning among other homeschool families, distance education programs by computer, Internet programs and iPad applications, library education classes, local community college courses, apprenticeships and mentoring programs are all options for homeschool students.

Each curriculum for each subject, which each student has to fit into, is exchanged in homeschooling for multiple resources according to each student's individual needs and learning styles. Not all students work on the same materials and different children in the same family can work through completely different curriculum for any given subject to ensure that one uses materials that best meet their individual specific needs.

These are just a few of the differences in homeschooling. Homeschool parents don't have to make your homeschool into a public school classroom. If you do you may miss the wonderful benefits of home education, the individuation, the flexibility, the holistic approach, the collaborative learning, and the focus on developing personhood. It is exactly that which is different from public school, which makes it unique and wonderful option for many families. Public school is always there for those who want it. Homeschoolers can make their home education what you wanted to be, as unique and special as your own family.