This entry is part of 9 in the series article 81


NOTE: This message was originally in conference “Home Education [FIDO]”

and was copied here by Ron Bowden.

NOTE: This message was originally in conference “Home Education [RIME]”

and was copied here by Ron Bowden.

Salutations from Ron Bowden:

This is rather lengthy but I felt that it was informative enough to take up the space:

Home Education – Frequently Asked Questions Page 1

Why do people home educate?

“1. Religious reasons — people feel that schools do not address the spiritual issues and values that they want to convey to their children. In addition, schools do teach other ideas (e.g. evolution) that are at odds with their religious beliefs.

“2. Schools are bad for kids — These people also want to shield their children from the harmful effects of school, but not primarily due to their spiritual values. Often their children have tried school and have had bad experiences there. These parents have seen their children come home from school depressed, angry, feeling stupid. In earlier years, these same children used to be curious, energetic, and happy. Other times, parents don’t even wait for school to have such deleterious effects. They never send their kids to school in the first place, knowing full well what will be in store for them.

“3. Political beliefs — Some people choose to homeschool because of their political beliefs, which tend toward libertarian or anarchist leanings. These people try to disengage themselves as far as they can from institutions of all kinds that encroach on their freedom. These families practice an ethic of self-reliance. They are frequently rural, back-to-the-land types, and frown not only upon schools, but also upon hospitals, prisons, the military, large corporations, and in general, most of the systems and institutions of industrial society.

“4. Close Family — Some people homeschool simply because they like their children too much to send them away on the school bus each weekday morning. They enjoy the company of their children and wouldn’t dream of surrendering them over to some impersonal agency and deprive them of what they feel in a close, loving, nurturing atmosphere.

“Note well, however, that these group are by no means distinct. There is considerable overlap among all four groups. There are also, to be sure, some major differences.”

Alan Moses <alan@edstar.gse.ucsb.edu> adds:

“I’d like to phrase an answer to this question in a positive sense, without resorting to comparisons with school. In addition to the religious, anti-school, political, and family reasons for homeschooling, people homeschool for **educational** reasons; namely that human beings learn best when they are following their interests, that learning is a natural activity that is not dependent on teaching, that learning is an activity that takes place in the world and thus involves family and community as well as the individual, and that homeschooling provides the best environment to support this concept of learning.”

Rowan Hawthorne <rowan@sea.east.sun.com> shamelessly advertises:

“If you are interested in child-centered learning, you might want to try The Learning List. Write to learning-request@sea.east.sun.com and ask for a copy of the charter.”

4. What is the difference between homeschooling and unschooling?

Alan Moses <alan@edstar.gse.ucsb.edu> :

“As I understand the way the Growing Without Schooling crowd uses the terms, unschooling refers more to the process of removing your child from school and overcoming the negative effects of the compulsory education process; homeschooling is the more general term referring to home-based learning. I’d love to come up with a better term than homeschooling, due to the implication that the child is spending all their time at home (see my comments on “socialization” below); but it’s the best I’ve seen so far.”

5. What are the regulations for homeschooling in my state?

How many days/hours are you required to teach? At what age is my child required to attend school?

Sandra Petit <Sandra_Petit@agwbbs.new-orleans.LA.US> offers:

“I have the Home School Manual, and the Home School Source Book. I would be happy to answer any queries regarding school age, required hours or other state regulations, as stated within these sources. The books are copyright 1990 but laws change pretty fast. However, it would be a starting point for a beginner. I don’t know the legalities of actually putting the entire section here so I would hesitate to do that.”

[ See the resources section below for more information on these books. Remember to try your local library first! ]

6. Where can I get textbooks for a relatively low cost?

The first place to go should always be your local, county, state or university library.


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