What kind of homeschooler are you?

Just like there are different religions within the Pagan community, there are different types of homeschoolers in the homeschooling community. And, just like so many identify with being eclectic here, they do the same as homeschoolers. As with anything in life, it only works if it works for you, and most often that's a little here and a little there. So here's a few of the "mainstream" terms that you may come across in your homeschooling journey.

First, there's "traditional" homeschoolers. These are the ones who basically recreate school, routines included, at their home. They will have a room set aside for school only, have a strict routine to which they abide, and learn mostly out of textbooks. Not always, but most often these people also are extremely religious and incorporate their religion deeply into their homeschooling, going so far as to buy curriculum that's created specifically for that purpose. For instance, when a Christian buys science curriculum that doesn't teach the Big Bang Theory or the Theory of Evolution, but totally bases it's curricular studies on the Christian Bible and teaches that to their children as if it is fact. That does NOT mean that their parenting skills are lacking or that they are being obtuse.........it means that they are doing what they believe is best for their family, spirituality, and religion.

Another type of homeschooler is an "unschooler." A traditional unschooler is someone who lets their children grow and learn through experience only, answering questions as they come up. They often do not sit down and teach their children how to read, instead they read to their children and wait for their kids to show an interest in reading. When their child needs to know about taxes, that's when they learn. Other than those formal times, these children tend to learn by overhearing conversations, storytelling, reading, and other experience. Again, not good or bad, just another way for parents to raise their children and educate them in a way that fits in with their lifestyle.

Most people fall in-between these two extremes. Depending on your child's needs, you may have to be more of an unschooler with one and more traditonal with another. Some parents must have a routine or they can't fuction throughout their day, and the children must conform to this (and they probably will, since they've been living with them long enough to know that already).

I personally lean a bit more towards unschooling BUT I believe that forewarned is forearmed. I did teach my kids how to read early on, although two took to it like ducks to water and two didn't click with it until later. All four are now avid readers. I also made sure that math was covered early on, but I let science and history become more of a hands on/experience thing instead of a lot of textbook work. We use reference materials to look up anything we don't know, we've spent a lot more time watching the History Channel and PBS and Discovery than we do Disney and Nickelodeon. As they've gotten older, my two oldest girls are doing more formal, textbook history and science. But they often find themselves happily in possession of those facts and being able to put them to good use pretty quickly after they learn them, which only helps to solidify those thoughts in their minds.

I hope this has helped. If you need information about laws in your state, please go to www.hslda.org. One of the best things about this organiziation is that, for a small yearly fee, they will leagally defend your right to homeschool against anyone who tries to say otherwise. Before you homeschool be well versed in the laws of your state and what child protective services can and cannot do; Like I said, forewarned is forearmed and they cannot scare you unless you let them.

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Replies to This Discussion

There's a homeschooler's pen pal group, lots of Christians but we found a pagan family in the UK we correspond with. It's been a way for us to get my oldest to write. Just intro your son there and say you're secular or check out the data base once you join. I'm lucky in that I found a few homeschool groups here that are pretty secular. They have lots of collective experience. I met a homeschooling family at a pagan festival who joined a christian group and just never mentions that they don't feel the same. don't know how she does it really , just smile a lot and don't talk.. but it's a way to get older homeschooling families advice. have you tried an online course for him? I know there are math games...

the pen pal group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/homeschoolpen-pals/
i am new at it but i would say eclectic/unschooler that is of right now


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