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How To Homeschool

Uncle CHiN

Dear Uncle CHiN,

There are so many homeschoolers that are not schooling at all in my city. I am afraid the local school system will get wind of these parents, and make it difficult for families like us who are providing a better education. What do you think?

Signed, Concerned Homeschooler

Dear Concerned,

There are almost as many ways to homeschool successfully as there are homeschoolers. And sometimes the very best homeschooling doesn't look like schooling at all. It might even look like nothing is happening. But I bet a little research will help to allay your fears and boost your confidence in your fellow homeschoolers.

To find out about all the different styles of homeschooling, and especially to understand homeschooling that doesn't look like school, I recommend you start by reading the magazines Growing Without Schooling and Home Education Magazine. You'll find parents describing their childrens' learning experiences in an unstructured homeschool setting. (Yes, kids can and do teach themselves to read with Garfield and Tintin books. And they learn math through catalog ordering, budgeting their allowances, and studying for HAM radio licenses among other activities.)

Next, attend some local support group events like park day and spend some time talking to the kids as well as the parents. I know at least one of the kids will be happy to share his or her latest passion and research with you. (You'll not only learn something about a new topic, but you'll discover just how very good kids can be at teaching themselves.) And when you talk to the parents, you'll find that they are far from neglectful. In fact, they are very aware of what their children want and need to learn and are actively facilitating that learning by providing their students with books, materials, trips to places of interest, and more.

If you're still feeling unsure, talk to your local librarian. Chances are, homeschoolers are among her favorite patrons because they always have such interesting questions and want to research topics that are off the beaten path she so frequently must help traditionally-taught kids to travel. And finally, you might want to attend a homeschool conference or information night. Statewide and local groups sponsor these affairs regularly throughout the year. For information on upcoming events in your area, check with the CHN Local Contact nearest you or call us toll free at: 1-800-327-5339.

Ever yours, Uncle CHiN


   About Testing

   Deducting Homeschooling Expenses

   Homeschooling through the Summer

   On Doing "Nothing"

   On Loving Your Children's Company

   Over Eager Mom

   Private Time for Mom

   Sibling Rivalry

   Teaching Children at Different Grade Levels

   The Many Ways to Homeschool

   Uncle CHiN on ADHD

   Unit Studies

   What About the Prom?

   Winning over a Skeptical Grandma


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