Homeschool Statistics – Homeschooling

Are they important to know about? Consider these questions!How popular is homeschooling? Why do families decide to homeschool? Are homeschoolers achieving at a better level than their public school peers? What about college?These are legitimate questions that come up when I talk about homeschooling. Are there good homeschool statistics to support some of these answers? Yes! Read on for homeschool statistics to help answer these questions!How Popular is Homeschooling?According to the Department of Education, the number of home-schooled students has surged by 74 percent over the past eight years, to 1.5 million.The National Home Education Research Institute, which supports homeschooling, puts the number of home-schooled students above the Department of Education’s estimates, at just over 2 million.Why Do Families Choose to Homeschool?In the magazine, U.S.News, Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, wrote. “The government has eliminated God from the classroom and too often replaced Him with an anti-life, anti-family curriculum that misses life’s deepest meaning.”According to the Department of Education report in 2007, parents homeschooled their children for a variety of reasons, but three reasons were noted as most important.
To provide religious or moral instruction
Concern about the school environment
Dissatisfaction with the academic instruction at other schoolsMany parents find it unthinkable that kids have to go through metal detectors before they can enter their schools.School violence has increased at an alarming rate.According to Isabel Lyman’s article, “An Analysis of Print Media Coverage of Homeschooling: 1985-1996”,The top four reasons given to homeschool were:
Dissatisfaction with the public schools
The desire to freely impart religious values
Academic excellence
Building of stronger family bondsWhat types of Families Choose Homeschooling?
Different races
Social economic backgrounds and religions
Live in the country
Small towns
Single parents
Moms that stay home
Two parent familiesThrough the Scholastic Achievement of Homeschool Students Bob Jones University Press Testing and Evaluation Service, 20,760 students in 11,930 families were surveyed:
One-fourth of home school students (24%) have at least one parent who is a certified teacher.
Home school students watched much less television than students nationwide; 65% of home school students watch one hour or less per day compared to 25% nationally
98% were in married couple families
Most home school mothers (77%) did not work outside the home.What are the results of Homeschooling?The homeschool statistics of “The Scholastic Achievement of Homeschool Students” states:
Almost 25% of home school students were enrolled one or more grades above their age-level peers in public and private schools.
The median scores for every subtest at every grade were typically in the 70th to 80th percentile… above those of public school students.
Home school students in grades 1 to 4 performed one grade level above their age-level.The National Home Education Research Institute institute’s research has found that home-schooled students score about 15-30% above their public-school peers on standardized achievement tests.Home school students do exceptionally well when compared with the nationwide average. In every subject and at every grade level of the ITBS and TAP batteries, home school students scored significantly higher than their public and private school counterparts.Scientific research has shown that home schooled children are 77% more likely to complete a four-year college degree with honors than children who are educated in a more traditional fashion.The HSLDA’s study of 1,657 homeschooling families notes that homeschooled students want to attend college: 69% of respondents pursued a college education.Because home education allows each student to progress at his or her own rate, almost one in four home school students (24.5%) are enrolled one or more grades above age level.Do Homeschooled Students Get Admitted to College?A growing number of colleges and universities around the United States, including Harvard and Yale, are admitting homeschooled students to their freshman classes.The Chronicle of Higher Education recently reported a boom in homeschooled students’ winning admission to selective colleges.In the year 2000, a Times magazine article stated that Stanford University accepted 26% of the 35 homeschoolers who applied–nearly double its overall acceptance rate.23 of 572 freshmen at Wheaton College in Illinois were homeschooled, and their SAT scores average 58 points higher than those of the overall class.Homeschooling students can achieve and do exceptionally well!

Homeschooling an Only Child – Homeschooling

Looking around at the homeschool families you know in your co-op, support group, or church, you might observe that most consist of more than one child. In fact, a 2006 National Center for Education report found that families with three or more children make up 62% of the homeschool population. If you’re one of the few with an only child at home, you may be asking yourself the question, “Can I homeschool my only child?”The emphatic answer is yes, you can. Only-child families reap the same benefits homeschooling provides to larger families. A friend who homeschooled her only son until the age of 10, when their family miraculously grew in size, reminded me that homeschooling, like anything else, is what you make it. If you sow good seed in your homeschool, you will reap an abundant harvest, regardless of the number of children in your home.My husband and I set our hearts to homeschool our kids before we even had any. We’d been introduced to homeschooling just before our now 12-year-old was born. Our reasons for homeschooling mirrored those of most families: to educate the whole child, to keep her heart at home, to raise her with a strong Christian worldview. We paid little attention to her being an only child until I joined a homeschool support group and realized we were in the minority. Only two of the more than thirty families in my support group-including ourselves-were only-child families.I didn’t panic. Our convictions hadn’t changed. We had a God-given vision for our family. I rejoiced in the benefits of only-child homeschooling I could see immediately: an abundance of one-on-one time, more freedom in choosing curriculum and activities, and more flexibility in our schedule than that already afforded by homeschooling.
But first, let’s consider some of the trials you might face as you endeavor to homeschool your only child. Homeschooling an only child does provide some unique challenges, but none of them are insurmountable. Interaction with Others
I don’t believe there’s a homeschooling mom out there who has not fielded questions about socialization. As an only-child family, you might feel doubly targeted. Well-intentioned friends and family argued that our daughter needed to be in a traditional school setting because she didn’t have siblings to help her learn to share and work out differences. Privately, I didn’t want her subjected to a classroom of same-age peers who would help shape her sense of self.So I purposed to fill in the gaps left by the absence of brothers and sisters. One of the first lessons we taught her was respect: for herself, for others, and for things. Simple, I know; also useful as overall life values. Applied to homeschooling, these rules taught our daughter the elements of true socialization, not what society calls socialization. She was taught to respect herself in her thought life and in her image of herself as a bright, compassionate, and strong child of God. Respecting others became important when we visited the library and when listening to the instructions for her math assignment. Respect for things developed naturally out of discussions of God’s creation. Caring for her own toys, the fragile things in our home, and items borrowed from friends grew out of that.We also strove to provide opportunities for our daughter to build relationships. We involved ourselves in church and community events. We attended field trips organized by our support group. We took steps to promote friendships, scheduling time together. We joined our support group in visiting residents at a retirement home once a month, providing our daughter both the benefit of practicing her social skills and the value of being a blessing to others. These activities had as their main purpose to teach her to interact with people in all ages and stages of life.Avoiding a Child-Centered Home
Falling into the trap of a child-centered home is a genuine concern for any parent, especially the parent of a homeschooled only child. With our child being such a large focus in our lives, how do we maintain the proper authority in our home? We make sure her responsibilities at home increase as she grows in maturity and capability. We set the example of serving others by reaching out to widowed neighbors and sick friends. We model a healthy marriage where we make time for each other as husband and wife, and we remember to put God first above all else.One-on-One Time with Parents
Homeschooling already affords valuable quality time between parents and children. When you are homeschooling an only child, that time becomes perhaps even more beneficial. With Mom and Dad as our daughter’s main playmates, we are able to focus on specific skills such as sharing and playing fairly.Once, my husband came in from work and found our daughter and me competing fiercely in a game of Candy Land. Although it’s sometimes tempting to let her win, we know that if we let her win every time, she won’t know how to lose graciously. We are able to devote much of our time to nurturing her gifts and interests and embedding our values into her heart. Regardless of family size, that’s one of the greatest blessings of home education.Freedom and Flexibility
Every child is a one-of-a-kind creation of God, and homeschooling gives us the opportunity to focus on the uniqueness of each child. That’s another one of the blessings we enjoy regardless of family size-which means families like ours can benefit from homeschooling just as much as anyone.We cherish our freedom of choice. We choose the curriculum that compliments our child’s learning style, the amount of time devoted to a subject, whether our child will learn cursive or Latin, workbooks or manipulatives, and on it goes.Different Sizes, Same Blessings
As I’ve emphasized again and again, the blessings of homeschooling are basically the same regardless of family size. Some of the blessings may show themselves in different ways, and to some extent they may vary in quantity. For example, a family with more children enjoys more built-in opportunities to teach qualities such as cooperation and sharing, while a family with only one child enjoys greater flexibility in choosing curriculum and activities. In both cases, the versatility of homeschooling allows families to customize their approach, take advantage of built-in strengths, and fill in potential areas of weakness. That’s the great advantage of homeschooling-it’s customizable, flexible, and adaptable to the unique circumstances of your family.The Journey Is Worth It
What I want to impress upon you, the parent of an only child wondering about pressing on, is this: the journey is still worth it. It may take some creative thinking on your part, but if God has given you the vision to homeschool your child, nothing is impossible with Him. “He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).

Here Are Some Homeschooling Statistics That Might Surprise You – Homeschooling

Attending school every day just isn’t like it used to be when we were kids. Kids are growing up fast in a fast paced world, and the influence of peer pressure, bullying and drug and alcohol influence has become a reality in our nations public and private schools.Parents seeking an alternative education method for their children are turning more often to homeschooling as a viable education option. This article is intended to provide some interesting homeschooling statistics that detail homeschooling facts, percentages of students being homeschooled and primary reasons why parents opt to homeschool their kids. If you are at a crossroads of deciding upon the proper education method for your child(ren) hopefully this information will assist you in making your decision.The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) survey revealed that approximately 2% of children ages 5-17 were homeschooled. Homeschooling for this survey is defined as students who spend less than 25 hours a week in school and were at least partially schooled at home.Approximately 2 million students in this country are currently homeschooled.
Homeschooling doesn’t necessarily mean a life of exclusion. Many sports facilities have special sessions held during normal school hours, to benefit and attract home schooled students and parents alike.The top three reasons parents choose to homeschool their children are as follows:Concern about the school environment (30%), desire to provide a religious and/or moral educations for their children (27%) and dissatisfaction with the academic instruction (17%) provided at local schools.Parents reported the most important reason for their decision to homeschool was to provide a religious/moral education for their child, followed by concern for the school environment, and finally lack of satisfaction with the academic instruction was the final reason quoted.Homeschooling statistics are tracked by the U.S. Department of Education. Below are some interesting statistics about the education level of the parents who have decided to homeschool their children.Most parents have some college classes or vocational education.
25% have Bachelor Degrees.
22% have Masters or advanced college degrees.Homeschooling statistics show the gender population of homeschooled students to be equally split between males and females. The majority of homeschooling households had 2 parents and 2 or more children. Geographic demographics of these families are split down the middle, 50% of households residing in cities and 50% live in rural communities.43% of students homeschooled are in grades K-5, 28% in grades 6-8, and 29% in grades 9-12. Of the students who are homeschooled, 82% of those student are exclusively schooled at home with no outside education, while 18% are attending a school part-time, approximately 9 hours per week. While public schooled children have 49% of parents that are dual income, 56% of private schooled children have dual income families, only about 25% of homeschooled students belong to a dual income family.Additionally, while about 43% of public school and 41% of the private school population come from a household with 3 or more children, a whopping 62% of homeschooled children have 2 or more siblings.Your decision to homeschool should not be based upon national statistics alone but also require your unique parental instinct to know what is best for your child’s learning style. Pros and cons should be carefully weighed and include key areas such as your relationship with your child, available time and resources to teach the lessons required, and social considerations such as sports and extracurricular activities you child enjoys. Hopefully, these homeschooling statistics will assist you in making the best decision for you and your child about your child’s educational future.

Homeschool Laws Vary by State – Homeschooling

Here are examples of states varying between very lax homeschooling regulation to highly regulated. I am comparing Utah and Texas, which are both relaxed, to Washington, which is considered moderate, and Pennsylvania, which has high regulation. You can easily see the variance.Several states, Utah included, do not have rigorous homeschool laws. In Utah, for example, you need to teach certain subjects for a certain length of time, and you need to provide a signed affidavit saying you will do this. However, there is no oversight for this. There are no requirements for assessment, and the state has very few rights to ask whether or not you are following these rules. They cannot inspect where you teach, or decide whether or not you are qualified to teach. As soon as you provide the affidavit, you will be allowed to homeschool in Utah.If that sounds too uptight for you, groups of families may form a “private school” that is exempt from regulation.In Texas, homeschool families are also highly protected. Similar to Utah in the amount (or lack of) regulation, Texas does go further than Utah and actually protect homeschool families’ rights to choose their method of teaching their children.The subjects covered need to include:Good citizenship
grammarIn Texas, homeschool families are considered private schools, and as long as they teach “good citizenship” are free from other regulation. As in many other states, Texas cannot decide whether you are fit to teach, they cannot check in on you, and cannot ask you to provide assessment. A few states, Texas included, has written into the law that homeschooled children cannot be discriminated against when applying to university or college.The history in Texas is litigious: in the 1980s, 80 families were actually tried in court for truancy. Luckily, that opened the door to a legacy in Texas that actually makes homeschooling easy. My hat is off to those pioneer families.Contrast that with Washington, which is considered to have “moderate” regulation.Washington homeschool law provides two options for families. The “homeschooling” option and the “private school” option. The regulations are byzantine compared to Utah or Texas. Subjects that must be taught include:Occupational education
social studies
development of an appreciation of art and musicAnother regulation in Washington is that you must use a curriculum, and you must meed certain criteria if you homeschool your children. Specifically, the parent is supervised by a certificated person who helps plan the year together, has a minimum number of 4 hours in contact each month, and this person evaluates the child’s progress.
the parent has either forty-five college quarter credits or the equivalent
the parent has completed a course in home-based education
the parent is “deemed sufficiently qualified to provide home-based instruction by the superintendent of the local school district.” Also, compared to Texas and Utah that require no assessment, Washington requires standardized testing. This testing needs to be done annually, and in a prescribed manner. The test results must be filed and kept for a certain amount of years.Under the “private school” option, the children are schooled at home by parents using a prescribed curriculum from a private school.Pennsylvania homeschool families have five legal options, some of them a little odd perhaps. Contrasting Pennsylvania with Texas, for example, shows what a huge gap exists from state to state.Under the homeschool statute, families file an affidavit each year. They first must file this affidavit when they begin homeschooling, and then each year by August 1. The affidavit must include the following information:
Name of the parent, name and age of the child, address and telephone number
Assurance that subjects are taught in English
outline of proposed educational objectives by subject area
Assurance of Immunization
Assurance that the child has received required health and medical services
Evidence that the program will comply with the Homeschool Statute
Assurance that the parents, all adults living in the home, and supervisors have not been convicted of certain criminal offences in the last five years.Contrasted again with Texas and Utah, by the end of the school year, parents must submit a portfolio of their children’s work, and in certain grades, they must also include the results of standardized testing. There are rather strict rules about what should be included in the portfolio, as well as who is allowed to provide an evaluation of your child.Last, if your child has been identified as needing special education services, his education plan needs to be approved by a special education teacher or school psychologist.In Pennsylvania, you can also choose to homeschool under the “private tutor” option. You must have a criminal record check, and you must be a certified teacher. If you are, then you may teach your children at home in Pennsylvania. Oddly, the law states that the tutor (mom or dad) must be paid or otherwise compensated for services.Pennsylvania homeschool families may teach their children in their home as a satellite campus of a day or church school. This option works if you already belong to or are willing to join a church based homeschool group. There is a list of these groups available.The curriculum for homeschooling in Pennsylvania must contain:English
History of the United States and Pennsylvania
Safety Education (I am not making this up) Including regular and continuous instruction on the danger of an prevention of fires
Health and Physiology
Physical Education
Requirements for high school are almost the same, including the fire prevention stuff. Students in high school also need a foreign language, but can skip P.E., music, and art.There is also an accredited boarding school or day school option. You may teach your children at home if you are approved under this option.As I sifted through all the information on each state and province’s homeschool regulation, reading through statutes, blogs from parents in the different states, information on each state’s department of education, and information put out by the Homeschool Legal Defence Association, I became more and more amazed at the huge difference between each area. We live in British Columbia, which, after reading and writing on this subject for the past 8 months, I am convinced is the best place to homeschool in North America. I would love to know if there is any correlation between the states with the highest regulation and student results.Another interesting thing I noticed is that some states seem to have an adversarial relationship with homeschoolers, and some seem to actually encourage it. This despite the level of regulation. In fact, I noticed that certain states and provinces seem to have lax regulation coupled with strict penalties for not following them. In this case, the ambiguity could prove to be quite stressful. How can you be sure you have provided adequate instruction if there is no clearly laid out definition of what that means? At least in Pennsylvania, you know what you’re up against.

Socialization for Homeschoolers – Homeschooling

When thinking about socialization for homeschoolers, many people don’t realize that public school children are really the students who are at a disadvantage. They are stuck in school all day while homeschoolers are free to explore the real world. Homeschoolers will learn to be responsible for their own education and not be like their public school counterparts who have everything done for them. Homeschoolers also have the advantage of learning house management skills and work experience and real life skills needed later in life. Here are some ideas for opportunities for socialization for homeschoolers:Volunteer Opportunities – Homeschoolers have more opportunities to volunteer at local businesses or ministries. Whether they volunteer on their own or with a group, they can look around their community and find places that need their help. Some visit nursing homes, help build Habitat for Humanity homes, help with local soup kitchens or food pantries, help Salvation Army volunteers pick up items or organize items in their stores, along with a whole host of other ministries that need extra help.
Homeschool Group Field Trips – Since homeschooling is becoming so popular, just about every county in the United States has a homeschool group available. These groups can often get discounts to local museums or attractions because they have a greater number of students. There are also more ideas available for field trips because there are other moms and dads who want their children to see and experience the activities in the area.
Local Sports Teams – Almost every community I have ever come in contact with has some type of summer baseball/softball leagues. There are often many opportunities for traveling basketball, soccer, volleyball, and baseball teams. Many sports open their elementary and junior high sports programs to anyone in the community. Homeschool groups often band together and form soccer or basketball leagues where homeschool students can compete against other homeschool students.
Church Activities – Besides volunteering to help people, many churches also have youth groups, children’s groups, and choir and singing groups. These are all open to homeschoolers and can have a positive influence in their lives.Many different studies have shown that homeschoolers tend to have a better self esteem and adapt better socially than public school students. Sometimes there is negative socialization in the schools which is actually a disadvantage for socialization that the homeschool students can avoid. Every state in the United States has some form of state and local homeschool organization that make it even easier for students to find socialization opportunities. Many of these organizations have websites where parents can get lists of activities and attractions in their area or state where they can find even more socialization for homeschoolers.If parents are choosing not to homeschool their children because of their view that their children will be unsocialized, then they are not really looking at the big picture.

Homeschooling – What Is Homeschooling? – Homeschooling

There is a fair amount of confusion over what is meant by homeschooling. This confusion is made worse because each state has a specific definition of what is meant by homeschooling, and the different states have different definitions. Throw in several organizations with their definitions, the definition of the educational establishment, and a number of professors of education, and you have quite a collection of definitions. Let us see if we can provide some order to this confusion.The Fundamental CharacteristicsWhile there are many ways to homeschool, let us limit our discussion to the most basic situation, or what can be called the paradigm, of homeschooling. By understanding this case, we can pull out the key characteristics of the definition of homeschooling.First, parents who homeschool have made a conscious decision to manage the education of their child to a much larger degree than present in any other schooling option. In essence, homeschooling parents have decided to control the education of their child in every detail. The homeschooling parents decide what material will be studied, what books will be used, how much time is spent in class, and many other details. The homeschooling parents do not give these decisions over to any other person, such as a school principal, an individual tutor, or even a government official.Second, a child who is homeschooled does his schoolwork at home. This seems rather obvious, but again we are looking at the most fundamental characteristics of homeschooling. A homeschooled child does not go to another location for their education, not a school, not a church, not even the house of another person. While a homeschooled child may take a specific class elsewhere, the central location of education for homeschooling is the home.Third, homeschooling parents are responsible for the actual delivery of the educational material. While a third party can be hired for a specific topic, the parents hold onto the final responsibility of the delivery of the material. The parents make sure the child does the work, the parents make sure the work is graded, and the parents are in charge of the records of the child’s education. The parents can use outside resources to help them with this task, but the final responsibility is with the parents.Who Does the TeachingA homeschool teacher can be any member of the family; it does not have to be a parent. A grandparent, sibling, uncle, or cousin, just to name a few possibilities, can be the teacher for a homeschool child. Having said that, usually the main teacher of a homeschooled child is either a parent or a grandparent, for obvious reasons (discipline, responsibility, etc.).While a child can take a class taught by someone who is paid, having a paid tutor as the main teacher in a homeschool can sometimes be problematic. Some states require that if someone is paid to homeschool a child, that person needs a teaching license issued by the state. If you are thinking about hiring someone to teach your child at home, you need to check with the Department of Education for your state to determine the precise requirements.What Needs to be Done to HomeschoolThere are two different sets of requirements you need to meet in order to homeschool your child. First, there are the legal requirements of the state where you live. These can sometimes be confusing, so make sure you research these requirements thoroughly. Some counties will also have specific requirements for homeschooling, so you need to check with your local board of education as well. Be persistent with government officials because they may very well try to prevent you from homeschooling.The second set of requirements is putting together the resources you want to use for your homeschooling effort. This is usually a set of books and a collection of normal school supplies. The books can be either a prepared curriculum or simply a set of individual textbooks. Both of these can be found online, and many states have conventions for homeschooling where you can buy books as well. You should start off simple, with your focus on the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic. You can add other subjects later, once you have started; however, if you want to start with other additional subjects (art, history, science, and so on), certainly you should do so.Call to ActionMany parents are dissatisfied with the education their child can get in the existing school systems. If you are one of these parents, I would strongly suggest that you consider homeschooling as an alternative to sending your child to a school every morning. From personal experience, I can say that homeschooling is one of the best ways to educate your child.

Virginia Homeschooling – Is it Legal? – Homeschooling

Thinking about homeschooling your children in Virginia? While homeschooling is legal in Virginia, parents need to review the applicable Virginia homeschooling law because Virginia is one of the few states which provides detailed requirements for homeschooling. This article will review some of the main requirements of the law.Code of Virginia Section 22.1-254.1 sets forth the state requirements for Virginia homeschooling. The statute applies to children between the ages of five and 18. Parents providing instruction must have at least a high school diploma or meet one of three other qualifying requirements.Parents are required to notify the division superintendent each August of their intent to homeschool their children and provide the curriculum to be followed and which of the four qualifying criteria they meet. Following the first year of instruction, there are additional requirements for progress reports which include either state mandated testing or some other specified evaluation procedure. In the event children are not making satisfactory progress as measured by testing or an individual assessment by certain persons specified in the law, the homeschool can be placed on probation for one year and the parents are required to submit a remediation plan.The law provides an exemption for children receiving religious instruction or who do not attend school for religious reasons. However, the statute provides some tough guidelines in this area so mere religious belief or moral objection will be insufficient to warrant an exemption.Parents homeschooling children in Virginia would do well to join a homeschooling association or affiliate with a homeschooling school or do both to receive the guidance they need to comply with Virginia’s law on homeschooling since failure to comply with the law will involve the parents in activities that will take away for the time and resources needed for teaching their children.This article has highlighted some of the main features of the homeschooling law in Virginia and is intended to be informational and not the giving of legal advice. Parents should seek the services of a competent attorney or government official to discuss their individual situation.

Homeschooling and Sensory Processing – Homeschooling

Our world is a kaleidoscope of sensations! We see, feel, smell, taste and hear what’s happening all around us. Our senses tap into our emotions making us feel happy, excited or frightened or even aggressive. Homeschooling makes it easier for parents to design lessons to use sensory processing to improve children’s attention, memory and learning. Homeschoolers can use all the sensory experiences around us to stimulate children’s interest. If the sensory input is over-bearing for your child, you can reduce it and work in a quieter, calmer place. Teachers understand this but cannot have the same level of flexibility in designing lessons as Homeschoolers do. Homeschoolers are in the best position to use the senses that work best for their own children. Muti-sensory or multi-modal teaching is teaching which uses many different sensory inputs.Words and senses link together; words can evoke memories of sights, smells and sounds, even of feelings. Senses can evoke memories; but not all are happy or positive memories. Think of how you feel when you smell something which reminds you of childhood visits to the dentist! Not to mention the irritation we feel and difficulty we have concentrating on anything when we have an itch or a stinging insect bite! For some of us, lying on a blanket under a tree, surrounded by grass, flowers and birds is our idea of heaven. How comforted we feel when we cuddle up into a warm, soft blanket! Some of us prefer spending time in a warm bath, with candlelight; while others just want to be in the middle of a big, noisy party!Yes, we all have different sensory processing and therefore different reactions to the sensory world around us. Some of us are sensory-seeking and want lots of movement, action and sound around us. This energises sensory-seekers, who actually function and concentrate better when they have intense sensory input. Sensory-avoiding people are more inclined to want to curl up in a corner when there is too much noise or action. Sensory-avoiding children can go into “shut down” when there is too much sensory input for them. You will notice then that they seem unable to think or to follow your instructions.A child in the wrong sensory environment for their own specific sensory processing, will be negatively affected. Their ability to concentrate, focus attention and process the information will be diminished and they will struggle to learn. Often children are labelled as having Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) or Attention Deficit – inattention type (ADD) because their sensory processing is responding to a sensory environment in a way that makes it very difficult for them to learn. Whether or not your child actually has ADHD or ADD, they will be more in control of their own behaviour and more able to learn if they are in an environment best suited to their sensory processing needs.Homeschooling allows the flexibility to present your lessons using the sensory diet that is best suited to your child’s needs. If your child is a sensory-seeker, you can fill the lessons with lots of pictures, movement, touch and even smell; but if your child is a sensory-avoider, you can find out which sensations help him to feel comfortable and happy for learning. This must be one of the main benefits of homeschooling – you can arrange the environment according to your child’s specific sensory processing and help him to concentrate and learn.Homeschoolers can choose whether your child’s worksheets and books use a lot of colour and pictures or are “quieter” books with less visual stimulation. Homeschoolers can easily arrange for their child to leave his desk and have a short movement break, such as shooting a basket-ball through hoops for five minutes before returning refreshed and re-energised to learn the next part of the lesson. Learning math tables while bouncing a ball can easily be part of a successful homeschool lesson. On the other hand, if your child needs a quiet, still environment in order to concentrate and be in the ‘just right’ energy state for optimal learning, you can place his desk in a quiet part of the house, talk quietly when teaching and not have too many pictures and posters around him.What is important for homeschooling Mums and Dads is that you make a conscious note of your child’s sensory needs. Watch him carefully and find out what seems to energise him and what seems to drain his energy or reduce his concentration. Homeschooling parents can adapt your lessons to your child’s sensory processing needs. This is not pandering to your child, this is optimising his learning! Which is what every parent and teacher wants.Teachers in formal schools still can make many adaptations. It is not only homeschoolers who can design lessons with sensory processing in mind; although it is easier when you don’t have a large number of children in a big class. In formal classes, the teacher needs to use a multi-modal teaching approach and be aware of the children whose sensory processing is being negatively affected by over or under stimulation. When you decide which desk a child should sit in, be aware of the position of the distracting window and which children are sitting near them. Allow movement-seekers a short movement break by letting the class do 5-8 star-jumps next to their desk after each lesson and always be aware of how the volume and tone of your voice affects the children’s ability to hear and register what you are teaching. Teaching in a formal school setting is more challenging than it is for homeschoolers; but adaptations can be introduced to even these formal school lessons to ensure that all the children in the class are able to function at their true level and show themselves and the world just how clever they really are. Be aware of the different sensory processing of the children in your class and you have the key to effective lessons. Happy children, comfortable in their sensory environment are better learners.Great lessons make great learners. Great learners become tomorrow’s great minds!SHARON STANSFIELDRead more articles for advice from an Occupational Therapist with decades of experience in learning and child development. Find out more about: ADHD; Dyslexia; Dyspraxia; pencil grip:

Christian Homeschool Curriculum – How to Decide – Homeschooling

As a Christian homeschooling parent, how do you go about determining which method of teaching is best for your family, or what lessons you should be teaching, and at what speed? Now that you’ve made the decision to begin homeschooling your children, are you still doing things the way they were done in your child’s public school? In other words, are you “homeschooling”, or having “school at home”?Many parents, when they begin to set up their Christian homeschool, end up doing things the way they were done in the child’s previous school, simply because that’s all they are familiar with. Now that’s fine, if that’s what you want to do. But for your children to really be equipped for life, you should really take advantage of the benefits of what homeschooling will permit you to accomplish. Basically what that means is that you, and no one else, gets to choose your objectives and goals for your Christian homeschool, and you get to set the pace in relation to your children’s specific needs.One of the biggeset challenges that most homeschoolers discover is in making a schedule for their homeschool. Some parents use various homeschool software programs, others write their notes in notebooks or on sticky notes plastered everywhere. Some take things one day at a time, some plan for a week, month, or even a year in advance, and some simply don’t make any plans at all. Whatever will be, will be. There’s no right or wrong way to do it, and that’s the beauty of homeschooling. Each family, each child, each mom/teacher is different, and so you do what you are comfortable with.However, when it comes to putting together your Christian homeschooling curriculum [], it becomes much easier, and less stressful, when you make a yearly plan of school objectives and goals. Depending on the goals you have set for you school year, it will be much easier to determine what homeschooling curriculum you will need to help you accomplish those goals.Since no one knows your child better than you do, it is important that the goals you set be based on his/her capabilities. As your children get older, you can get them more involved in the goal-making process. Asking questions about what they would like to learn, where would they like to go, what projects they would love to work on, etc. will help make your yearly curriculum selection process that much easier.

Homeschooling Facts – Research Against Homeschooling – Homeschooling

A lot of research has been done to proof that home schooled children’s academic achievements are better than that of learners in public schools.There is, on the other hand, very little research available to proof arguments against homeschooling.Certain questions that were raised by experts in the education field can, however, not be ignored.Regulation of homeschooling seems to lack dismally in most states of the USA. The parent has the freedom to teach any curriculum and some even work without a specific curriculum.Marty Hittelman, the president of the California Federation for teachers, has a problem with the stringent standards, evaluation and training teachers are subjected to, in public schools, compared to homeschooling parents that are not expected to undergo training or any form of standardized evaluation.According to the California Federation for Teachers, there are also no standards or specific exit exams imposed on homeschooling students, in the California region. This seems to be the rule rather than the exceptions in most of the states. Even though these arguments proof some problems regarding the control of homeschooling by the state, it is necessary to mention that regardless of this, most children being home schooled still have much higher grades than most of their peers in public schools.Further than these specific negatives been pointed out regarding the regulations by the state, the rest of the opposing arguments against homeschooling are just arguments and there is no research available to proof the validity of these arguments.Many of these arguments point to possible problems, that any parent considering homeschooling should definitely be aware of.Most of the arguments against homeschooling rather has to do with the ability of the family to provide the correct homeschooling opposed to definite research that homeschooling is wrong for everybody.There is no argument against the fact that there are many challenges for homeschooling parents and children. Before homeschooling can be successful and be of more benefit to the child than public schooling, the parents will have to realize and overcome these challenges.