When people talk about teaching their children from home in the absence of any definite or structured curriculum, it is perhaps natural to think that homeschooling is cheap. But this is far from the truth. Although homeschooling does not stick to any particular text, this is perhaps more of a bane than a boon, when it comes to finance.
When you need to make sure that your children receives state-of-the-art education so that they can compete with regular school goers, expenses will naturally mount. The actual cost of educating a child at home is surprisingly high. Up-to-date textbooks, course materials, a library, computing equipment, lighting, specially designed furniture all cost money. In this case, the cost may be slightly lesser when it comes to homeschooling the second child. Add to this any additional tuition cost for tutors who come to teach subjects that cannot be handled by parents, like higher-level math or science. The total cost can be a bit mind boggling.
If you take another important factor into consideration, homeschooling costs may effective triple. The need for having one of the parents tied to the house and fully dedicated to providing education deprives the family of a second earning member. The average homeschooling teacher is usually a lady with a college degree. This means that she can easily bring home a pay of $35,000 or more. It is also interesting to note that most families that have more than 2 children do not opt for homeschooling at all.
But, there are those who have been successful in carrying out homeschooling at low rates. This is dependent on the size of the family, the support group, the type of materials used and the availability of the material. When successive children can reuse the materials, cost goes down. Much of the course material can be got from vendors of homeschooling materials. A membership in a public library, theatre, concerts, ballets and other cultural events also help in cutting costs. Sometimes, it is even possible to barter expertise. For instance, the mother of an 8-year old gives dancing classes, and her daughter receives drawing classes for free. Support groups allow you to divide the cost of field trips, science projects and fairs.
Whatever the cost, advocates of homeschooling say that the benefits far outweigh these considerations. When you are able to decide what knowledge your child receives and when he or she should be taught and to what extent, it gives you a lot of freedom and a lot of power. Both the children as well as the parents benefit from this mutually enriching experience.
Homeschool – staying connected
The world has become a jungle of knowledge. Wherever you turn, you find a new fruit that just has to be passed on to your child. In the middle of all the knowledge flying to and fro, we sometimes forget to talk and relax with our children. A mom who doubles as a teacher needs to leave the teacher behind and simply become mom for a few hours everyday.
Listen to your child. Do not just hear the words, but notice the emotion too. Many children find it difficult to express exactly what they want. Talk to your child about general stuff and allow him to be ‘just a kid’. When you talk to your child, as for his opinions. Few things please him more. It also adds kilos to his self-confidence.
Most parents interrupt when their children talk. We, as adults, detest it when someone cuts across our lines. Kids keep mum because they are forced to be silent when we shut them up. But this is unhealthy and unfair. Allow your child to finish and then express your views in a rational manner. The child should have the confidence to confide in you.
Gentle parenting is the key to successful homeschooling. Be a parent first, and then a teacher.
The teacher is the key to the success of homeschooling. In mostcases, the teacher is a parent or a close relative. In some cases, parents may divide the subjects between them. Rarely, if both parents are busy, they may hire a homeschool teacher. Whatever the case, children need time with their parents. Parents, as a rule, make very good teachers.
Teaching does not involve a clinical presentation of facts. Learning has to be integrated lovingly into daily life for it to interest the child. That is where parents come in. Grandparents also make great teachers, especially since they have an abundance of patience.
If you feel anxious about your skill or knowledge, relax. There are countless homeschooling resources that are aimed at helping you. Professional curriculum packages, support groups, online help desks, virtual schools and library resources are all available. When you start out, you may want to make use of the commercial curriculum packages. Readymade software also allows you to record and log important achievements.
Local support groups are an excellent source of help, ideas and material. This is where you get to meet experienced homeschoolers, who will be more than happy to offer their insight and advice. Once you settle into the homeschooling routine, you will find yourself tailoring the curriculum to suit your own needs.