"Is your child a genius? I think so, and I hope you do too. In fact, your child probably has multiple geniuses. The problem is, our current educational system recognizes only one genius. If your child's genius is not the genius the system recognizes, your child may learn to feel stupid in school rather than smart. Worst of all, your child's genius may be ignored or may be damaged in the system."

-Robert Kiyosaki, Rich Kid Smart Kid

"I suppose it is because nearly all children go to school nowadays and have things arranged for them that they seem so forlornly unable to produce their own ideas."

-Agatha Christie

"You cannot teach a person anything; you can only help him find it within himself."

-Galileo

Homeschooling


New to Homeschooling?

If you are new to homeschooling, it might help to read a bit about various homeschooling methods. If you are like most of us, the only method you know is the traditional school method.

However, there are many other ways to homeschool! You'll hear other homeschoolers talking about whether they are unschoolers, unit study learners, classical learners, or follow Charlotte Mason.

Read more and find what will work best for each child—if several methods look good to you, then you can call yourself an eclectic homeschooler, which is the category that most of us are in! Here are a few websites to get you started:

Learning Styles

A major reason why some children are unsuccessful in schools is that the mass education system isn't working for them. Or the teacher teaches according to her learning style. In any case, it's not the fault of the child, and yet virtually every child and parent believes that it is, and this is sad.

If your child has extra problems learning or isn't enjoying learning, look for some books on learning styles or search the internet. Not everyone needs to do this, but if things aren't working out, do a little research and see if perhaps you can better understand your child's learning style.

Special Needs? Not Always!

If your child has been labeled in any way at school, don't automatically accept the diagnosis of the "experts". Many parents report that only the school thinks their child has a problem. Instead of being a slow learner or needing treatment for hyperactivity, it could be that the child is bright and incredibly bored, or is just being a normal kid who doesn't like sitting at a desk all day. Schools also start teaching subjects too early, and young children may be asked to do things that aren't developmentally appropriate for their age.

Socialization... What's to worry about?

When you let people know you are homeschooling, one of the first things they'll ask about is socialization! Homeschoolers call it the "S" question. It's a huge myth that homeschoolers aren't socialized!

Socialization is knowing how to interact with people of all ages, not just one's same age peers. It is not a homeschool problem, even though some homeschooling opponents try to make it an issue. Actually, homeschooling increases socialization! You can't get socialized while sitting quietly at your school desk all day long. Kids in school get punished if they try to socialize, so it's a mystery that the "S" question continues to be spread and believed.

Most homeschooled children have more self control than their schooled peers, and that's part of their socialization. Schools control by threats of punishment or bad grades, and when some schooled children are away from the threat, the sky is the limit, behavior wise. Many haven't learned how to behave in public when there is no threat over their head. That's self control, and it is more commonly seen in children who have been homeschooled.

Some people (often dads) worry about bullies, and want to make sure that homeschooled kids are toughened up like school kids. Bullies can't be avoided—they're everywhere, and you don't need to go to school to find them. Homeschooled kids have contact with many different people, and they will learn how to deal with the bullies of life by watching how you deal with them.

Only child worries? Socialization worries should not keep you from homeschooling if you have one child. Young children need time with their parent, and older kids will take care of their need for friends or will ask for your help. And everyone needs time to be alone with their own thoughts!

Curriculum... Get What Works for YOUR Family!

  • There is no "best" curriculum, so you will need to find out what is best for YOUR child! This takes some effort, but there is no rush, and what works best may continue to change.
  • There is no state approved curriculum that you must have. You are welcome to use textbooks or you may find something that works better for your child.
  • Detox, decompress, and deschool are terms used to describe the time when the child is recovering from the school experience. It can take weeks, months, or longer, and is time well spent. If your child has been in school, we will discuss if deschooling is advised when you enroll. Your child's learning will continue during this transition while he/she regains a love of learning.
  • Your curriculum plans should remain flexible. Be willing to adapt and enhance as the year progresses. Sometimes that means replacing curriculum that is not working, and other times it may mean learning something new that you hadn't planned because your child is excited to learn about it!
  • You may know what you want to teach, but your child may have ideas too! Take advantage of that eagerness. Determine what your child needs or wants to know, and then get creative in finding ways to achieve that.
  • For older children, get them involved, and find out what they have always wanted to do that they haven't had the opportunity to do yet. They may surprise you, and they certainly will retain it more because they were part of the process!

Testing

Testing is needed in large public classroom situations where it's the only way to assess and report to the parent, and the State requires it. Cedar Life Academy does not require testing, and you can choose to skip all those tests that schools give. You will know that learning is occurring when you listen to what your child is talking about, or how he responds to a situation or a question. Feedback is an excellent form of testing - it's the best test ever!

Some people must test because a spouse insists upon it. Others just prefer that traditional approach. If you want a formal traditional test, you may order a test and give it to your child.

Visit our Pinterest test board for more information about the controversy of testing children. You might also enjoy How Testing Should Be Seen!

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