Homeschooling history goes back a very long time. It is sometimes not easy for people who have grown up in a world where public schools are seen as the norm to realize that this has only been the case for a very short part of mankind's existence. Until the industrial revolution completely changed the way in which people live, there was very little education anywhere which was not performed at home. Certainly, there were no organized educational authorities demanding compulsory attendance. Even many of the children of rich families who were taught by an outsider were taught in their own homes.
The trend towards public education has been a relatively recent one, and the trend has now started, albeit in a small way, to reverse. There are many people who seriously doubt the value of public education, even though it has been an integral part of social planning throughout the last century. Obviously, there is a great deal of variation within the public education system, in terms of results, because however much you try to standardize the curriculum, there is still going to be a large element of individual input.
Homeschooling history really needs to be divided into two distinct sections. The section of time before the industrial revolution saw homeschooling as very much the standard practice across the whole of the Western world. The practice certainly proved adequate in allowing children to develop the skills they needed to qualify for a trade, earn a living, and keep their own family in turn. This trend only reversed with the sweeping changes brought by industrialization. All of a sudden, men were working together in a place separate from their home, and education began to follow the same pattern.
It can be hard to accept that the model of education to which we have all become accustomed is actually an extremist viewpoint, but that is what it is in reality. By passing compulsory school attendance laws, legislators were effectively doubting the ability of parents to provide for their own children. Yes, there will always be some children for whom homeschooling would never work. There are children with parents who would simply not be capable of providing homeschooling, there are children with abusive parents, and there are children with no parents at all. Clearly, these children need to be provided for, but to actively force all children into education outside the home is unwarranted.
The second part of homeschooling history is the part we are living through now, where we are seeing the inevitable reaction to the over swing of the trend towards public education. Parents who believe that they can do a better job of educating their children than the state system are beginning to assert their rights. The availability of the Internet and support groups has made the dissemination of information much easier, and that is a great help to homeschooling parents. We are potentially entering the most exciting period of time in homeschooling history.
Homeschool help can make the difference between you pushing through and overcoming a bad situation, or failing and falling by the wayside. There is no doubt that homeschooling is a tough assignment, and that it is going to take a lot of time and effort to make it work. It is strictly for dedicated parents who genuinely have the best interests of their children at heart. If you come into this category, you have a chance to make it work. You are still going to need support at some point, though, however dedicated you are.
The very first step you should take if you are considering homeschooling as an option is to familiarize yourself with the requirements of the local state educational authorities. These will not be incredibly strict or stringent, but they will need to be followed to the letter. Once you have read and studied these, you will be able to assess whether or not you think you can handle homeschooling. If the answer is yes, that is the time to begin looking for the right support group. Why leave it any later?
The support group you will find will be ideal in helping you to comply with the requirements. Every parent in the group, including the ones with far more experience than you, will all have to be able to submit the same records to the same authority. If you are part of a national Internet based group, there may be some differences in the exact nature of the requirements, but most of the fundamentals will be the same. In a local group, of course, everyone will have exactly the same reporting requirements.
Joining a supportive home school help group can also give you an insight into how other people teach their children. The imparting of information is an art form in itself, and very few people are naturals at it. The style you adopt should depend mainly on the learning needs of your pupil. There are some children who are studious by nature, and they will adjust well to being given written material and just left alone to absorb it. Most, however, will respond better to a more interactive form of learning and more personal involvement.
Finding a local homeschool help group should not be too difficult if you live in a major city with a large population, but it can be virtually impossible in rural areas. The first step is to perform an Internet search, both using a search engine and the catalog pages which list support groups in every area of the country. These should give you a contact for the local group. If there isn't one, don't worry. You can still get a lot of support through Internet forums and groups. The other possibility, if you know there are other homeschooling families in the area, is to start your own group for home school help
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