To Homeschool or not to homeschool

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  I sometimes run into folks who downgrade a homeschool education. Usually it is because they feel the kids won’t get “socialized.” I can see where this might have been a problem in the Middle Ages, where a child might be taught by a tutor and have little outside contact, but not in today’s world.
   When I attended public school it was in a one room schoolhouse. We had eighteen kids on the average, one teacher, and a teacher who came in only in the mornings. There were eight grades, no kindergarten. 18 kids + 8 grades, + 1 teacher = outstanding education. It was like going to one great big homeschool. When we reached high school, the teachers would say “You must have gone to a country school,” because we knew so much. That was because we 1) heard the lessons of the grades ahead of us, over and over, 2) had to help teach the younger children as we reached the upper grades, 3) had to figure out our own math and other subjects when the teacher was busy. We had open access to the answer key, and would correct our own papers, then figure out why we got something wrong. We had no bullying (older kids took care of that), no cliques (not enough kids your age), and no major problems. We got along, despite the huge age range, but mainly because of it.
   Later I taught 6th grade in a public school, only to find distinct disadvantages. The main disadvantage is that 1) all the kids the same age are grouped together. This promotes bullying and cliques. Disadvantage # 2 is that they were all supposed to learn the same thing at the same time. This doesn’t happen, so I had to individualize the program and the books they wanted me to teach. I don’t care if it is a public or a private school, if they throw all the same age kids together, they create problems, both learning and social.
   Home schools on the other hand, usually have an age range. They interact with adults more than public school children do. When the older children help the younger ones, they learn to be kind. I’ve gone to homeschool conferences where the kids come too, and in general, all the kids are well behaved. Often the older children in the family are “caring for” the younger ones as they go around to choose their curriculum.
  Home school children are BETTER socialized that public school kids. They do after-school sports, and learn swimming at the area pool while other kids are in school. They do the shopping with their parents, learn how to keep house, maybe animal care or mechanics. Because homeschool takes up half the time during the day than public school does, kids and parents are not trying to squeeze in homework at night when everyone is tired. Home schoolers can take trips as part of their education. They usually end up being independent thinkers, while public school children are put on the “conveyor belt” to be educated as little robots. They learn the family values rather than the teacher’s values. Independent work is discouraged (like in Common Core).
   Homeschool is SAFE compared to the public schools.
   So, YES, I completely recommend home schooling. If you can do it, give up whatever else you are doing, and start. You don’t have your children that long, so any sacrifice is worth the start.
  Even if you can only homeschool for a year or two, there is a big difference in a child’s maturity. A teacher once said, when watching my mature-acting home schooled grandson, “++ is twelve going on seventeen.”
Nancy Radke
Nancy Radke grew up on a wheat and cattle ranch in SE Washinton State. She attended a one-room country school through the eighth grade. She learned to ride bareback at age 3 (Really! It was a common practice.) and when she got off or fell off, she would pull her horse’s nose to the ground, get on behind its ears, and the horse would lift its head so she could scoot down onto its back. She spent most of her childhood exploring the Blue Mountain trails that bordered the ranchlands. She and a friend once took a trail that turned out to be a two day trip. They always rode with matches and pocket knives, so made camp and returned the next day. These long rides worried her parents, but provided plenty of time to make up stories. Her first novel was set in the Blues, and is entitled APPALOOSA BLUES. TURNAGAIN LOVE was the first one published. It rated a four star review from Affaire de Coeur. Scribes World said “Turnagain Love has some fascinating twists and turns, unexpected complications, and charming scenes.” It is light and humorous.
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Nancy Radke

About Nancy Radke

Nancy Radke grew up on a wheat and cattle ranch in SE Washinton State. She attended a one-room country school through the eighth grade. She learned to ride bareback at age 3 (Really! It was a common practice.) and when she got off or fell off, she would pull her horse's nose to the ground, get on behind its ears, and the horse would lift its head so she could scoot down onto its back. She spent most of her childhood exploring the Blue Mountain trails that bordered the ranchlands. She and a friend once took a trail that turned out to be a two day trip. They always rode with matches and pocket knives, so made camp and returned the next day. These long rides worried her parents, but provided plenty of time to make up stories. Her first novel was set in the Blues, and is entitled APPALOOSA BLUES. TURNAGAIN LOVE was the first one published. It rated a four star review from Affaire de Coeur. Scribes World said "Turnagain Love has some fascinating twists and turns, unexpected complications, and charming scenes." It is light and humorous.  View website

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