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All articles are presented to stimulate thought and assist Christian families in homeschooling their children. Articles may or may not reflect the opinions and beliefs of the management of HomeschoolChristian.com.

Frequently Asked Questions About Homeschooling

Is Homeschooling Better for Children?

  1. How does homeschooling differ from government schooling?
  2. Is it true that the home education environment is linked to high academic achievement?
  3. Is it true that home education minimizes issues of child safety?
  4. Is it true that home education builds up society?
  5. How do you homeschool on a shoestring and still provide a quality, high caliber education?
  6. Why homeschool? Are the government schools that bad?
  7. Why do homeschooling families say homeschooling parents choose to build strong families and take primary responsibility?

How does homeschooling differ from government schooling?

In our homeschool, we are able to focus in on our daughter's weaknesses. When she doesn't understand something, we have the freedom to go over it until she does. In government schools, the teachers do not have this liberty. They teach the best they can, and go on to the next thing. There are bound to be children who just do not understand something; unfortunately, they are lost in the shuffle. At best, the teacher hopes they will "pick it up" during the next year.

Another difference is that we do not have to deal with the discipline problems of a few children. In government schools, this can take lots of time (some things even hours); the rest of the children are put on hold while the troubles are resolved.

Also, my daughter does not have to take the time to "change classrooms" for different subjects. Our home is the classroom! This changing of classes (for older children at least) can take up to an hour per day.

We, as homeschoolers, are free to use the methods that work for us. If a textbook approach is boring and inadequate for our daughter, we are free to use hands-on activities, games, living books, etc. This would not work in a government school setting--too time-consuming and expensive.

All in all, to me, homeschooling is freedom to learn as God directs!--Barbara C.

Is it true that the home education environment is linked to high academic achievement?

Yes. For example, see J. Rakestraw's Ph.D. dissertation from University of Alabama in 1987. Also, see Colfax's Homeschooling for Excellence (4 kids, 4 Harvard scholarships) and Cohen's And What About College? Homeschooled kids on average score 25-35 percentiles above public schooled kids on college entrance exams. "Percentiles" means that the *average* homeschooler does better than 75% to 85% of all public schoolers.--Chuck S.

Is it true that home education minimizes issues of child safety?

Home education will certainly let your child avoid potential situations which are currently plaguing public high schools in America. Of course, one could argue that situations such as occurred at Columbine High School are rare. To be blunt about it, death at the hands of a maniac in a high school (or any place else for that matter) IS a rare thing. However, even 20+ years ago, when I was in high school, kids were beaten up on a regular basis and knife wielding kids were expelled on occasion when they were caught. When my oldest was in public elementary school (K-2nd grade), kids were sent home for bringing weapons to school. SCARY! So, while safety was not a primary factor in our decision to home school, I can tell you that all of our relatives (even the critical ones) told us how thankful they were that we were homeschooling after each incident of school shootings in recent years.--Martha R.

Is it true that home education builds up society?

It only builds up an American society. We were founded as a society which valued individualism. This is why we originally embraced the concept of a liberal education: beyond the 3 R's, one learns history and philosophy to know both what's been tried and how things have worked in the past and also to know what kinds of things there might be. Individualism is not well learned in a prison where you must have permission to go to the bathroom, where the teacher is the final authority on knowledge and how to learn, where well-regimented "learning" stops and starts with a bell every 50 minutes, where a child is told to "deal with it" by the teacher when he is bullied on the playground because teachers don't care to (or fear to) interfere, when the teacher can't get through the planned lesson if a bright child is allowed to ask too many questions. How can a child learn to question authority if this isn't taught by example in public school? The child can't. How can a child learn honorable behavior if a teacher will not show it by example (e.g., controlling bullies and honoring questions)? The child can't. The few good teachers notwithstanding, our current societal troubles are, on balance, more created by public schools than they are by absent parents or TV. --Chuck S.

How do you homeschool on a shoestring and still provide a quality, high caliber education?

Dear Hubby and I live in southern California and manage on one income, and not a big one at that. We manage to homeschool by carefully watching our spending. We don't have a new car, we rent a small apartment. For entertainment and education, we take advantage of free museum days, we go hiking or to the beach or mountains. We camp for our vacations. We also buy our curriculum after tax return time...that way it's not a big chunk out of our budget and we can afford to get the curriculum we really want.. Little things add up. You don't have to scrimp every penny. We make all spending decisions carefully, and weigh when a less expensive item may not give us the value of a more expensive one. For us, another answer was to splurge on a satellite school program, that way, we knew we had a solid curriculum. We are also lucky in that Dear Hubby is a musician and speaks two foreign languages, so we don't need to go to outside help for music or language. We do make some sacrifices in order to homeschool and provide a good education, but it's worth it! --Rochelle C

Here are some ideas to Cut Your Homeschool Budget and to be a Resourceful Homeschooler. Also see HomeschoolChristian.com's Curricula Section for many free resources on all subjects.

Why homeschool? Are the government schools that bad?

"I am much afraid that the schools will prove to be wide gates to hell unless they diligently labour in explaining the Holy Scriptures, engraving them in the hearts of youth. I advise no one to place his child where the Scriptures do not reign paramount. Every institution in which men are not constantly occupied with the Word of God must become corrupt." --Martin Luther (1483-1546) (No e-mail available)

I think so. Choose and read: Sykes' Dumbing Down Our Kids, Evans' EduCrisis!, Sowell's Inside American Education, McEwan's Angry Parents, Failing Schools, Hirsch's The Schools We Need, Lieberman's Public Education: An Autopsy, Bestor's Educational Wastelands, Gatto's Dumbing Us Down, Holt's How Children Fail, Guterson's Family Matters, Coulson's Market Education, Flesch's Why Johnny Can't Read, Duffy's Government Nannies, Bethel's Compulsory Schooling and Human Learning, Gross' The Conspiracy of Ignorance, ... And there are also out of print books which you might get at the library: Goodman's Compulsory Mis-Education, Kramer's Ed School Follies, Klicka's The Right Choice, Rist's The Urban School,...--Chuck S.

School takes 13 years, because that is how long it takes to break a child's spirit. -- MLK, Jr.

The education of all children, from the moment that they can get along without a mother's care, shall be in state institutions at state expense. ---Karl Marx 1848

Make me the master of education, and I will undertake to change the world. --Baron Gottfried von Leibnitz 1716

If the only motive was to help people who could not afford education, advocates of government involvement would have simply proposed tuition subsidies. --Milton Friedman

We are students of words; we are shut up in schools, and colleges, and recitation rooms, for ten or fifteen years, and come out at last with a bag of wind, a memory of words, and do not know a thing.--Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, poet, philosopher

To commit our children to the care of irreligious people is to commit lambs to the superintendency of wolves. -- Timothy Dwight, President of Yale 1795-1817

Fifty years ago, they taught Latin and Greek in high schools. Today, they teach remedial English in colleges. -- Butler Shaffer on www.lewrockwell.com

When an opponent declares, 'I will not come over to your side,' I calmly say, "Your child belongs to us already... What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community.- Adolf Hitler

Also see this article, Mountain Parents Scorn Textbooks, to see how the public school texts have been cleansed of all controversial words such as hero, old, and tomboy.

Why do homeschooling families say homeschooling parents choose to build strong families and take primary responsibility?

Homeschooling takes lots of dedication on the part of the primary teacher, usually the mother. If you are not committed to the idea of a strong family and being the foremost person in your child's education, you are in for a big shock!! If you are tired of others (like teachers, babysitters, etc.) having a bigger influence on your kids and spending more time with your kids than you do, homeschooling is definitely something to investigate further!--Martha R.

The strength of a relationship, good or bad, depends on the time and energy spent on that relationship. If you spend more time harassing people, the greater they will remember and dislike you. Also, the more time you spend working and helping people, the more they will come to like you. Homeschooling requires four to six times the investment of time spent with your children than if they were in school. While some of it is in curbing poor behavior or making allowances for a few minutes of bad mood, the bulk of it is in expanding your child's mind and being a partner in his or her learning and exploration. Just as some children are fortunate enough to have a wonderful school teacher for perhaps just a single class and then remember how that teacher "changed their life", you are in this same position with your homeschooled children in spite of also being their parent and hence their physical authority. All this extra interaction strengthens not only your ties with your children but also with your partner (if you are lucky enough to have one -- some homeschooled children have only one parent at home). --Chuck S.