How Homeschooling Affects Children’s Social Skills

Hands down, one of the biggest concerns about homeschooling is the fear that homeschool students are not learning effective social skills or are not being properly socialized. The presumption is, the best way to socialize your child is to do it through large gatherings of same-age peers, and without having those regular interactions, children will somehow be missing out on important learning experiences. Where does the truth meet the presumption, and how does homeschooling really impact a child’s social skills?

The answer lies in defining “social skills.” If what you are seeking is an environment where self-awareness and self-acceptance is determined for your child by an outside set of teenagers, or if you are seeking the ability for your child to function well in an artificial environment of only similar-aged people, then it’s true. Homeschooling may have a hindering effect on your child. Public and private schools can have many advantages, but social skills development is not necessarily one of them unless you seek the limited situations described above.

True social skills are the abilities to develop habits and tools that allow individuals to function in the society around them for the betterment of the community and in meaningful relationships with others. That definition has nothing to do with the confines of a school setting. Rather, that definition is all about the character of the individual as they live out their daily life, and as homeschoolers will tell you, character training happens all day, every day in a homeschool environment. Thus, one of the primary sources of true social skill development is the family itself.

Social skills are developed as students interact with others of a variety of ages in their own families, and as they witness what goes on in their communities and where the needs are around them. Homeschoolers see daily life every day as they work in a place that has to also function as a home. Homeschoolers must get their work done while the phone rings or the laundry gets done or the business is run, and most homeschoolers also find themselves out in their communities during the week, too. This lets them interact more regularly with business owners and civic leaders, so their understanding of social responsibility can be more acutely in tune.

But these are not the only areas where social skills are developed. Other sources of influence include mentors with whom homeschoolers might work, or clubs that they belong to. It can include churches or church groups that they participate in, scouting organizations, or sports teams.

If the goal is to prepare students to become adults who function in a family, a community, and in a career filled with people of many ages and skills, what better place to develop those abilities than in the homeschool. All of these aspects of daily interaction are afforded to the homeschooler. Positive social skills can be taught responsibly by homeschoolers, and so like anything else, if done well, the affects of homeschooling on social skills development can be hugely successful and rewarding.

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Homeschool Curriculum – 6 Places to Go to Get Exactly What You Need

Now that there is so much home school curriculum available, there are equally as many places to purchase it also. You can purchase it from the author or major retailer or you can purchase your home school curriculum used through various sources. Once you have a list of what you want to purchase for your home school, you can use the list below to find the books and resources at the best price.

1. Internet – The world is open to you on the internet. You don’t have to drive all over your state to find a good deal at a home school fair or garage sale. eBay seems to be the most popular place to purchase home school books, although it is not the cheapest place. I have purchased home school books at book sales and then sold them for much more than my purchase price on eBay. Homeschool classifieds is another good place to purchase home school curriculum online. It is a well organized site with good prices.

2. Library – I used to get some books at the library but didn’t usually find exactly what I wanted there. Now many libraries are using a resource system where they can get almost any book you want from another library. I do this all online. I order the book from my library’s internet system and have them send it directly to my local library. Then my library calls me and lets me know the book is in. I can manage my account online and see when my books are due and even renew online. This system has also helped my daughter do lots of research on making her own spa products. She orders the books from all over the place and has a huge host of information to use in her research.

3. Goodwill/Thrift Stores/Garage Sales – If you enjoy browsing over used books you can find some great deals at these stores. They might have resources you can use, but I have also found home school curriculum in these places.

4. Retired Teachers – Many times elementary teachers that retire will have a garage sale or put an advertisement in the classified section of the newspaper selling off their classroom resources and books. Many times they have paper, art supplies, pens and markers too that any home school can use at any time.

5. Used home school Curriculum Sales – Depending on where you live you can find some great deals from other homeschoolers that want to sell off the books they are no longer using. If the sale happens year after year you can pick your favorite sale and put it on your calendar each year. This way you get a chance to look over many types of books. I know I have thought about purchasing a curriculum and then after looking at it at a home school book fair realized that it wasn’t for us. I enjoy being able to look at many different curriculums that other people have used. If I keep seeing the same unused books over and over again I can tell that not many homeschoolers where happy with the books.

6. Retailers – Obviously you can purchase directly from the author or developer of a curriculum. I would think that you could get more support for the product if you purchase this way. They should be willing to answer any questions or give any support from someone who purchased directly from them at the retail cost.

Sometimes the maze of home school curriculum can be overwhelming, but if you make a list of each child, the subjects they need to study and the books under each subject then you can at least work off that list. If you know your child’s learning style and your favorite style of home schooling that will help you make a more informed decision about what curriculum or books you need to purchase.

My Homeschooling Splurge

Homeschoolers love to network. Despite what many think of homeschooling as isolated and solitary, the truth is quite the opposite. Thanks to the rise of social media, homeschoolers can now network effortlessly across geographic barriers. On one of the social media sites in which I participate, I saw an intriguing entry. The question was posed, “What fun curricula are you purchasing for your homeschool this year?” Immediately I knew my answer!

This year our family has purchased a gym membership. It’s a splurge for us because, as is true for many homeschoolers, we are a large family and a per-person membership fee can add up quickly. However, this particular gym has all of the “usuals,” but it also has classes that are family friendly and trainers on site. We’ve found this to be an excellent addition to our homeschooling curricula because of this.

Not only do we have P.E. covered this way, but we are having a lot of fun in the process. I don’t have to make up my own routines, and I don’t become the task-master for running in place or doing sit-ups. Someone else does it for us, and we all get to “suffer” together. There is nothing like having a group class in dance-exercise to make even the most stoic child giggle at seeing their mom try to salsa, keep the beat, and remember which direction the group is moving, all at the same time. We have even added new words into our family vocabulary that help to build a bond between us. For instance, “Team Dan” can be seen at the gym regularly on Wednesdays, but if anyone talks back, it’s extra “plank time” for them!

Originally, we didn’t foresee the benefits that we are experiencing. We only knew that we needed to get more active and this seemed like a good idea. But, it’s made P.E. fun. It’s increased our physical condition, but also our mental condition.

But that’s just my way of adding some fun into our homeschool program. Fun is good, and better when done with my family. Those bonds go well beyond the subject of P.E. or anything else. So that’s my fun homeschooling splurge this year. What’s yours?

How To Get The Most From A Home Tutoring Program For Your Child

Getting a home tutor for your child can be one of the best things that you can do, especially if there are specific areas that your child seems to be having problems with. The choices you make and how you go about hiring the private tutoring services can, however determine how helpful the whole arrangement turns out to be for your child. As a parent, you want to get top quality with the teaching and this means you ought to pay attention to tutoring elements that matter most.

1. Choose the tutor with caution

The first thing you should do is at least have expectations of the tutor so you are able to qualify the best candidate for your child. Some of the things that you should think about when selecting the tutor for your child are specialization, experience, location, available schedule and the tuition rate. If there is a specific subject that you want handled by the tutor then one specialized in that same subject is best and you also want to think how easy it will be for the tutor to commute to your home for the classes.

2. Decide on tuition subjects and sessions

How long will the class sessions last and what subjects will be tackled is the question that you need to ask yourself here. If you are getting a tutor for a younger child, remember that the attention span for them is shorter compared to older children. Ideally, each session should last anywhere between an hour or two, depending on the age and educational stage of the child. Each session should also only tackle not more than 2 subjects otherwise you will not get anything much from the home lessons.

3. Communicate expectations with the tutor

This is very important to do so that you both are on the same page from the word go. One of the best things you can do for your child is to let the tutor know about their character so they are best prepared to handle the sessions in the best way possible to avoid wastage of valuable time. For instance restless kids may be better handled with interesting lessons whereas playful one will need a strict hand to manage. Be reasonable with your expectations; the tutor may not manage to move your child to grade A in just a few home lessons.

4. Monitor the tutoring materials, lessons and even homework

You want to be sure that the home education is quality enough by checking the materials the tutor is using with your child. A good parent will also take interest in homework given to the child; homework is very important because of how short the sessions are making it hard for everything to be covered. If need be, sit in one or two of the lessons and assess how comfortable you are with the teaching offered by the tutor.

5. Get feedback from your child

Do they feel the lessons are beneficial or not? Feedback especially from older children can help you know whether the home tutoring is adding any value or not so you can make helpful decision with regards to the same.

Disadvantages of Homeschooling – Outweighing the Potential Benefits of a Classroom

Homeschooling is not quite as attractive as when you compare it to attending a regular school in the long run. There are skills that can only be learnt in a public environment whilst allowing the child to become comfortable dealing with other life realities. Home schooling does not readily possess the requirements for children to be productive members of society. As such the disadvantages of homeschooling far outweigh the benefits that might be gained in the short-run.

First of all, to consider homeschooling, one of the parents must be able to devote a large part of their day in not only tutoring the child, but to also research on the necessary materials for the child’s age. Incidentally, even the cost of homeschooling your child is greater compared to sending your child to a school. While there are parents who claim that children who learn at home are more behaved because of the standards set by their parents and tutors, the social cost of it is more than what might be compared to children who go to school and interact with other children.

The disadvantage of homeschooling, in a very large part, is the social cost. Studies have shown that a child who attends regular school, whether it is a private or public one, develops social skills that will allow them to function in society. They are also largely more productive members of society due to the early interaction with other people. Indeed, many homeschooled children often express a desire to attend a regular school because they feel like they are missing out on a lot of things children their age regularly do.

Disadvantages of homeschooling also include the limited knowledge that the child might receive. A classroom environment often invites the knowledge and opinions of other schoolmates, thereby garnering a value-added perspective. While a homeschooled child may learn the principles and basics of matters on literature, history, social studies, they are not enriched with differing perspectives. To this, it is a considerable disadvantage for a child not to experience how other people think.

Children in a classroom setting are allowed to ask questions and are expected to ask their questions, also informing other children that they are not singular in having similar thoughts. There is a sense of camaraderie a classroom setting that benefits children knowing that whilst they are different from each other, learning each other’s backgrounds, they are all pursuing how to get along with one another.