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Homeschooling: Key Facts and Resources

Have you ever thought of teaching your children at home? More American families are choosing to homeschool their children every year.

By GreatSchools Staff

Homeschooling, which is legal in every state, simply means that you, the parent, take charge of your child's education instead of sending him to a private or public school. If you are thinking about homeschooling, there are some important things you should know.

Some Surprising Facts about Homeschooling

There are no typical homeschool parents

Today's homeschool parents include individual parents with different educational philosophies, groups of families in a community working together and religious families of all denominations.

Parents homeschool for different reasons

As no one description of a homeschool parent exists, neither does one reason for why parents homeschool. The following list, from a 1999 survey conducted by the National Center of Education Statistics (NCES), includes the top reasons parents gave for homeschooling:

  • Concern about the school's environment
  • Dissatisfaction with the school's academic instruction
  • Religious or moral reasons
  • Child has a physical or mental health problem
  • Child has other special needs
  • To develop character/morality

Homeschooling is gaining in popularity

In this same study, NCES found that about 1,096,000 students, or 2.2% of the nation's students ages 5 to 17, were being taught at home instead of attending a public or private school. Of all homeschool students, 82% were educated exclusively at home, while 18% combined homeschooling with classes and programs from local public or private schools. In order to qualify as a homeschool student (according to NCES) a student can't be enrolled in a private or public school for more than 25 hours a week.

Thinking About Homeschooling: Four Key Questions

1. What are my legal rights and limitations?

Laws on homeschooling vary from state to state. Some states just ask to be informed that your child is being homeschooled, others mandate specific curriculum guidelines, and still others require homeschool students to take state standardized tests. Homeschool parents are ultimately responsible for their child's education, so becoming aware of your legal rights and limitations is important.

2. Where do I begin?

Once you have identified the legal process for homeschooling, you'll need to come up with a plan for educating your child that answers three questions: how? what? who?

How will I teach my child?

Methodologies for homeschooling range from using set activities and keeping school hours to a laid-back approach known as "unschooling." Unschooling is based on the notion that children learn best when they are ready; the student decides school hours, subject matter, learning methods and content material. Parents considering homeschooling can research different models and choose the one that best suits their child.

What will I teach my child?

Some parents create and teach their own curriculum, while others buy a commercial program. Curriculum programs targeted for homeschool families include lesson plans, texts, activities and tests. Additionally, local public or charter schools that support homeschooling may offer other helpful resources.

Who will teach my child?

Although many parents take on the task of teaching their children themselves, others recognize they can't do it all. Some parents supplement their teaching by hiring tutors, calling on friends, or enrolling their children in select classes at museums, libraries, junior colleges, 4-H clubs and even the public schools.

3. Will I find support from my local school or district?

Many school districts support homeschooling and will provide parents with curriculum, textbooks and even a space to meet with other homeschool students.

Some schools will also allow homeschool students to enroll part time. These students can study core subjects at home, and then enroll in elective classes at a nearby public, private or charter school. There may also be options for homeschool students to participate in sports or other extracurricular activities. School policies vary, so check with your local school or district to see what level of support they offer to homeschool families.

4. Are there homeschool networks in my community?

Almost every state has homeschool support groups or state centers where parents can go for ideas and resources; some even structure field trips and activities. At a local level, many homeschool families form community networks, where they get together weekly for outings and group discussions. If you try homeschooling, you may want to connect with other homeschool families to help your child develop socially as well as academically.

Comments from readers

"Children are naturally social to begin with - they don't need the "so called" "socialization" - a term made up to make people who wanted to break away from public schooling worry that somehow their child might be damaged by homeschooling. Each child has their very own personality from the beginning. Some children are quiet and like to be less social than others. Some are very outgoing. The so-called socialization in today's "modern" school is nothing less than children run amuck. If you ever watch children being "social" in school today - there are those who are just plain mean to others. They exclude certain kids from being able to play, they mimic the "social interactions" they see on television - they are mean, antagonistic, they exclude others, and there is little adult supervision. Gone is the Golden Rule of Do unto others as you would have done unto you. Just because someone homeschools their child doesn't mean the child suddenly never interacts with other kids. What is different is that eduction is education and social interaction - getting together and having fun and interchange, playing with others - is something done for it's own sake and the social interactions these homeschooled children get are far more valuable than in a setting where everyone is "forced to like one another, or forced to share or whatever the idea of the day is regarding socializing the children!" I've both homeschooled my children and had them in public and private schools. One's Education - skills and abilities learned that will help a child create whatever future he wants to create are by far the most important thing about education. Children learn about human interaction every moment of the day. They see how people treat one another, they either mimic what they see or they learn from it and do something different. Children are human beings after all with a human spirit, a human heart and a human mind - not some unthinking animal that needs to be trained much as a dog would be trained! "
"How is a home schooled child going to learn social skills, the real world (not the TV show), and new things.? I am so glad that I was never home schooled, and I graduated from public high school in 2009! "
"Wow! I can't believe how many closed minded people are commenting on this subject. First of all, homeschooling is a CHOICE that each parent is entitled to make on their own. I would like to know why these negative people are even reading this if they are so against home schooling in the first place. I am sickened by the comments about home schooled children being awkward, stupid or somehow different from children attending a public school. I don't imagine that any of these people would take too kindly to me saying that all children in public schools are bullies,drop-outs, drug affiliated, trouble making tyrants with parents that don't care about their children or what they do and that the reason they are in public schools is because the parents are too lazy to put forth the extreme effort it takes to home school thier children! Not very nice, is it? So maybe before you make outrageous assumptions and take a small amount of unfortunate childrens experiences and lump them all ! together to classify all home schooled children, you might get your facts straight first! Oh,and just in case you are wondering, I have 3 children that are home schooled (2 nineth graders and a second grader)and 2 children that attend the local public school(a 4th and a 5th grader). The home schooled 9th graders both scored proficient in all subjects of their state mandated testing and my 2nd grader is reading at a 5th grade level and her math skills have been assessed at a 4th grade level. My children that are in the public school system are equally intelligent but the do not get the opportunity to work ahead if they complete their work as the home schooled children do! I just felt I needed to put that out there after reading all the negative comments on a subject that obviously is foreign to you negative nellies as it is evident by the ignorance I have seen in some of these comments. To all of you parents who took that leap and decided to teach your children yoursef, all ! the kudos in the world! Keep doing what you think is best for ! YOUR child! To those of you that are thinking about it, I offer the same as advice, do what YOU think is best for YOUR child! (PS. Everybody makes typing errors and misspells words wrong occassionally. It does not in any way make them stupid or incapable of teaching their children! Let he who has never sinned cast the first stone!) "
"This article was really good.I can say from personal experiences that homeschooling is great for finding a way to be an individual, work hard with no distractions, and find people with your same intrests. When i was homeschooled, i was able to enjoy weekly trips not worrying about h.w. or anything. I would definitally choose homeschooling over public schooling for several reasons. Some are, no social problems, no problems with choosing what to wear or anything. I chose to homeschool for 2 reasons. Individuality, and popularity problems. I was treated like the nerd i am proud to be when i wasnt ready for it. And neither me or my parents wanted any of it. Again, i would highly recommend homeschooling. 2.04 million individuals and families already chose. Now your turn. "
"can we use a combination of home and public school education? My son and his father are butting heads on this issue... my sons father wants him in a public school setting while my son wants to be home schooled...honestly todays hostile environment, where my son is harrased and bullied is frightening! I would send him to public school for p.e. or Science wich he loves for socialization.Is their a happy middle where we can meet? "
"I am a Mother of two currently homeschooling one of them who is 4 going on 5. She is presently paticipating in the k12 program, which so far has been a wonderful experience. However it is a lot of work because I have to sit with her through all the lessons, due to the fact that she is still not reading on her own. For the parents who are concerned about socialization, homeschoolers are not always at home. They actually have a lot of liberty to take field trips and have outings with other children that are participating in the program. I am not sure about other programs, but K12 offers many oppurtunities for the children to get out and 'play' in the real world. They have live spelling bees etc. Furthermore, they have better socialization as well as academic oppurtunity because they are not confined behind the four walls of a class room all day every day; where a teacher has to split his/her time between 25-30 people. I hope that this was helpful to parent out there. It is the! best thing!"
"i would appreciate any direction you can give me on finding home schooling resources in nassau county ny. is there a group of families for high school grade 10 who work together. my son can not attend school for the remainder of this year and he must take the regents. i would like to look into home schooling him for the re.mainder of this year. thank you"
"I chose to homeschool my Middle school child for 2 reasons. First, Middle school is the toughest time in the social development of a child. This is the time when identity is really formed, and also the time when ridicule can be the worst. The second, is that the curriculum offered by Florida Virtual School, is better than what is offered by our local public school. Even better, the virtual school choice in many states, including FL is free. I am really happy with my choice, and am not at all concerned about social opportunities, as there are lots of those available to a child who is done with his schoolwork by noon everyday & no homework! I am able to manage my child's education which is the icing on the cake!"
"I am a certified K-8th grade teacher with a Master's Degree and I'm just a practicum away from being a Reading Specialist. I taught in public schools for 6 1/2 years in grades K-2. When I became a mom, I became a stay-at-home mom and I love every minute of it! My son attended an amazing preschool which was creative and open-ended. When it was time for Kindergarten, my son was excited. He was already an amazing reader. At 3 1/2 he read off a propane tank, 'No Smoking, Flammable Gas' and he loved to read Magic School Bus books (2nd grade reading level). However, the ENTIRE year of kindergarten he was only expected to do kindergaren work. What a waste of his time! He never became a behavior problem, but he was just very sad and SO bored! The teacher, who had her Master's plus 30 additional hours, offered nothing for him, even after repeated attempts of asking her to provide something for him. When we had him tested for an exceptional gifted program the tester recomme! nded homeschooling. I told him I didn't believe in it because I was a public school teacher. I believe in it now! I've been homeschooling him ever since 1st grade and it has been amazing! This year he will be in 4th grade and my daughter is starting kindergarten. And, of course, I'm homeschooling her as well. She is an avid reader who is reading at a 3rd grade level. Speaking as a teacher and a homeschooler, you DO NOT need to know EVERYTHING before you start to teach. We learn together! Today we learned all about Ancient China. We read history books together, watched a history DVD for kids, and researched the internet for all sorts of info on Ancient China. It was just as interesting for him as it was for me. My point? It doesn't take the most educated parent, but a loving, involved parent, who will take the time. I am surrounded by homeschooling families who don't have the degrees in education but they have an unwavering committment to fully educate their child. It's a big time committment and a big love committment and you're in it for the long haul. Homeschooling is not just something you do; it's a lifestyle. I wouldn't have it any other way. It is amazing how much info you can get through when you are tutoring one-on-one instead of a classroom of 25! He LOVES to learn, is self-motivated, is very happy, and our family has grown closer than ever. Best of all, I can cater to him academically. I can give to him at the right time and in the right dose all areas of curriculum that he needs to excel. And, he IS excelling. The results of his independent standardized test shows that he is in the top 2 percent for many areas and in the top 5 percents overall. He is social, caring, and we have a long list of activities and groups that keep us all so busy. Teaching was often disappointing to me because of all of the non-essentials that had to be covered and the grip that the NEA had on underperforming teachers. There is no way one teacher can meet the educational needs of 25 kids. It can't be done! I know they do the best they can because I was one of those teachers! Homeschooling, for those who will commit to it, has proved to be a much better option when it comes to educating a child."
"We have tried a variety of schooling options for schooling our gifted kids and have ended up with home schooling or back where we started. To the person that stated that the boys were peeking over the fence at the pool party. Shame on you for not inviting them to join you and your kids. Our kids are involved in scouts, drama classes, music classes, church activities and a wide variety of homeschool activities from bowling to park days. For people to assume that the kids are chained to the house all day is wrong and hurtful. Our oldest daughter is taking three online courses, one outside class and one taught by me. To say that parents are unable to teach their children is wrong. She is fifteen and gifted academically. The school she was in simply added more busy work and called it advanced placement to her already busy life. We never had family time because she had so much homework. She is more relaxed and herself now that she is homeschooled. She is moving at her own pace in her subjects and is learning from other teachers (besides Mom) at home. Our youngest son was bullied by students and also teachers for being different (gifted). He thinks outside the box and struggled with the inside the box thinking teachers that would try to remake him into a dif! ferent child. Read into that, that we had not parented him correctly. After he attempted suicide we decided to never put him in a structured school until he was ready. He is now learning three grade levels ahead of his class and is loving learning again. Why do schools work at crushing the individuality of students? So much depends on the teacher that a student gets. If they get a teacher that loves learning like they do then the student can relax and enjoy school but if not then it can be a horrible year. All I would say to parents that are considering it: Relax and have fun, discover with them and don't try to replicate the school system at home. Your child will learn and you will too. Patience grows in strength like a muscle, it has to be exercised. You can do this, Your child will succeed with homeschooling. Many states have an online homeschool option for students that can not attend a public school for whatever reason. Do a lot of research and find a situation that you can live with. Our son and daughter take their math online because they are gifted at math and I am not. Other classes are taught from a variety of sources to keep things interesting. One is advanced in his studies and the other wishes she were. They will both have transcripts and their act and sat testing will get them into the better colleges and allow them to be merit scholars. You can do this while homeschooling. Also all the other teachers in the world also have a wonderful thing called the teachers manual that tells you what to do when and how to tea! ch and review what the kids need to know. Don't worry you will learn and so will they."
"The article was very informative, but the response section was very educational. People have so many different perspectives for so many different reasons. I have four children who went to public schools until about 4th grade (which was great), but then we decided to homeschool my two eldest boys for middle school. I have a master's in elementary education, but was not ready to create my own curruculim for them. They are now going to the Kings Academy in GA, which has been great for my kids. It is considered Homeschooling, but they go to school two days a week and the rest of the days, they do the work at home with me going over their work and grading their papers-making sure they are on track. My younger children are now at the same school and it has been great. They love the time we spend together as a family and we are not stressed in the mornings or too exhausted to play the recreational sports they are participating in at different seasons. Their ITBS test scores were up! there, they read a lot, and they enjoy learning. We are thinking about enrolling my two older children into the public highschool next year. We want them to get a taste of what the real world is like before they head off to college and I think they would enjoy the extracurricular activities our local high school has to offer (sports, clubs, theatre,..) There are so many options out there and we just reevaluate our decisions every year and try to do what is right by our kids. "
"I am a very concerned parent and very interested in Home schooling my son. I realize I do not have the patience to teach him. I would like to know if there are any contact resources I can call for an educator to teach him for the home schooling. Please send me any information as soon as possible. I am a resident of Anderson,In. This school corpoartion as failed and are under a three year restructoring."
"I have a 17 year old who is the 11th grade at a public school. Right now I really don't know what to do. Last week she had a fight at school with a girl that kept instigating a fight and deliberately struck her, she fought back to defend herself but was suspended. Now that she returned I was told that if she had snother fight she would be cuffed, sent to juvenile then alternative school. This would happen even if she was struck first. I really want to avoid this but I have to be an another school area to enroll her elsewhere. She only has one year left and I don't want her to jeopardize her future. These girls have made the comment that they are gonna gang up on her so now I'm concern that she'll get into problems for defending herself. That is why now i'm thinking maybe I should have homeschool for her. If it's safer. "
"I believe that the option of home schooling is interesting and that all you need is to be determined and willing to go to new levels for your kids I've read the whole page because i have a 4 year old and we are already having 'problems' with him in the public school (its only voluntary pre-kindergarten) it scares me to think my son will continue to let the other children affect how he learns and how he is treated by the teachers. how do we know what goes on in public schools? how are we to know that these teachers are so much more qualified than the average person. sometimes all it takes is extra time and patients for our children the one thing a teacher with 26 children to teach does not have. as far as socialization, it is natural my 4 year old has more guts than i did in my middle school years to go play with other children and it is not because he goes to pre- school it is because as an individual he is outgoing i was not. that is the way it is we are all diffe! rent and there will be goods and bads about every aspect of our whole lives. back to the subject i have nothing but respect and admiration for those homeschooling there kids because they care and are willing to put nothing above there children's quality of life. keep up the good work and make our children's future bright. "
"where do i obtain the legal process for homeschooling for the state of Georgia."
"Scard is spelled Scared-- I just felt uncomfortable not pointing that out since you'll be homeschooling your child."
"I read in one of these blogs that 'what percentages of children get into Ivy league schools???' Answer; ask the author of Eragon....he wrote the book at age 15. I'm sure his mom knows, since he was home schooled."
"My daughter homeschools her 4 kids, and they're 2 grades ahead of the public schools in her area. If I could afford to stay home(not work), I would do the same with my son-he's having a hard time with reading,math,history. His ADHD seems to get in the way sometimes-even with meds."
"i need to know what i have to do to start home schooling my kids and what do i have to have to homeschool them please e-mail me back with some information thank you"
"Someone wrote: 'Homeschooling in my opinion is great if taught by a creditialed teacher - at least. How can a parent who did not attend or complete college begin to teach their own children? I have a financial degree and I'm not comfortable teaching my own children.' What is a 'credentialed teacher' anyway? In most places you take all of six courses and, voila, you're a teacher! No experience necessary. In my state, they are begging for people who want a career change to become teachers, as the pay is so lousy all the experienced teachers are going to other states where the pay is higher. They call it a 'fast track' to a new career. Just take a few classes on Classroom Management and - boom - you're a teacher! Wow. Pardon me if I'm totally not impressed. How much experience do each of the teachers at your school have? Do they know your child like you do? Do they care like you do? (BTW, I went to a private school where all of my teachers had at least Master's degrees and some Doctorates in their given subjects. None of them were 'certified'. A few of them were lousy, but most were excellent. Taking classes on 'how' to teach doesn't make a teacher effective. The best way would be for a teacher to observe a wonderful teacher in an internship-type situation. Sadly, the government schools seem to be satisfied with the assembly line method to turning out carbon copy teachers.) A 'credentialed' teacher might not care - and, more often, doesn't have time to care - if little Beatrice can't read words with more than two syllables, or if little Horace doesn't know what 'place value' means. They have a schedule and they must not digress, or they will get behind. Beatrice and Horace are the problem of next year's teacher who, hopefully, will notice. With all of the curriculum options (online schools and DVD courses) and special classes available to homeschoolers through co-ops and private instructors, a parent need not worry about teaching Trigonometry or Chemistry. At the very least, there are local community colleges who offer such classes. So, you're telling me that you have the ability to help your child learn how to walk, say words, recognize the alphabet, hang up their clothes, sing a song, make a peanut butter sandwich, say 'please' and 'thank you', and millions of other things, but you can't teach your child to read? You have a financial degree, but don't think you can teach your child math - even with the help of a curriculum that shows you step by step what to teach, and some are even scripted? IMO, you either have a low opinion of yourself and what you can do - which is terrible, or you just don't have the desire to do it - which is fine. However, you shouldn't go throwing around statements about thinking a 'credentialed' teacher would be any better at teaching a child than their own parent, who knows them best and desires for them to learn, grow and succeed."
"Since October 22, 2007, I have been home schooling my daughter who is in 9th grade. My school district will not give a curriculum and textbooks. The children are not allowed to be in school and participate in any school activities. I had to come up with my own curriculum. This is New York State. Just thought you should know about this!"
"To the person writing the comment of 10/29/07. I do hope that you find a solution for your family, it is difficult to find the right fit for students who have been diagnosed with ADHD. Hopefully you will find a team of caring educators who are willing to accomodate your students' individual learning styles. However, you should know the reason some parents have decided to educate their children at home is because they've seen grammatical/spelling/punctuation errors in notes written by public school teachers and/or administrators."
"I have two children who are in public school. Both of them have ADHD and are having a hard time with math and reading. I am looking for solutions for their education. I have been reading posts on this site from home school parents and even from a few students. What stands out to me is the large number of posts that contain spelling errors and grammar mistakes. I believe that a lot of parents are well-intentioned but not capable of providing quality education to their children at home. "
"I don't see much mention of the results of homeschooling here. What is the percentage of homeschooled children getting into Ivy League schools, compared with the national average? I have seen that statistically, homeschoolers do much better getting into top colleges. Isn't that what all parents want? N."
"I love the information on this page. I'm a sixth grader who might begin homeschooling this year. This site has really helped me out. Thanks!"
"Colored people????? Are you serious. Who uses that word in the new millenium?"
" I wanted to stop in and leave a comment for myself. Growing up, I really despised going to school everyday. Sure, I had some friends. But as I got older my classmates became more of a burden on me. In 5th grade my mom enrolled my brothers and I into a local 'Charter/Private' school. I hated it there too, it was mostly full of colored people, and there were only 2 other white students in my class. The school year was full of racism, fights, and etc. I was always shy in school and to myself, but those students brought out the worst in me. It wasn't until 7th Grade when we moved out here to California (I previously lived in Michigan), that my mom met someone who homeschooled all of her 4 kids on her own. She lived up in the foot hills. So my mom asked me and I was ecstatic about the idea. It was hard the first year for my mom because she couldn't get my brothers to co-operate and do their work. I loved it and went through my work like water, lol! In 8th grade my mom re-enrolled my brothers into Private School, and I refused to go to attend a public school again. One of her other friends told her about a local Independent Studies school. Its fantastic. At that school they give you all your books, you have a one-on-one teacher meeting every week to discuss your school work. (you teach yourself at home) There are tudors available, home work classes, Math classes, and etc all available to any student. This is all free, as well. The school also has every student take all the State Tests. I excelled in every subject except Math. Its my only lagging subject, but I'm Advanced in Science, Literature, and others. I've been attending this school for 4 years and I love it. I'm actively involved with two local Church Youth Groups, and last year I worked for a year, earning my own money. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and it helped me learn my own spending, and saving, habbits. Being homeschooled gives me a lot of extra free time to enjoy life at my own pace, as well as the option to do extra-curricular things. I thought about attending High School last year and this year for my Senior year, but I know a lot of people that attend several Highschools around here and it makes me cringe at the thought of going there everyday. Being homeschooled has helped me stay focused on my moral standards and keep me out of trouble and away from bad influences around me. I am in no way 'dumb' to the world. I know more than I'd like too. But being home and teaching myself has helped me in a lot of ways. Emotionally, mentally, and Spiritually. I reccomend the idea to all other teenagers and parents! ~Paul (Fresno, California.) "
"High schools, in most neighborhoods, are like battle fields. Our Teenagers are targets of gang bangers (not considered as terrorists), drugs, alcohol and etc. I was searching for a Online High School Education, Public School, and all I found was K-8. Our teenagers are droping out of our high schools due to the reasons mention above, and it is sad that the state (Illinois) does not even provide parents with a peace of mind. No child left behind???"
"My response to some of the negative feedbacks left below is 'They're our children'that is what keeps us individuals.Chosing to homeschool does not make the children outcasts or hide them from the world. We teach our children to say no to drugs and to not talk to strangers. Then why would we be okay with only one way to educate our kids. In todays world if you want to teach your child in a differnt way then'WHY NOT'. I think maybe the kids will appreciate the fact that their parents took that extra step to ensure the time was truly spent on them not one teacher trying to divide their time for 28 or more students. Schools today label to quickly to put children on medication. I think it's a shame that parents are bullied to believe that medicating a child so a teacher can handle their work load will be beneficial for all. These aren't the people I want teaching my children."
"One positive thing I can say about homeschooling is that my seven year old daughter would not have been physically bullied every day at school by an obviously disturbed girl. My son would have been spared learning about incest from a six year old classmate who claimed he was having sex with his cousin. And, lastly, my husband and I would not be in the unfortunate position of suing the middle school where an oversized male student picked up my son over his head and threw him head first to the ground at a pre-planned outdoor Field Day, this after being told to 'settle down' after he picked up other kids off the ground and let them drop. With my son, he said to the teacher 'Oh Yeah?' in defiance and proceeded to pick him up, but instead of just dropping him down, he needed to make a statement. Well, they both won't be seeing the inside of any school any time soon."
"I am giving a presentation on homeschooling for a Public Speaking class I am taking in college. I was searching sites such as this just to find some quick interesting facts that I will be able to include. After reading a few of the comments that were posted by other individuals, I felt very moved to post my opinions and experiences. I was homeschooled for 7 years (second through eighth grade). The reason I was pulled from the school system is because there was a lot of politic-ing going on, and my parents wanted none of it. My father worked 60 hours a week, so it was up to my mother to be the teacher. I also had two younger brothers and a younger sister (the brothers were 2 and 4 years younger than I, and the sister is 7 years younger). All of us were homeschooled for at least 6 years. I played baseball in the local summer leagues, and basketball in local winter leagues. I was able to meet plenty of friends and have a great social life even though I did not attend the public or private school systems. There were also several homeschooling families in our area that we would meet with once a month to socialize and talk about school with. We would also take field trips once every couple of months to the same type of places that a lot of the local schools visited. There were many great families in this grou! p, and to this day I am still very close friends with some. The reason I went back to high school was so I could participate in Junior High/High School Athletics. I could have participated in these activites even though I was homeschooled, but I just wanted to try something different. So I enrolled at the local public school. I had to take an entry test to see where I stood compared to the other kids 'supposedly in my grade.' The reason I quote 'supposedly' is because the counselor at the school thought that I would be way behind, and did not believe a home-taught education could compare to the local public school education. In reality, the test results placed me two years ahead of all the other kids in my 'supposed' grade. I did not go there though, I wanted to stay with friends I met from baseball and basketball, and other kids my age. I graduated in 2003, 20th in a class of 600. I was voted Vice President of Student Senate, onto the Student Advisory Council, and was even! on Homecoming court. I also participated in Theare, Athletics! , Honors Society, and various other programs. I am not listing these items to brag, but rather to show that not all home schooled children are introverts. I knew some that were, but this number was a fraction of the percentage of introverted and non-social students I met in the school systems. I am now one year away from graduating college with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. One of my younger brothers will be entering his junior year of college majoring in performing arts. My other younger brother will be enrolling this fall at a large Division 1 school's honors business program. My sister is successfully making her way through high school, entering her sophomore year this fall. All of us homeshcooled for a long time, during the years where a lot of people make friends that last a lifetime. None of us have had a problem going from homeschooling to a public school. We have all been successful, and made many close friends. If anything, homeschooling helped me when I ! got to college because when every other student was waiting for the professors to spoon feed the information to them, I was reading the text book and teaching myself, just the way I did it when I was home taught (From about 4th grade to 8th grade I had to teach myself, because my mother had two and then three other kids to teach, and was not 'qualified' enough to teach me the math and sciences I took, because she had either forgot it or never learned it in the first place when she was in school). Homeschooling was very rewarding to me. There is no one reason to believe that it inhibited me in any way, compared to all of the people that I graduated high school with. Also, I am in no way a 'one in a million example' of how homeschooling students are. We are the majority. The kids that grow up without friends, and see the world pass them by are by far the minority. Congratulations to all of the parents who have decided to home school their kids. Best of luck to you with every step of the way. Do not let anyone tell you that it is the wrong decision. If you ever have feelings of doubt, that you might not be able to do it, do not give up hope. There are plenty of resources out there. Also, there is a good possibiliy that there are families not too far from you that do it as well. There are more of us than you think."
"I'm thinking of homeschooling my little ones for the elementary years and have to take issue with comments like all homeschooled kids are socially akward. Hello, I believe that's an overgeneralization and negative stereotype. That would be like me saying 'oh I knew a family whose kids went to public school and they did drugs, so therefore all kids in public schools do drugs'. All kids who go to public schools are not the same and neither are homeschooled kids. I think it takes real effort on the part of home schooling parents to motivate their children and to get them involved in activities outside the home. IF our family chooses to homeschool I doubt the kids will be at home most of the day, they'll be in lessons, 4H, scouts, museums, libraries, field trips, etc., which I feel is much more reflective of the real world than sitting in a classroom with a bunch of kids your own age. Where else in the 'real world' is it like that?"
"I lived behind a family who homeschooled their children. Poor little guys. Everytime, my kids % & * yrs old) had their friends over swimming, I would see the homeschooled kid's little heads peek over, wishing they could join us in all the fun. I never saw them outside playing. It was very heartbreaking to see those lovely boys look so lost and alone. Oh wait, they did have their parents to play with. No one on the block even knows their names. That's very sad, I do realize that is not the norm, but I can't help but think any different."
"How are your children ever going to get by in the real world if you don't let them experience the real world? Get a life! I've seen the homeschooled 18-24 year olds come in to work and they quit after a week or two because they can't hack dealing with real people, work experiences or other people's beliefs. Here comes an entire generation who will never be able to do anything but sit on their butts at home and 'communicate' with the world only with their computers... geez... how are these kids ever even going to get married? Arranged marriages? Won't be long and that will be their only option."
"I am looking to home school my daughter she will be in the 6th grade where do I start how do I find out the laws I have tried the internet we live in columbus nebrasks can you heip anyone?"