Homeschooling – The Costs

Home schooling is now, more than ever, being considered as a viable alternative to traditional schooling. The reasons for which are diverse ranging from cultural/religious beliefs to economic matters.

The notion that home schooling is much less expensive than sending your child to an educational institution is prevalent, but not necessarily true. Pound for pound, while a home school education is less costly than a private school, it will likely be more expensive than a public school.

Starting out
For one thing, if you’re just beginning with home schooling (and if you don’t have a teaching background), it is recommended that you subscribe to an independent study program or buy a boxed curriculum suited to your child’s skill level. While these may cost, these will guide your first few attempts at home schooling and help eliminate the trial-and-error process in finding out how to run your home school just right. These services and products range from a low of $300 to a high of $1,500 depending on the program.

Direct costs
However, the costs do not end there. You will need to supplement the program with textbooks as well as workbooks. Up-to-date reference materials are also needed such as an encyclopedia CD-ROM and Internet access. These will require purchases and subscriptions as well.

It will do your child much good to provide proper furniture and fixtures for studying. Getting them a proper study table, a comfortable chair and adequate lighting will show positive results in the child’s attitude towards learning. A computer to aid in their research and homework is also essential.

It is also possible that you may have to avail of tutorial services to cover subjects that you may have difficulty in teaching yourself. These can be done on a per course/per subject basis which may help reduce costs, but not by much. For example, a one-on-one advanced history class for high school students can cost about $300.

To provide a well-rounded education for your child, you will also need to include non-academic activities as well. This may mean music, sport or art lessons and perhaps even planned educational trips to museums and galleries, theaters, and nature parks.

Opportunity costs
These are the direct costs of running a home school program but in calculating the total cost for running a home school, you may also need to consider certain indirect costs.

A study on families on home study programs noted that on average, the parent conducting the home school is the mother, who holds a college degree. It has been calculated that her staying at home, instead of working, costs the family an estimated $38,000 every year – money that could have possibly been used to address the family’s other pending needs.

Helping defray the costs
But before you get fully discouraged with the idea of home schooling, there are ways to reduce the expenses. One way is to participate in support groups for home schooling families.

This affords you a great opportunity to share resources with similar families saving you the need to buy an entire set of materials for your child. Joining groups like these allow you to borrow or swap things like textbooks, boxed curricula or reference materials. An added plus to joining home school family groups in your area is giving your child the opportunity to interact with kids just like him/her who are home schooled as well.

Depending on where you live, some states allow home-schooled children access to public school resources and some local virtual charter schools provide teaching materials for little to no cost. Some will even offer annual stipends to pay for activities like piano lessons. Taking the time to know what assistance you can avail of to help subsidize the costs will more than pay for the effort you made to do so.

Some money-saving tips
It helps to know that if you have other children, the costs of home schooling can be reduced with each child since the materials may be reused or renewed for a much lower cost.

Take the time to explore your public library and use what they have to offer. They’ll be more than happy to see you visit as frequently as every week. This greatly reduces the need to buy books every time and on occasion allows you access to newly published ones that would otherwise be expensive.

Visit yard sales, book sales or swap meets whenever you can. You may just find that perfect study table, teaching aids or that hard-to-find textbook for a fraction of the cost of buying it from a store.

When considering the costs of something as important as your child’s education, it is best to think of them as investments rather than as mere expenses. When managed properly, what money you have can go so much farther than the actual costs as you give him/her a memorable childhood of learning and discovering with you at their side.

Communication Is A Foundation Of Good Homeschooling

Good homeschooling starts with good parent to child communication skills. Regardless of the educational philosophy or the curriculum followed, the most effective educational tool is good, effective communication with your child.

The burden of good communication is definitely on the parents. Children will learn and absorb good skills when guided by the parent but more importantly, by using the parents as role models.

Kids will do as parents do so here are a few guidelines for good homeschool and family communication:

1. Make the Time.
In today’s complex world, it’s even more important to make sure you set aside time to talk. That doesn’t mean you have to hold a formal meeting. Sometimes the best discussions take place while you’re driving the car or puttering around the kitchen.

2. Listen to the Little Stuff.
Kids will talk to you if they know you’re going to listen, whether they discuss heavy issues such as sex and drugs, or everyday things like schoolwork. If your kids know you’re listening, they are more likely to trust you enough to talk about everything in their life.

3. Listen Between the Lines.
Because a lot of kids find it hard to talk to their parents about things that really matter, parents have to pay special attention to what their kids may be trying to say. It helps to pay particular attention to emotions, not just the emotion itself, but its intensity, too.

4. Ask their Opinion.
Few things please children (or anybody else) more than being asked their opinion. You don’t have to ask about important issues all the time, either.

5. Don’t Interrupt.
In a national survey, more than half the children said that when they talked, their parents often or sometimes didn’t give them a chance to explain themselves. It’s a good idea to give your children some extra time to explain their opinion or desires, even if you think you know what they’re going to say.

Building a healthy relationship with your child begins with good communication choices you make each day. When you take the time to listen to your child, instead of brushing her off, you are building connections.

When you respond in a manner that validates her feelings instead of invalidating them, you are teaching her to be caring. When you help her to choose appropriate actions, you are helping her to be more competent.

What are some final things to keep in mind as a role model for effective and positive communication with your children? Connect instead of disconnect, assist instead of taking over, listen rather than lecture. Stop firmly rather than grabbing or jerking.

Help instead of abandon. Explain instead of force. State rather than shriek. Smile more, frown less. Think about your relationship in the long run.

Implementing just a few of these ideas can make a huge difference in your homeschool and family environment. Remember, you just have to start and start with a single step.

Homeschooling And The 4-h Program

If you are planing to access the right combination of outside activities for your homeschooling family, then you are bound to face initial confusion. In case you choose to participate in every class your homeschool group is responsible for, you would never be at home. When you choose the outside activities you would like to participate in, it is important to assess the principles that you are expected to learn by being a part of those projects. People want Christian character to be developed and self-government to be learned, along with biblical stewardship and that the unique individuality of each family member should be brought out during any activity. Every child will excel in his own creative field. You first need to stress on the principle of covenant, as every outside activity requires a lot of commitment.

If you are homeschooling your child, then try to stay as close to your home as possible. The 4-H program offers the best social and schooling choices. According to several sources related to homeschooling, approximately 75% of homeschoolers are involved in 4-H in some or the other way. There are endless choices related to projects and the flexibility you can avail for the time specified to complete any project. If there are any animal projects, then it might be year-round indulgence or just a commitment of six months, before it can be exhibited.

Every year more and more families are getting involved in homeschooling their children, due to a variety of reasons. They apply varying skills and experience in the development of curriculum, planning and time management. A number of experienced and skilled parents have discovered the 4-H curriculum as a resource. The children who are being homeschooled also participate in 4-H events and activities.

Parents are welcoming the 4-H program, since it is research based, appropriate for every age and encourages hands-on fun activities and inquiry based learning. 4-H youth get the encouragement to maintain project records and document their progress effectively, to eventually be incorporated in their portfolio. These project reports can help the youth to understand the processes that are involved in a project, along with effective management of resources, planning and evaluation. They can even improve their writing skills and critical thinking abilities.

The 4-H program can provide you several opportunities for participation in events and activities, promoting learning and social experiences. For instance, if you are a member of 4-H, then you can develop your public speaking skills via the Public Presentation events that take place annually. As a parent you need to be vigilant about the personal information or freedom you provide to others. You can get in contact with your local community leaders, in order to know how much of the personal information they really require.

Through 4-H, there are good chances of your kids benefiting from the mentoring by caring adults. The best thing about 4-H participation is that the kids get to learn the determination and discipline it takes to go through a project, from the beginning to the end. Your children can even learn good record keeping skills, depending on the leadership made available locally.

Online Homeschooling Programs, The Best Teaching Material For Students

Education has always been an important paradigm in society. Education grooms a strong individual and hence inculcates a better well educated society. Online Homeschooling is an important aspect of training manual for students who inculcate in various activities and for them conducting a regular schooling program is not possible. We provide best study material on all subjects for junior and higher classes. Our teaching material, online books, study papers and manuals are written in easy language making learning a fun intrinsic experience. As we see the power of internet in our lives; technology is ruling our lives to maxim; online homeschooling programs are a hit amongst students who refer online education modules!!!
We help students to gain complete knowledge of subject; explain subject matter in a very lucid and easy style, teaching material is accredited by our team of accomplished authors who write with full proficiency and they have experience of many years in online teaching. Our programs have made learning easy and formulated new heights in online education. It is completely an enriching experience to get all the information online rather than going through numerous books so it saves lot of time and hassles. Online homeschooling programs have helped many students who are in higher classes to solve the intricacies of science and mathematics; these difficult subjects have been made easy through online Online Homeschooling . The teaching strategy is so simple that it simplifies the whole process of teaching and makes learning a knowledgeable experience!!!
Parents cite numerous reasons for Online Homeschooling which include better academic performance or results, poor public school environment, lack of teachers attention in a class of many students, religious reasons/ restrictions, improved character/morality development, the expense of private education, and objections to what is taught locally in public school. It may be a factor in the choice of parent child relationship and their teaching methodology preferences. Homeschooling is also an alternative for families living in isolated rural locations or living temporarily abroad. Online Homeschooling Programs are highly beneficial because they have helped numerous people in making education a method of an intellectually stimulated life. As we all know internet is the prime source of all developments, so why not use the benefits of technology for educating kids at home when it is practical, economical and highly resourceful!!!
The world of online education inculcates a series of tests to check whether child has easily grasped the subject or not. To make the curriculum interesting, Online Homeschooling involves a series of educational games as well to indulge student in physical activities which are very important for personality development!!! Students can even learn co curricular activities like playing piano or a violin or he can enroll himself in theatre classes to make his life interesting. The study material is also modified from time to time to involve the new elements being introduced in study patterns.
I would personally recommend as a parent, if you want quality education for your child consider online homeschooling programs because they are the best source of teaching and are very cost efficient

How To Choose The Right Language Arts Program For Your Homeschooling Child

The greatest advantage in the homeschooling is the freedom to select the curriculum. You as parents should not make any mistake in selecting the right subjects, as this affects the success of the child.

If the concept is new to you and are facing difficulty in choosing the right curriculum, then converse with other home schooling families about the materials popularly used and the subjects. You can gain vast knowledge from the experiences of other people.

Finally, trust your instinct, as there is no one better than you as a parent who can think of what is best suited for the academic pursuits of the child. Select a curriculum that suits the needs and interests of your child.

Reading and writing are two main skills, which a child should master, in an educational program. Without these basic skills, he will face difficulty in mastering and learning other skills.

There are various methods to teach reading and writing to a child including phonic instruction, vocabulary, grammar and spelling. When you home school your child, you must teach your child reading and writing. Many curriculum choices are available online and in text form.

. Preschool language – As you start reading out stories to your child, he begins to love the process. He also learns other skills along the way like identifying the front and back of the book, how to hold the book and how to turn the pages gently. The child also starts recognizing alphabets and displays an interest in phonics as he learns the alphabet and the various sounds of the alphabet. At this stage, the main thing to do is to engross the child in the reading activity and begin teaching him pre-reading skills.

. Kindergarten and First Grade – Once you begin the formal education of reading and writing, you can start teaching alphabet sounds and phonics. This technique is available via the various phonics based reading programs readily available in the market. You can teach writing skills to your child by using worksheets. Writing skills are accentuated by first teaching a child how to hold a pencil correctly.

When a child moves to the second or third grade, the focus should shift from reading to writing. You can teach your child vocabulary as a part of literature and teach the meaning of words in a story.

From the sixth and seventh grade, the students increase their theoretical thinking and reasoning skills and this is the right time to analyze literature. Many home schools curriculum programs use the techniques of living books to involve the students to develop ideas about their reading and writing skills.

The key to a successful reading and writing program is to focus on real literature. You should select a subject that interests your child and urges him to read good literature.

There are many resources available for home schoolers. You can choose either single subject curriculum that includes text-books as well as the materials required by the teacher or the Unit Studies program, which integrates writing, reading and literature into an all subject area instruction, based on a theme.

How Much Does Homeschooling Cost

You’ll definitely find that homeschooling entails more expense than conventional public schooling, but also that it will cost considerably less than the annual $2,000 to $10,000 per child that private school tuition typically runs.

The least expensive option is a public school program tailored to homeschoolers. Those programs that allow more flexibility in choosing materials are often a bit more expensive because they may only provide or reimburse for certain “approved” texts and materials, or they may established yearly budget limit for each student. If you choose to other texts than the program recommends, you may end up having to cover the costs yourself. Some programs offer equipment, such as microscopes or computers, for loan during school terms.

Also often provided are “consumables” – items like paper, pens and pencils, workbooks, and so on – although, as well as the other materials, supplies may be limited to specific amounts each school term.

Private homeschooling programs vary mainly accordingly to the services they provide. Some programs, such as Calvert sell mainly complete curriculum packages. In 1995, the average tuition for a complete Calvert curriculum for a single grade was around $450, with their advisory teaching service (grading, testing, record maintenance) costing an additional $220. Calvert requires that textbooks and the teacher’s guide be returned when the course is completed.

Other programs like A Beka Books (a popular Christian-based program), sell individual courses and books as well as complete packages. In 1995, A Beka priced individual books from $.75 to $16 and teacher curriculum guides at about $30. Like Calvert, A Beka sells both curriculum-only packages ($ 120/year at elementary level) and full correspondence programs (around $450/year for elementary grades, $590/year for high school). Homeschoolers at the high school level often use conventional correspondence courses available through public and private universities. Such courses are relatively expensive, typically $100 to $300 per course; textbooks and other required materials may or may not be included in the course fee. For homeschoolers who desire formal credit in specialized topics, particularly in mathematics, sciences, and foreign languages, such courses can be well worth the extra expense.

Less structured private programs may offer per family pricing rather than per child or per course. The Waldorf based Oak Meadow School offers enrollment for an entire family at about $250 per year; curriculum packages (mainly storybooks, novels, and activity guides rather than formal textbooks) range from $150 to $250 according to grade level. Families can opt for teacher assistance for grading, record keeping, and general advice at $65 to $95 per quarter. Clonlara School is extremely flexible with its services and specializes in helping unschooling families. Their 1996 to 1997 fees for record keeping and curriculum advice were $550 for one student, $575 for two or three students, and $600 for four or more students per family. Books and other supplies are additional and vary depending on the type of program you and your family chooses.

Costs for unschooling families are almost impossible to predict, but most families estimate they spend somewhere between $300 and $1,000 for the entire family. Many families buy lots of books, crafts, games, toys, and other “stuff” without keeping official track of whether it is “educational,” and can count items such as computers as general family purchases it rather than as specifically educational. (Some of us deliberately avoid trying to calculate educational expenses, fearing to see the grand total.) Especially with younger children, though, it’s difficult to say that such expenditures differ much from those for conventionally schooled children.

Is Home Schooling Right For You

Many parents believe that it is necessary to have a teaching credential to be qualified for teaching their child what they need to learn to become productive and successful adults. Although it is a tremendous responsibility to teach your own child the rewards can be priceless.

The pros and cons of homeschooling are many, but do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages? With total control over your child’s homeschooling needs you have the flexibility to teach your child values that cannot be taught in a public classroom. On the other hand your time will not be as free as it used to be.

The education a child can gain from a loving and concerned parent will be much greater than is possible to receive in a public school system. You don’t need a teaching credential or even a college degree, just the desire to give your child a quality education. If there are subjects that you don’t feel comfortable teaching it is possible to hire a tutor for those classes. And on the positive side your home school curriculum can incorporate other things such as your own religious and moral beliefs, something that will not be taught in a public school system. By taking control of a child’s education a parent can shape that child’s value system better than anyone else.

There are two main requirements necessary to achieve a rewarding home schooling experience for both you and your child. Obviously you must have a desire to teach your children, that is number one. If you are doing it out of duty or obligation you may soon find yourself in way over your head and wanting to get out. The second requirement is determination. You must truly want your child to succeed and be willing to put forth the time and effort it takes for your child to reach his or her potential. With these two ingredients your child may be able to realize an education that could not be achieved in a public classroom.

You, more than anyone else, want your child to reach their full potential. This is usually not possible in a crowded classroom environment. A child, to learn at their best, must have one-on-one instruction from someone who truly cares for them. And who better than you can give that to them? Public school teachers are overwhelmed by the sheer number of students they must control every day. With the many different learning styles, discipline problems, regulations that need to be followed and other factors a public school teacher cannot spend the individual time with each child that is necessary to bring out that child’s best. Home schooling can help children to blossom and bring out a child’s full potential like nothing else can.

Do you have doubts about your ability to teach? All you have to do to overcome your fear is to visit a public classroom for a day. Visit a kindergarten class or a first grade class and you will see that much of the time spent is merely controlling the children’s behavioral problems. And the lessons that are taught are usually very simple. In a one-on-one home atmosphere you will be able to progress at your own pace.

With a few home school books and lesson plans you will be able to get started very easily. Remember, you are starting your teaching experience with a very young child. And you will actually be able to learn as you go. With a little preparation it is possible to grow with your child. And the first time you see some of your instruction sink into your child’s brain you will feel satisfied that you are performing a very important task. You will surely be surprised at how effective you can be as your child’s homeschool instructor.

Public school teachers have their curriculum all laid out for them. They must follow programs and use materials that others have already approved for them. They must also move at a predetermined pace so that they can get through their study programs even if it means going forward at the expense of a child understanding what has been taught. You, on the other hand, can come up with your own homeschooling curriculum which can include religious or moral beliefs. You can take a field trip anytime you desire. You can make sure your child fully grasps a specific subject before moving forward. This will allow your child the opportunity to learn as they should be learning and at a pace they can keep up with. In a public system the slower children are often left behind.

There are negatives as well as positives however. The biggest negative to home schooling is your time. Your child will most likely receive a more rewarding education at home, but you will be devoting lots of your time to this cause. This could be a big sacrifice, especially if you are struggling financially and need to work. However, with a real desire you may be able to live without luxuries that will give you the time you need to offer your child the education they deserve. Search the internet for lesson plans, other pros and cons, christian home schooling information, home schooling requirements, home schooling books, eclectic homeschooling and other topics of interest. After researching this subject you may find that teaching your child will be even more rewarding for you than it is for your child. If you would like to develop a special bond with your child homeschooling may be the way.