August 10, 2015Don't Be Afraid to Homeschool
Posted by Staff at 10:58 AM
I heard a caller from Maine who had questions about homeschooling and almost everything she said ended with, "What if...?" You correctly advised her to forget about questioning herself and setting herself up for failure.
My wife and I raised our granddaughter since she was a month old. When she reached junior high school age, she asked to be homeschooled. I researched homeschooling online and found considerable resources, including educational materials for the student, as well as teacher guides. Like the caller, we also live in Maine and a licensed teacher must sign off at the end of each school year showing the homeschooled student has performed satisfactorily. We had a retired teacher friend who gladly met with our granddaughter periodically to talk with her and monitor her progress. It was easy!
We homeschooled for grades 6, 7 and 8. My wife is a high school graduate, but was not an honors student. I have a couple of years of college, but was not an honor student, and was working full time back then. My wife did the lion's share of the teaching. We were apprehensive and had concerns about how homeschooling would go. Once we began, we found our fears to be unfounded and we were able to achieve the results that we and our granddaughter hoped for.
In Maine, public schools must provide access to sports teams and arts and music programs, even science labs (if memory serves) for homeschooled students. I would hope all states provide that opportunity.
When we reached the high school years, we persuaded our granddaughter to enroll in a private school where she continued her education into the start of her senior year when she started to exhibit some signs of needing more help than that school could provide. She began seeing a therapist who was comforting and understanding. We also had an in-school evaluation and a neuro-psych exam performed. Long story short: We ended up meeting the Special Education director of the regional high school who called together the necessary course teachers and told them, "We will make this happen!" The girl graduated high school with honors thanks to the efforts of the special ed. staff.
The three years of homeschooling helped play a role in the child's success. It wasn't easy, but it was a rewarding experience. One last thing, there are home study parent groups who meet regularly; sometimes in churches and sometimes in homes. Resources are readily available. Your caller was afraid. Fear of failure can lead to failure. It is my hope anyone wishing to homeschool will search the Internet to seek and find the many resources which are out there.
Thank you for all you do, Dr. Laura. You are a treasure!