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My husband and I are a young, growing, Christian, military family. My husband is a Captain in The United States Marine Corps. I am a former Elementary school teacher. We are first time parents to a beautiful little two year old boy, with twin boys on the way! I am a stay at home Marine wife, who loves to bake, cook, sew and craft! I enjoy being a Domestic Engineer. The purpose of this blog is to document the story of our life and adventures as they take place.


We are honored to be serving our country and ask for prayer in our upcoming adventures. We have been blessed tremendously, and thank God everyday for all he has given us!

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

How & Why We Choose To Homeschool





  About a week ago, I received the following comment from a dear reader named Laurel ...




"I've been following your blog for a while, and I'm sure I missed where you mentioned it somewhere, but I have a Sweetie Girl who's just a touch younger than your Robert, and I wondered.... is the curriculum you're using one you came up with yourself or is it standardized somewhere? She's 18 months old but loves learning new stuff and LOVES to read, so I thought it might be fun to get some ideas for activities she might like. You can email me at the google account I'm commenting from or leave a comment here and I'll check back, but I'd love more information. Maybe even a blog post about it? :-) " 
Blessings, 
Laurel 

Dear Laurel, and anyone else who might be interested in which home-school curriculum I use, here is our story...


I am a teacher by profession. I have a Masters in Education. I have been exposed to many curriculum throughout my studies. My husband and I first made the decision to home school our children long before we even were blessed with children. I have taught in both public and private school settings. I am not at all pleased with the public school system in California. I have not had any experience with any other out of state public school systems, so I am speaking from my own experience.

When we first announced that we were going to home-school, we had mixed reviews from both family and friends. Some were thrilled and very supportive, while others were negative and said that, "we can't shelter our children from everything" . We believe homeschooling speaks well for itself! 

Contrary to the most ignorant beliefs, home-schoolers are not  anti-social, ignorant, farm fed, Bible beating, dinosaur-riding indoctrinated fools! In my own small life, I know of home-schoolers who have achieved fabulous professions; Naval Aviators, Pharmacists, Astronauts, Teachers, Classical Musicians, Engineers, Librarians, Social Workers, Medical Physicians etc... 
  

Overall, home-schooled children tend to receive higher test scores on state mandated testing than some of the best public school educated students. 


In researching home-schooling, a friend sent me the following statistics. If you are interested, please continue reading to the end of this post. 

Back to Laurel's original questions;


I found a wonderful Christian home-school curriculum called,  Hands On Homeschooling.


In many ways, I love this curriculum. It is very organized and user friendly. It comes with set lesson plans and templates that are broken down by month, week and day. 

My only complaint is that some of the Bible curriculum for a two year old,  is a little too accelerated for the age appropriateness. I have implemented my own age appropriate Bible Stories in this area. 

If you are interested, the Hands On Home-schooling Curriculum starts at age two and goes up to age five. Here is the link to the website to purchase this particular curriculum; http://www.handsonhomeschooling.com/



I also incorporate some of my own materials and curriculum from The Lakeshore Learning Store as well as from my own bag of teaching tricks.:) 
The bottom line is, use what works for you! Everything in life can become a home-school lesson for a preschooler! Example: While studying circles, take advantage of going on a circle hunt. Look for circles everywhere: tires on a car, a bowl of pasta, a steering wheel on a car and so much more... practical everyday life  has the best teaching instruments you will ever find. 

Fill your home with color, nature, art supplies and music! You will be amazed how an ordinary living room can become a classroom! 

Good luck on your homeschooling adventure, Laurel! We are both starting this journey together! Please let me know how I can be a help to you or anyone else embarking on this journey... :) Blessings to you!

Home School Facts 

Once upon a time, all children were home-schooled. But around 150 years ago, states started making public school mandatory and homeschooling eventually became illegal. It wasn't until the 90's that all states made it legal again. Today, with more than 2 million home-schoolers making up 4% of the school-aged population, it's the fastest growing form of education in the country.


HOME-SCHOOL HISTORY

  • 1840: 55% of children attended primary school while the rest were educated in the home or by tutors.
  • 1852: The "Common School" model became popular and Massachusetts became the first state to pass compulsory attendance law. Once compulsory attendance laws became effective, America eventually relied entirely on public and private schools for educating children. Homeschooling then became something only practiced by extremely rural families, and within Amish communities.
  • 1870: All states had free primary schools.
  • 1900: 34 states had compulsory attendance laws.
  • 1910: 72% of children attended primary school.
  • 1960: Educational reformers started questioning public schooling's methods and results.
  • 1977: "Growing Without Schooling" magazine was published, marking a shift from trying to reform public education to abandoning it.
  • 1980: Homeschooling was illegal in 30 states.
  • 1983: Changes in tax law forced many Christian Schools to close which led to soaring homeschooling rates.
  • 1993: Homeschooling become legal in all 50 states and saw annual growth rates of 15-20%.
Today:
32 states and Washington D.C. offer Virtual Public Schools - free education over the internet to homeschooling families: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, District of Columbia (DC), Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

4 States offer tax credits for homeschooling families: Iowa, Arizona, Minnesota, Illinois.

10 States don't require notification of homeschooling: Alaska, Idaho, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, Connecticut.

14 States require notification of homeschooling: California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Kansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Delaware.

20 States and D.C. require notification of homeschooling, test scores and/or professional evaluation of students: Washington, Oregon, Colorado, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Arkansas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, New Hampshire, Maine, D.C., Hawaii.

6 States require notification of homeschooling, test scores and/or professional evaluation of students; plus other requirements like curriculum approval, parent qualification, home visits by state officials: North Dakota, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rode Island.

No Federal help is available to homeschooling families yet. The IRS says that homeschooling costs "are nondeductible personal, living, or family expenses."

HOME SCHOOL GROWTH

Home schooling is the fastest growing form of education in the country.
  • 1999: 850,000 home-schoolers (1.7% of the school-aged population)
  • 2003: 1.1 million home-schoolers (2.2% of the school-aged population)
  • 2007: 1.5 million home-schoolers (2.9% of the school-aged population)
  • 2010: 2.04 million home-schoolers (4% of the school-aged population)
  • From 2007- 2009 home-schoolers increased ate a rate of 7%/year
  • From 2007- 2009 public-schoolers increased at a rate of 1%/year

HOME-SCHOOL PARENTS

Education Level of Homeschooling Parents (Fathers/Mothers)
  • No High School Degree: 1.4% / 0.5%
  • High School Degree: 8.4% / 7.5%
  • Some College: 15.4% / 18.7%
  • Associate's Degree: 8.6% / 10.8%
  • Bachelor's Degree: 37.6% / 48.4%
  • Master's Degree: 20% / 11.6%
  • Doctorate Degree: 8.7% / 2.5%
Number of children in home-schooled families:
  • 1 child: 6.6%
  • 2 children: 25.3%
  • 3 children: 26%
  • 4-6 children: 35.9%
  • 7+ children: 6.3%
Most important reasons parents say they home-school their kids (students, ages 5-17, 2007):
  • 36 %: To provide religious or moral instruction
  • 21 % : Concern about the environment of other schools: safety, drugs, and negative peer pressure
  • 17 %: Dissatisfaction with academic instruction at other schools
  • 14 %: Unique Family Situation such as time, finances, travel, and distances
  • 7 %: Nontraditional approach to child's education
  • 4 %: Child has other special needs
  • 2%: Child has a physical or mental health problem

HOME-SCHOOL STUDENTS

Standardized achievement tests: On average, home-schoolers rank in at the 87th percentile. (Note: The 87th percentile is not the test score. It is the percent of students that scored lower... so, only 13% of students scored higher.)
  • Boys: 87th
  • Girls: 88th
  • Reading: 89th
  • Language: 84th
  • Math: 84th
  • Science: 86th
  • Social Studies: 84th
  • Core: 88th
  • Parents income <$35,000: 85th
  • Parents income $35,000-$70,000: 86th
  • Parents income >$70,000: 89th
  • Parents spend <$600/child/year: 86th
  • Parents spend >$600/child/year: 89th
  • Neither parent has a college degree: 83rd
  • Either parent has a college degree: 86th
  • Both parents have college degrees: 90th
  • Neither parent has a teaching certificate: 87th
  • Either Parent has a teaching certificate: 88th
Grade Placement compared to public schools:
  • Behind: 5.4%
  • On track: 69.8%
  • Ahead: 24.5%

WHEN THEY GROW UP

Home-schooled Adults' Perception of Homeschooling
"I'm glad that I was home-schooled"
  • Strongly Agree: 75.8%
  • Agree: 19.4%
  • Neither: 2.8%
  • Disagree: 1.4%
  • Strongly Disagree: 0.6%
"Home-school gave me an advantage as an adult"
  • Strongly Agree: 66.0%
  • Agree: 26.4%
  • Neither: 5.7%
  • Disagree: 1.5%
  • Strongly Disagree: 0.4%
"Home-school limited my educational opportunities"
  • Strongly Agree: 1.0%
  • Agree: 4.2%
  • Neither: 6.6%
  • Disagree: 29.2%
  • Strongly Disagree: 58.9%
"Home-school limited my career choices"
  • Strongly Agree: 0.9%
  • Agree: 1.2%
  • Neither: 3.9%
  • Disagree: 18.8%
  • Strongly Disagree: 75.3%
"I would home-school my own children"
  • Strongly Agree: 54.8%
  • Agree: 27.3%
  • Neither: 13.5%
  • Disagree: 2.8%
  • Strongly Disagree: 1.6%
Home-schooled / General Population
  • Participate in an ongoing community service activity (71% / 37%)
  • Consider politics and government too complicated to understand (4.2% / 35%)
  • Read a book in the past six months? (98.5% / 69%)
  • Continue on to college (74% / 49%)
"Taken all together, how would you say things are these days--would you say that you are ..."
  • Very happy (58.9% / 27.6)
  • Pretty happy (39.1% / 63%)
  • Not too happy (2% / 9.4)

HOME-SCHOOL COST

Average home-school family spends $500/child/year.
The average public school spends $9,963 per child per year, not including capital expenditures or research and development. 

Hope this was helpful today! 
Blessings,

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