Category Archives: Home Schooling in India

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How to Homeschool Your Child?

Now that you have decided that homeschooling is the way to educate
your child, get ready for the ecstasy and the anxiety – the road
ahead is a bit bumpy, but the rewards more than make up for it.
Producing a well-adjusted and well-rounded personality is no mean

First of all, it is important to check out your state laws on home
. Some states need an affidavit filed with the State’s
education department. There are basically 3 categories for
laws. These are: private school laws, home education
laws and equivalency laws
. Find your state laws. You may also need
to maintain a portfolio that records the child’s educational
. It is important to look into the legal requirements
BEFORE you start homeschooling. Some States also stipulate a
minimum educational qualification for the parent or teacher.

Next, look for a support group. If you live in a friendly or
curious neighborhood, well-meaning friends will try to dissuade
you. At the very least, they may put a lot of uneasy questions in
your mind. A support group that consists of like-minded people
will insulate you from the criticism, pressures and questions of
regular school-goers. Many groups organize fun events like visits
to the zoo, museum, tours to the ice cream shops
etc. And if your
children hit it off with other homeschoolers, they will be able to
build lasting relationships that do not fade when their friends
change schools. These groups provide an important avenue for

The next important thing to do is to select a curriculum.
Depending upon the method of homeschooling, you may choose various
tools that aid you in this process. The internet is also a rich
resource for homeschooling. Do some research and look into the
material that is available.

Set certain ground rules. Homeschooling requires a lot of
self-discipline and hard work. Here is a comprehensive list of the
things you will need:
1) Eagerness to learn
2) Hard work and effort
3) Discipline
4) Time and patience
5) Flexibility
6) Enthusiasm

Consider why you want to opt for homeschooling. Your motives and
your reasons are important pillars on which the whole edifice of
your child’s lessons depends. Also, consult with your children.
Ask them what they feel about homeschooling.

Select a curriculum or custom-make a curriculum that best suits
your child
. Record keeping is an important part of homeschooling.
Look into the various methods of record keeping. Set up a
. Your child does not have to learn 6-7 hours a day. Allow
him or her to dictate the time. Flexibility and fun are the
cornerstones of homeschooling. Do not stuff too many skills into a
single term or year. Prepare a skill list. Make the child learn
the skills that he is ready for.

Gentle parenting is the secret to successful homeschooling.
Children make great advances in learning and show more enthusiasm.
They also turn out to be surprisingly well balanced and well
informed when they are taught at home.

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Home Schooling Teenagers: Preparing For College

Most of the high school years are spent preparing for college and discovering passions for future careers.  This is a time when most home schoolers do not follow a textbook driven curriculum.  Most home schoolers learn by interest driven curriculum and some students even become experts in their field. 

There are diploma programs for home schoolers, which are equivalent to an institutionalized curriculum.  But that is not the only option to provide learning.  Many home schooled teens use selected correspondence courses in specific areas of interest, or take classes at community colleges, or use community education programs, home school cooperatives, or online classes on the Internet.  Students have the opportunity to pursue what they enjoy, which usually involves extra training with a mentor or tutor, or special courses.  There are advance placement courses online or by mail, county immediate school district programs, or private classes, the learning options are endless.

Teenagers should really focus their energies on schoolwork, excellent grades (and grade point average) and the direction they wish to take for a career.  If a student is interested in pursuing a college degree, he/she should practice and prepare to take PSAT, SAT, and ACT.  Some home schooled students get college credits for taking CLEP (College Level Examination Program) courses.  Colleges are seeking students who are well rounded, who have a desire to learn and be a part of the community, and who excel in textbook studies. 

Parents who home school their teenagers cannot teach them everything they are interested in learning.  For instance, a student who is passionate about flying and aviation probably doesn’t have parents who are experts in this field.  Mentorships, apprenticeships, and on the job training are necessary to better learn a skill or trade that is not found only in a textbook.  Experience is more valuable than textbook memorization of subjects.

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Home schooling Teenagers: Curriculum

When designing a curriculum for home schooled teenagers, parents cooperate with their teens and plan the school year together.  Some parents prefer the traditional, text book driven curriculum, especially during the high school years because it opens up options for diplomas and college preparatory courses.  A structured curriculum is not the only way to earn a diploma when home schooling.  Other parents and teenagers prefer the interest driven curriculum, where teenagers are motivated to learn interesting subjects and apply it to the curriculum. 

For college admissions, there are core courses that should be taken.  English, math, science, and social studies should be worked on each year.  Health, language, and fine arts are another batch of classes that should be included each academic year.  This ensures a well rounded individual who has learned the essentials for the age level. 

Parents should not be discouraged to pursue the interest driven approach while still completing the same college preparatory high school curriculum.  Reading and writing is an essential part to communication, which is vital in society.  Most homeschoolers read plenty of books and visit the library often; on average, home school students read many more books than the institutionalized student.  After each book, the student writes an essay, and spelling lists are derived from misspelled words.

When it comes to math, home schoolers use real life math problems, such as consumer math, statistics, gaming and probability, recreational math, mental math, math history, and especially bookkeeping.  Some students use math programs on the computer or Internet.  With math, the repetitive practicing of problems is the only way to learn.

Science can be found anywhere, without a formal lab.  Home schoolers visit hospitals, rivers, volcanoes (if they are lucky!), and any work place.  Many attend camps and field trips and learn biology, botany and astronomy.  When home schooling, students are open to so many more fields of interest such as:  meteorology, paleontology, nutrition, health, equine science, herpetology, nature studies, engineering, physiology, and even psychology.  This is why most home schooled students do not stick to a boring, limited textbook curriculum.

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Home Schooling Teenagers

Home schooling a teenager is much different than home schooling a younger child.  Teenagers usually know what they enjoy learning about and have a goal in mind about what they would like to do as a career.  Home school is a great way to enhance and explore specific areas of expertise.  Teenagers usually plan out their own curriculum and document their own record keeping, which teaches accountability.  Most teens are capable of self study and self monitoring; they usually know where their strengths and weaknesses lie.

Teenagers should be making decisions on what they plan to do after school.  They may plan on going to college, military, community college, or maybe something else.  College is just one option.  Interest, passions, hobbies, past times can all be turned into a career.  A parent should research career options with your teenager by their gut feelings and instincts and nothing else.  Do not let anything else get in the way of an intense passion that your child holds.  Even if it is something you think will not make enough income, it is a passion.  When someone does what they love, money comes.

This is a time during home school years that a parent may wonder if they can keep their children at home.  Parents need to find out about diploma options.  Some home schooled teenagers receive a GED, which stands for general education development, and is equivalent to a high school diploma.  Parents may also research about college preparatory curriculums and classes that may supplement their home studies

During these teenage years, it is crucial to include the student in as many extracurricular activities as possible.  Some activities may include:  sports, working in a family business, self-employment, tutoring, community memberships, local arts productions, etc.  Keep good documentation of awards, essays, interviews, and recommendations for future college requirements. 

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Home Schooling Six to Eight Year Olds

Whether a child has been to an institutionalized school or has been home schooled forever, many six to eight year olds enjoy learning.  As a parent, understanding how your child learns, which temperament is their strongest, and what type of intelligence they excel in will greatly assist in the teaching/learning process.  Six to eight year olds learn best when they are having fun.  Reading to the child is essential to their learning experience.  Read about a variety of subjects, such as animals, mystery, history, fantasy, classics, and adventures.  Visit the library often and see what they offer.  Some offer reading and art classes or other activities.  Purchasing a phonics book will dramatically help your child to understand how words are phonetically read out loud. 

Another lesson for this age group is writing skills.  Although the child may have difficulty writing, they certainly can talk up a storm.  Scribing for your child as they tell a story is a great way for them to see it written down.  Have them draw pictures by the words that you have written for them.  Narration is also a great tool to learning language skills.  Read to your child and have them repeat in their own words what the story was about.  Remember to keep all these lessons fun and stress free.  Children learn at their own pace as long as there is daily practice there is nothing to worry about.

When working with arithmetic, try to incorporate a lot of real life situations, such as cooking, or trips to the grocery store, etc.  Science is another subject that is learned best in its natural setting.  Read about snakes and then go to a zoo to see some.  Name all the animals at the zoo and then write about it later.  See how many different birds are outside your home and try to name them.  The hands on approach is often the easiest way to learn.  Walk on the beach and name all the animals, hike in the mountains and notice the different landscapes, collect specimens, notice changing seasons, the world is a learning experience.

In addition, parents want to teach their children responsibility and accountability with household chores.  This is an excellent way for child to learn that they are capable and that they are needed in the family.

Overall, children in this age group enjoy combining research with creative projects, such as crafts, costumes, foods, reports, place setting, home decorations, music, and imagination play.  With every activity, each subject can be incorporated easily.  A purchased curriculum is not necessary, learning is inevitable.

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Home Schooling Nine to Twelve Year Olds

When home schooling a child between nine and twelve years old, there is a lot of pressure for peer pressure.  Keep in mind that not all children undergo this pressure to be with and like their peers, while distancing themselves from their parents.  These preteens still need plenty of attention, eye contact, positive reinforcement and praise, personal communication, and good interaction with their parents.  Believe it or not, children at this age do still enjoy being read to.  Keep having positive attitudes toward learning; focus on making learning interesting and engaging.  Make sure you use positive constructive criticism with the least amount of academic pressure possible.  Focus on providing a safe, secure learning environment that encourages love, acceptance and reassurance.  This will, in time, raise their feelings of self worth and help them understand where their values lie. 

At this tender age of hormones, mixed emotions, changing feelings, group planning in curriculum is suggested.  Preteens prefer learning skills that have a reason or purpose in real life.  For instance, instead of offering busy work in language arts, ask your child to write a letter to a manufacturing company in regards to a defective household product for you.  Not only would this make the child feel important but the learning task would be a skill much needed in real life.  When learning math, use real life examples with money and budgeting, perhaps even balancing a checkbook.  Use graphs and charts to set goals with earned money and savings.  Reading about science from a textbook is one way to learn the subject, but performing experiments or identifying specimens in nature is much more engaging.  Daily and weekly chores are necessary to learn responsibility and accountability as an integral part of the family. 

Remember to always model what you want to teach.  Learn new topics together.  Dissect a grasshopper for science, work on the family budget together, etc.  Home schooling allows parents to design a curriculum that benefits their children.  Find out where your preteen has strengths and weaknesses and plan your curriculum around that.

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Record keeping in Homeschooling

A topic that frequently comes up in meetings and forums that deal
with homeschooling is record keeping. The importance of record
keeping cannot be ignored. It is not only legally required in
various States, but also provides important milestones in your
child’s learning experience. An interest-initiated homeschooling
approach means that the topic of studies is far ranging and
multifarious. Thus, it can be something of a challenge to write
quarterly reports for the school district, when it is difficult
to classify learning into neatly pigeonholed areas.

Record keeping is important not only for the sake of regulations.
It is also an exciting way to record and document the learning
process of the child. When most of the learning is done through
play and there is no clear cut index of topics that have to be
covered, it is necessary for the parent to keep some sort of a log
which records the child’s progress.

The records you keep can be as simple as a daily journal, or as
elaborate as a software program. If you participate in a support
group, you probably have set forms and requirements. But even so,
keeping track of daily work makes reporting easy and efficient.

There are various record keeping methods used by various
homeschools. Some of the more popular ones are:

This can be maintained by the teacher or the student. This
basically aims to keep a log of what was learned and what was
done. Recording memorable events that happened in the course of
the year is a great way to reminisce later on.

Daily planner:
Lay out the plans and the assignments for the week in a teacher’s
planning notebook. Check each item as it is covered. Maintain a
separate area where any additional things can be recorded. This
includes educational trips, visits and videos etc. Any extra
topics that were covered are also recorded in this area. Make a
summary every quarter.

This consists of a collection of varied materials that show what
the child has achieved and done during the course of study.
Portfolio assessment is a very effective way to chart the child’s
progress. It gives structure to the otherwise loose and flexible
form of schooling called homeschooling. A drawing portfolio will
consist of some paintings or sketches that are considered the best
in that quarter. A language portfolio may consist of essays,
stories, reading-logs, spelling samples or letters. Progress in
mathematics, fine arts, history, science and social studies can
all be recorded this way. The biggest advantage is that portfolio
assessment places control in the hands of the children. Having a
tangible record of what they have established eggs them on to
greater heights.

Other than the above-mentioned systems, there are also purchased
record-keeping systems that lay out a good checklist. Some of
these allow one to personalize the organizer. Irrespective of the
methods used, record keeping in one form or the other is
essential. Your child’s future may well depend on the
well-maintained record that you have meticulously kept over the

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Home Schooling and Socialization

When parents talk about home schooling their children, the most common concern is regarding socialization.  Parents are concerned that their children will not learn how to adapt to social situations.  Unless the home schooling parent decides to isolate their children completely from the outside world, this is impossible.  In fact, children who are home schooled have more interaction with people of all ages, not just their age group.  The average home schooled child attends more educational field trips during the year than the non home schooled child.  In addition, home schooled children have more opportunities for after school activities, such as music lessons, sports, and hobbies. 

Children who home school feel equally comfortable with younger children, peers, and adults of all ages.  Children who home school have daily social interactions with the family, neighborhood and the community.  Because of this, studies have shown that children who home school have higher self esteem.  Children who attend school do not experience real world situations, while home schoolers are definitely more prepared for the real world.

The type of socialization that is experienced in schools is often negative.  Large school settings harbor conformity, teasing, bullying, defiant behavior, popularity contests, and competition.  No wonder home schooled children have higher self esteem; children at home are learning kindness, patience, sharing, respect, and understanding.  These home schooled children are not exposed to peer influences which foster peer dependency.  Peer dependant children show diminished positive socialization, such as self-worth, confidence, reverence for their parents, and trust in peers.  Although home school children may play with other children in the neighborhood and experience this peer dependence, strong morals and values are being taught at home that override these negative experiences. 

Home schooled children learn to listen to their own instincts and let that guide them to make their own decisions.  Conforming to a peer social group that does not value individuality does not foster independent thinking, which is necessary for a successful life.

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Home Schooling in India: Cost Analysis

When parents decide to educate their children at home, it usually costs much less than either a private or a public institution.  By home schooling your child, you will save time and gas because there is no commuting involved.  There is also less or no expense for day care due to one parent staying home full time.  In addition, clothing is inexpensive because there is no pressure to keep up with fashion trends.  Home school expenses include books and supplies, which can be very reasonable, especially when you use your local library.  Eating meals at home is also cheaper and much healthier than either buying meals at school or making lunches for school.  Other expenses include music lessons, sport supplies, and other fees for hobbies.  Computer equipment and programs are also an extra expense.  Some parents who home school also pay for private tutoring to supplement their teaching.

Public schools have no tuition and do not charge for books, but parents must pay for supplies.  Extracurricular activities also have fees associated with them, same fees as home schooling.  Children who attend public school can either ride the bus, which is free, or commute to school, which can be costly with rising gas prices.  Sometimes, there is a fee for computer classes in public school, depending on the school.  Lunches cost more, especially when parents do not know if their children are throwing the food away or sharing it with other children.  Clothing expenses are high because of peer pressure and popularity.  Often, parents need day care for their children until they are done with work.

Private schools do charge tuition, which is usually $1000 to $5000 per year, depending on the school.  Private school also charges for books, but not usually supplies.  Music and art lessons are usually included in tuition.  Computer software is an extra fee, along with any sport supplies or after school programs.  Private schools do not offer transportation, so that is an extra expense. 

Overall, parents who home school spend the least amount of money, while parents who private school spend the most.  On the other hand, when a parent decides to home school, a full time job is usually out of the question (or very difficult to include in a daily schedule).  This means there is less income in the family.  Nevertheless, the choice to home school should be based on your child’s ability to thrive and learn in a home setting or school setting.

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Teaching Your Child in Homeschooling

Each child has a unique way of learning.  The three learning modalities are the sensory channels we use to obtain and process information.  Visual learners process information best with pictures and diagrams; these children learn best seeing things.  Auditory learners learn best by listening and discussing things.  Kinesthetic learners learn best with a hands on approach.  Most children learn through all three learning modalities. 

Temperament theory states that all people differ in their interests, attitudes, judgments, and perceptions.  This greatly affects how we want to learn, what we want to learn, and the way we learn.  When a parent learns what their child temperament style is, they can plan out how to effectively teach their child.  There are four temperament styles:  where the attention is focused, how information is acquired, how decisions are made, and work habits and lifestyle.  The child is either extroverted or introverted, which means either focusing on outside objects, people events or inner world of ideas.  The child is either sensing, which means the child acquires information from the senses (concrete and present) or intuition, which focuses on insight, inspiration, future, and possibility.  The child either makes decisions based on logical analysis and cause and effect (thinking) or on personal values and the affect on the self (feeling).   Lastly, the child prefers their life to be orderly and structured (judging) or spontaneous and flexible (perceiving). 

Howard Gardner, originator of multiple intelligences, defines seven kinds of intelligence.  Most children have strengths in two or three of them and need work on the rest.  One kind of intelligence is verbal/linguistic, which is speaking and reading.  Another type of intelligence is logical/mathematical, which is concepts and abstract patterns.  Another kind of intelligence is visual/special which is thinking in images, pictures, shapes, and colors.  Another kind of intelligence is musical, such as rhythm, pitch, melody and harmony.  Another type of intelligence is bodily/kinesthetic, which is touch, making, and doing.  And yet another type of intelligence is interpersonal, which is relating and cooperating with people.  Last but not least is intrapersonal, which is independence and self-motivation.  Learning how your child perceives the world around him/her and learns will allow you to maximize their intellectual strengths and teach them effectively.

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