Education is mandatory in our country. Until children reach the legal age where they can choose to leave school, usually 17 or 18, they are required to attend school on a regular basis. There are many different options for schooling – public or private school, religious or secular. Choosing the best educational option for your child, or children, can be challenging.
The Traditional Model
Around the turn on the 20th century, our country entered into a period of industrialization. Industries tended to be centralized in order to become more efficient. People flocked to cities to find jobs and brought along their families. Those families contained children who needed to be educated, but the model of the one room schoolhouse no longer was efficient. A factory model of education was developed and exists to this day. This model is based on the idea that there is a way to learn, a system that if followed, would provide everyone with an education. This factory model works well for most children and many people are happy with the results. But what if your child is one who does not fit in the traditional school model? What are your options?
Many alternatives exist to the traditional system of public education offered in this country. Private school can offer specialized classes and more individualized attention. Parochial or religious schools can add religious components to your child’s education. Alternatives such as Montessori or other method schools exist as well.
Homeschooling is an alternative to traditional education that more and more people are choosing. In our nation, the roots of homeschool go back to a time when most people were educated at home. If a formal education was available, many students took advantage of it, but many could not. Children were often needed to work on the family farm or in the family business and parents or tutors educated them to the degree that they needed for the type of job they were going to have.
In our society today, homeschooling is a more unconventional but viable choice for families to make. There are many different ways to consider homeschooling your child. Perhaps the most common form of homeschooling is for one parent to take charge of the child’s education, becoming the teacher.
You are able to use prepackaged curriculum or develop your own. The majority of homeschoolers choose to use curriculum that are already developed and ready to use. Often, parents will choose to augment their teaching with the use of tutors for specific subjects, and to enroll their children in extracurricular activities such as sports, music or art, designed to bring homeschool children together. Another popular type of homeschooling is “unschooling”. The term “unschooling” doesn’t mean that the students aren’t educated. The term is used to describe the process by which the child and parent design the educational curriculum. Much emphasis is placed on following the child’s interests as an alternative to following a planned curriculum. Homeschooling offers a freedom from the time constraints of a traditional education that many families find very attractive.
Many parents find the traditional model of education doesn’t fit the needs of their child or their family. When this happens, a homeschooling distance learning program becomes an exciting option because of the possibilities it holds for educating children and some programs are accredited and offer the same college possibilities as private schools.