August 2, 2013

Home Education ~ Where Should We Begin?

I have a sweet friend who is interested in home education.
She is in the planning stages and has asked some questions.
I thought perhaps some of you might be wondering some of the same things.
That's why this post has been written ~ I trust it will be helpful.

First off, please let me share this thought ~
Home education is not necessarily for everyone.
I do not believe that it is a sign of ungodliness if you do not home educate.
There are godly parents in our circle of family and friends who
send their children to both public schools and private schools.
We do not intend our views on these things to be taken as judgement
on what they have chosen before the Lord to do in their own families.

It really is a decision that we each must come to 
through much prayer and waiting on the Lord.
It's not an easy one.  Especially in this day and age.

We all desire the best for our children.
For us, the best included home education.
For others, it means public or private school or a combination of both.
We answer to the Lord for the choices we make,
not for the choices others make.
They do not answer to us, and we do not answer to them.
On matters such as these, we must allow conscience to dictate.

How liberating this is!

Having established all the above, please know that this post

is meant to give answers to those who are looking for them.
It is not my intention to change the minds of those who
have already decided one way or the other.
I really do believe that these things are between you and the Lord.
I just had to clear the air on that.  :)

Question number one ~ Where should we begin?

Answer ~ With the Word of God and Prayer.

He is the One that will lead and guide and give wisdom.
We all ought to seek Him as to what He would have us to do,
and then, be willing to follow wherever He may lead.
If He leads us to home educate, He also will give the strength 
and grace that will be required day by day to carry it out.

Then, if the decision to commit to home education is made,
or, if you are still unsure of the way forward for your family ~
begin by getting your hands on a copy of this book.
I cannot recommend "When You Rise Up" by RC Sproul Jr. enough!
It is a wonderful book to revisit each year of the home 
education journey ~ it's just so affirming and encouraging.

Ask the Lord to guide you to those who have gone before

who you may glean from ~ this is so valuable.
Even if you are the only home educating family in your church
or neighbourhood, there will still be those who may be of assistance.
You may just have to get a little more creative in how you find them.  

The specific practical answer to the question is as follows

(assuming that prayer and seeking the Lord has taken place first) ~

In Canada, each Province has its own set of rules.
Apparently, it's like this in the States as well.  
In our Province, a child is to be registered with a school
by the time they are in grade one. 
It is not a requirement to register your student for Kindergarten.
However, you may register or even enroll them for that year
if that is your preference.

There are basically two types of home education streams in our Province.

Stream One ~ You just register your child and do your own thing.
In this stream, you are not accountable to anyone 
and do not have to submit anything.
You can be as structured or non-structured as you like.
No one will be checking up on you.
You keep your own records if you are interested in doing so.

Stream Two ~ You enroll your child with a school and 
are answerable for meeting learning outcomes 
as determined by the school board.
You receive a report card created for each child
based on work accomplished ~ this is done by your support teacher.

In this instance, you submit a portfolio of 
evidence for learning accomplished throughout the year.
Usually, this requirement is met by weekly contact 
with a support teacher via email and three larger portfolios at 
approximately three month intervals September to June.

Under the umbrella of the second stream,
there are three general ways of accomplishing your home education goals.
When your child is enrolled, you may choose from the three following options.

Option One ~ Fully online studies or live streaming of classes or DVD courses.

In these instances, a teacher is assigned to your child, and they do their work from home.

Your child would need his/her own computer as he/she would be on it much of the time.
The parent acts as a facilitator, but, is not required to teach the child.  
The parent is there to help the child, and the teacher helps them both.
There are many schools and curricula to choose from to fulfill this option.

Option Two ~ Fully Individualised Course of Study.

In this instance, the parents choose the curriculum.

There are literally thousands of options in this department.
You work with the teacher assigned to you from the school you choose to enroll
with to facilitate the needed outcomes for each year of school.  
There are many, many ways to fulfill these demands in creative ways.
In this option, the parents are the ones facilitating and guiding the course of study.
This has been the option we have used for most of our children's education ~
especially in the elementary years.

Option Three ~ Integrated Course of Study.

In this instance, the parents choose some of the curriculum, as above,

and the child is also enrolled in some online courses.
This may be viewed as *the best of both worlds*,
in that the parents still have autonomy to decide what the child studies,
while making use of online support from teachers in various subject areas.
We have tended to use this option for the high school years.

A little while back, I did a series of posts covering 

some of our home education journey ~
The first in that series may be found by clicking here.
There are five posts to read...just follow the links from one to the next.

The following questions are answered in the next post ~ Click here to find it.

Question Two ~ What curriculum do you use?
Question Three ~ How do you connect to other home educating families?

May the Lord bless you all as you seek to follow Him

wherever He may lead.  He is Faithful!

Many Blessings,


Unknown said...

Great post, Camille! Loved the beginning paragraphs! Well said and I agree wholeheartedly with what you said.

Patrinas Pencil said...

My daughter home schools...I'll send her the link to this post. Thanks for taking the time to share.

Praying for you and the family...
thinking of you often!

patrina <")>><

Camille said...

Dear Jenn ~ Thank you for your sweet encouragement my friend. :)

Dear Patrina ~ I trust it will be a blessing to her. Thank you for sharing the link. :)

Many Blessings,

Heather said...

Just talking today of homeschooling with someone who's interested. Love what you've said here, Camille. It truly is a choice between parents and God.

Camille said...

Dear Heather ~ Thank you my friend. Isn't it a wonderful thing to be able to do this with our children? God is so Good! :)