What is Homeschooling?
Photo courtesy A to Z Home's Cool
Homeschooling, for legal reasons, is defined a bit differently state by state. For example, chapter 115C of the North Carolina General Statutes defines homeschooling this way:
- "Home school" means a nonpublic school in which one or more children of not more than two families or households receive academic instruction from parents or legal guardians, or a member of either household.
In as much as the definition changes from state to sate, so do the legal requirements for establishing a home school (we'll talk more about this later). These laws usually kick in when your child is somewhere around the age of seven or eight. Before then, the schooling you provide within your home is of no real legal concern to the government. If you're wondering what type of "homeschooling" occurs at such a young age, here's a short list of some of the things a child learns before officially starting school:
It is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry.
- Albert Einstein
- How to talk
- How to walk
- How to run
- How to play games
- How to sing
- How to get dressed
- How to tie shoe laces
- How to count to 10, 20 or more
- How to recite the alphabet
- How to recognize the letters of the alphabet
- How to spell his name
Homeschooling in North Carolina
North Carolina requires homeschooling parents to submit a "notice of intent" to the North Carolina Division of Non-Public Education.
These are just the basics. There are many children who know how to read, do simple math, play a musical instrument, swim, dance and more, all before they're old enough to attend kindergarten. Usually, it's someone within the home -- a parent, grandparent, older sibling or guardian -- who helps the child learn to do these things. Every nature walk, pointing out various plants, insects and animals, is a learning experience. Every trip to the zoo is a learning experience. Even daily activities like grocery shopping and cooking are all learning experiences.
So, if a child's education is already off to such a great start at home, why rock the learning boat? The answer is simple: Homeschooling isn't for everyone. But it is definitely a good fit for some.
There are dozens and dozens of books and Web sites attesting to what a positive experience homeschooling can be for the entire family. Still, homeschooling requires a huge commitment, on the part of both the parents or guardians and the children themselves. It's certainly not a decision to be made lightly.
Let's take a look at some of the things you should consider if you're thinking about homeschooling.