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Statistics show 91 percent of U.S. kids attend public school. But for many reasons, including academic rigor and secularism, homeschooling has been on the rise for the last decade. According to EdChoice’s 2017 Schooling in America survey, while about 3 percent of U.S. students are currently homeschooled, about 7 percent of families would homeschool if they could.
I send my four kids to public school now, but I homeschooled for the first six years of their education. I loved homeschooling, but now that I’ve put my kids in public school, I’ve had time to reflect on what I would have done differently if I knew then what I know now. If you’re thinking about homeschooling, or if you’re homeschooling now but feel like something isn’t quite right, these tips might help.
Children - Japan - Knowledge - Grade - Years
I recently learned children in Japan aren’t tested on their academic knowledge until fourth grade because the first few years are set aside for establishing manners and good character. Now that my four children are between the ages of 6 and 12, I see I should have done this more when they were younger also. It’s extremely difficult to undo bad habits children have developed as they age.
While being religious, I chose to homeschool primarily for academic reasons. As such, I took that seriously, and we often just dove into school, field trips, and extracurricular activities. I handled manners, chores, and other character-related issues on the fly, or sometimes integrated them into the school day, not as a regular routine. While I did address these things, they were too much of an afterthought rather than the foundation.
Children - Character - Concepts - Moments - Experiences
While I think my children grasped basic character concepts well — through teachable moments and hands-on experiences — it didn’t work as much with chores and manners. There’s no other way to teach a child...
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