Deciding to homeschool is a major decision for a family to make. Although the practice has been around for many years now, it is still not a familiar trend in our society. “Going to school” is the norm for American families, not schooling at home. Families who are contemplating homeschooling can experience much apprehension about this decision. Questions arise from doubts within and from individuals without. These are just a sampling of questions that arise. This article is designed to answer some of these questions and give the parent confidence and encouragement to train their children at home.
What about socialization?
The word socialization has its roots in the word social. It is commonly understood that to be social one has the ability to relate to others of varying ages and interests in an amiable manner. When children are placed in a public school setting they relate to only a fraction of the population, their peer age group. Exposure to varying age groups is quite limited and thus socialization is narrow. We have all seen examples of children who cannot answer a simple question from an adult or do not know how to enjoy and play with a younger individual. However, children who are at home are not bound by rooms and peer age groups. These children are able to experience life outside the confines of age and interact with all ages. Their awareness of others and others’ needs is awakened. The mail carrier, who would normally go unnoticed becomes a person to whom one says a friendly word. The clerk at the store becomes someone to greet as the child enters. Not only does research show that homeschooled children are often more appropriately socialized than their public school counterparts, but generally people who know homeschool families can attest that these children interact very well with others.
Will my child learn everything he/she needs to know?
Today, there is a multitude of curriculum choices available for homeschooling families to choose from. This, coupled with the parents’ desire and commitment to provide a quality education, adds up to a successful formula. There are excellent books such as Robin Scarlata’s books entitled, “What Your Child Needs to Know When” for each grade level.
Am I qualified to do this?
According to the WV State law, anyone with a high school diploma or equivalent may legally teach their children at home. There is research indicating the parent’s level of education does not affect the learning of the child in home education. God can accomplish wonderful things through dedicated and committed parents who are set on having their child succeed.
Is it legal?
CHEWV encourages you to know and understand the WV State law. Please visit the WV Homeschool Law page on our website to see a full text of the law. Homeschooling has been legal in WV since 1986.
How do I do begin?
To help those who are investigating homeschooling for the first time or those who are wanting to homeschool, but are not sure how to get started, CHEWV has developed the following steps to getting started in homeschooling. These steps are not necessarily meant to be sequential, but there are some steps you may want to accomplish before others.
1. Investigate the legality
- Know the requirements of the WV Homeschool Law
- Submit a one-time Notice of Intent (NOI). All students from a family can be included, however, if an additional child is added a NOI will need to be submitted for that child.
- Deadline for assessment report to the county school board – June 30 for grades 3, 5, 8, and 11 ONLY. Assessments for all other grades are to be kept in your records for at least 3 years.
*It is recommended that all notices and reports be sent via registered/certified mail to alleviate any question as to when documentation arrived.
Prepare your child to learn
How does your child learn? Just as we all have individual personalities, we also have different learning styles.
There are 3 basic learning styles.
- Auditory – by hearing
- Visual – by seeing
- Kinesthetic – by doing
While each person may have a bent, that does not mean all learning should be focused toward this bent. Learning should come from all areas, so each area is developed fully within the child.
It is helpful to know your child’s learning style in choosing what kind of curriculum to use in your home school. If you have a kinesthetic learner, he will become frustrated with a curriculum that is primarily workbooks (visual).
- Teach Obedience – A child needs to understand that he/she must carry out mom’s instructions. Obtain child training books if help is needed.
- Develop Listening Skills – Teach the child to be attentive and listen completely to all instructions given before acting upon them.
- Develop an excitement for learning – Be enthusiastic, not apprehensive about learning together. Ask questions; pique interest; read extensively.
Set Priorities and Goals
Goals give you a road map, so you know where you are headed and don’t get side-tracked.
With the added responsibility of schooling at home, it can be stressful to add or continue with some outside activities. Choose your priorities and schedule your day to meet those priorities.
- What goals do you want to accomplish by the end of the year?
- subjects to cover
- character issue to address
- mastery of subjects to achieve
CHEWV believes parents are given a mandate by God to nurture, train and instruct their children. Since this is difficult to accomplish when children are absent from home the majority of the day, the logical place for this training is at home with parents. Our conviction to homeschool is derived from God. Our commitment to homeschool is grounded in His word. Our confidence is based on His promises.
Continue Getting Started: Part II