Dear Uncle CHiN,
There are so many homeschoolers that are not schooling at all in my city. I am
afraid the local school system will get wind of these parents, and make it difficult
for families like us who are providing a better education. What do you think?
Signed, Concerned Homeschooler
There are almost as many ways to homeschool successfully as there are homeschoolers.
And sometimes the very best homeschooling doesn't look like schooling at all. It might
even look like nothing is happening. But I bet a little research will help to allay your
fears and boost your confidence in your fellow homeschoolers.
To find out about all the different styles of homeschooling, and especially to understand
homeschooling that doesn't look like school, I recommend you start by reading the magazines
Growing Without Schooling and Home Education Magazine. You'll find parents describing their
childrens' learning experiences in an unstructured homeschool setting. (Yes, kids can and do
teach themselves to read with Garfield and Tintin books. And they learn math through catalog
ordering, budgeting their allowances, and studying for HAM radio licenses among other activities.)
Next, attend some local support group events like park day and spend some time talking to
the kids as well as the parents. I know at least one of the kids will be happy to share his
or her latest passion and research with you. (You'll not only learn something about a new
topic, but you'll discover just how very good kids can be at teaching themselves.) And when
you talk to the parents, you'll find that they are far from neglectful. In fact, they are
very aware of what their children want and need to learn and are actively facilitating that
learning by providing their students with books, materials, trips to places of interest,
If you're still feeling unsure, talk to your local librarian. Chances are, homeschoolers
are among her favorite patrons because they always have such interesting questions and want
to research topics that are off the beaten path she so frequently must help traditionally-taught
kids to travel. And finally, you might want to attend a homeschool conference or information night.
Statewide and local groups sponsor these affairs regularly throughout the year. For information
on upcoming events in your area, check with the CHN Local
Contact nearest you or call us toll free at: 1-800-327-5339.
Ever yours, Uncle CHiN
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