"I was puzzled by Charles Larmore's review of Charles Taylor's new book, A Secular Age, in the current New Republic. The book is sprawling and often maddening, but it is very important (I've tried to do it justice in my own review in the forthcoming issue of First Things), and I give Larmore high marks for his accurate (if prickly) summaries of the...
Consider HomeschoolingSubmitted by dfoley on Tue, 2011-03-22 13:26
Sure, the idea of homeschooling is likely overwhelming. Indeed, homeschooling is a big commitment and a lot of work. That said, there's a reason why more and more parents are turning to homeschooling as the best option for their child(ren)'s education(s).
Perhaps you are starting to realize that the public school system has changed a lot since you last attended it. Maybe you can't afford private schooling. Maybe you believe that the charter school is merely a different shade of the same public education model you want to leave. Maybe you simply want to play a bigger part of your child's life. Whatever the case, homeschooling is an excellent way to provide a quality education for your child.
The decision to homeschool certainly isn't something to take lightly. We recommend reading a few books on the subject, talking with parents who homeschool, checking on the local education laws, and attending local homeschooling conferences. Additionally, it's worth pointing out that homeschooling can be done with a secular and non-secular approach.
On the topic of books, we recommend two. The first is "The Well-Trained Mind" by Susan Wise Bauer and the second is "100 Top Picks for Homeschooling Curriculum" by Kathy Duffy. For the parent considering homeschooling, we recommend reading the first part of "The Well-Trained Mind" without jumping into its outright curriculum recommendations. From there we recommend reading the first parts of "100 Top Picks for Homeschooling Curriculum" which will help you cut through the overwhelming amount of information out there as well as help you figure out who you are as a potential teacher and establish goals for your child's education. Once you wrap your mind around what sort of educator you will be and what sort of educational goals you have for your child, then dig deeper into the curriculum recommendations found in both books. Below you will find an embedded partial copy of both books.
Local Education Laws
Before pulling your child out of his or her current school or simply not sending your child to kindergarten, you will want to check on the local laws in your state regarding homeschooling. We recommend taking a look at the Home School Legal Defense Association's site for more details. Click here to go the site's page on state homeschool laws.
Local Homeschooling Groups
There are many local homeschool groups and co-ops, both secular and non-secular. The Home School Legal Defense Association has a list of various groups around the country on their site. Click here for more information.
You may want to consider lurking on a few homeschooling forums while you're considering your options. For instance, there is a forum associated with the "Well-Trained Mind," which you can view by clicking here. Other forums can be found with a simple Google search. Additionally, you'll likely find other forums by reading comments. At any rate, forums can give you a glimpse into life as a homeschooler.
If you decide to homeschool or are doing it, we'd love to hear your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.