Many people home school to remove their children out of society. We felt our daughter should be home schooled mainly for academic reasons. My husband's company planned to transfer him from one end of the country to the other during her kindergarten year. It meant leaving family and friends and adjusting to a culture and climate that my daughter had never experienced. We decided to school her at home so that she would be able to adjust to the transition easier. Over the years we continued to home school for various reasons. When she reached the age of high school, she decided that she wanted to attend a regular high school. She completed four years of public high school and is now in college.
Here are some of the things we had to consider during her educational process:
- My daughter's academic, social, and emotional needs and how we could best help her to develop into a productive, responsible, well-adjusted adult.
- My daughter's learning needs, whether she was an auditory, visual, or kinesthetic learner. In what ways we would be able to provide learning experiences that would enhance her academic growth versus the local school.
- The types of social and emotional experiences available through homeschooling as compared to the local school.
- The educational laws in the state we were residing in and the laws in the state we would be moving to and how we could accommodate the criteria set forth in each case.
- The services provided by the local homeschooling group.
- How our educational background fit our ability to teach our daughter. The requirements we needed as educators to cover each school year's requirements.
- The types of materials and support (such as books and learning materials, teachers, tutors, and community experiences) available to achieve academic, social, and emotional goals.
- Types of opportunities available for extracurricular activities that might include such things as sports, music, exercise, science labs, spelling bees, public speaking, community service, etc.
- The financial and emotional requirements to achieve a successful homeschooling experience.
All of these questions were explored in depth every year. Many people helped through this process, innumerable experiences were afforded, and many books were researched. Family, friends, and curious onlookers asked hundreds of questions. We prayed for guidance throughout the whole process.
We later learned that both my daughter and I had a problem with dyslexia. It has been corrected through "vision therapy." When my daughter was first diagnosed with the problem it was found that she was severely dyslexic and that if she had not had one on one attention she would not have been able achieve the academic levels she achieved in elementary school.
The Stanford Achievement Test was administered in a school setting by certified teachers during my daughter’s elementary school years. We did not know how to teach her so that she could "know the answers" to the questions on the test. Her eighth grade test results showed that she was at college level in every area but math. She was at grade level in the math area. This test was instrumental in her being accepted to a public school out of our school district. Her social skills are well developed. Life isn’t perfect, it never is, but it was a good decision for us.