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Why

Home Schooling?

By

Zohra Sarwari
Copyright 2011 Why Home schooling? by Zohra Sarwari

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or


transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical,
photocopying, scanning, recording, stored in or introduced in a
retrieval system, or otherwise circulated without permission in
writing by the author.

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Dedication

'(Our Lord! Accept this from us. You are


the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing).'
(The Qur’aan: Chapter 2, Verse 127)

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Introduction

The education of our youth is an extremely important


subject. Caring for children, teaching them, and helping
them grow into intelligent and prosperous people is at the
forefront of society. Homeschooling is an educational
choice which is not always understood, yet is an option
which is growing exponentially. Many parents in the
United States and around the world are beginning to
question the motives behind public schools and private
schools and the quality of the education their children are
receiving. The decision to homeschool is a big one, but for
most homeschooling families it ends up being the best
decision they ever made for a myriad of reasons. As
homeschooling becomes main stream again, it is showing
itself to be a viable, and even outstanding, educational
option.

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Asalamalakium (Peace Be Upon All Of You)

“Homeschooling? Me NEVER! I didn’t go to 7 years of


College to stay at home and be a house wife. That was for
the people who were uneducated. Educated women work,
and send their kids to school or hire a nanny or tutor.
However, they go and make real money to pay for others
to work for them.” This is what I said to the idea of
homeschooling when I first heard of it. I had no clue what
homeschooling was and I admit I was very ignorant of the
whole idea of it. Alhamdullilah (All praise belongs to God)
that I was enlightened and a few years later the day I
never thought would come, came, after being frustrated
with what the private schools had to offer, which was not
enough for me, I decided to homeschool. Many laughed at
me first, many ridiculed me, and others said my children
would not be normal. I thought I too was ignorant at one
time, so I expected these behaviors, and thought nothing
of it. I said time will prove everything. Alhamdullilah it did,
my kids have been homeschooled for almost 4 years now.
They are each 3-4 grades ahead, very social, confident,
and amazing, to say the least. Alhamdullilah. They have
written 7 books in total, and have been featured on TV,
Radio, Magazines, Websites, etc. Alhamdullilah. This
could not have happened had I chosen to take the road
most traveled. Allaah (God) knows best. I would like for
all of you to please read this book with an open mind and
you will learn so many great things, and if home schooling
is for you, great, if it is not for you, great! Either way you
will obtain more knowledge and hopefully by the end of this
book have a different view on homeschooling.

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Thomas Edison: Inventor and
Homeschooler

When Thomas Edison was attending school, his teacher thought he


was dull and constantly confused. When Thomas came home and
relayed this information to his mother, she promptly went to speak
with the teacher. Mrs. Edison and the teacher hotly debated
Thomas’s abilities, and when the teacher expressed her opinion that
Thomas was simply unteachable, his mother removed him from
school. Thus began his homeschooling adventure. Although he was
schooled intermittently until age twelve, when he was finally
dismissed completely, he was labeled “addled”. His mother did not
agree, and she took over his schooling permanently.

Mrs. Edison taught Thomas to read and to conduct experiments. She


encouraged him constantly, believing that he had potential and giving
him the tools to reach it. Edison himself recalled that his mother
helped make him the man he was. She believed in him, took on the
responsibility of teaching him, and gave him goals and purpose.

Mrs. Edison believed that Thomas needed both a hands on and


thoughtful approach to learning. She let him have his own laboratory
in the basement of their house. The story goes that Edison’s father
was often concerned about the odd smells and frequent small
explosions which came from the basement while Thomas worked
away happily.

Thomas Edison credits his mother for much of his success. She
taught him to never be afraid to fail; she advised him to learn from his
mistakes and just keep trying. She encouraged him to read all types
of literature, even that which he didn’t like, but to also that working
with his hands was valuable and that many important lessons don’t
come from books. Most importantly, she inspired him to keep
improving and never stop learning.
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Chapter
1

The Difference Between


Public School, Private
School, Charter School, and
Homeschool

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1. Public
Regular public schools are local, publicly funded
schools which are open to all community members.
Public schools are attended by the students within
their particular geographical area. This means that if
you plan for your child to attend the local public
school, they must attend the one closest to you, in
your area of the district. To attend a different school
in another part of the district, generally the parent
must apply for an in-district transfer. The school
principals will usually make the decision about
whether or not your child will be allowed to attend the
other school. Part of this decision is based on what is
best for the child, and part of this decision also has to
do with school population, meaning how many
students already attend each school, and funding,
meaning which school needs the money your child
brings with them. Each school receives ADMw which
stands for Average Daily Membership/ Weighted.
This is the amount of money which follows each
student to the school they attend. This amount can
vary widely between districts. If a district has a school
low on attendance, it will try to keep the students
there and allow transfers into that school. If a school
is struggling, students from that school may be denied
transfers.

If a student would like to attend a public school in


another district, the parents must apply for an inter-
district transfer. Since public schools are funded

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based on attendance, it is in the best interest of the
school to maintain its student population.

Attending a local public school means that parents


must accept the philosophy of the school and the
school’s chosen curriculum.

2. Charter Schools
A charter school is a publically funded school of
choice. Most charter schools are started by parents
who are looking for another educational option for
their students. Charter schools are grass roots efforts
to create a publically funded school which is focused
on a particular philosophy, curriculum, or style. For
instance, a charter school might be arts based,
science based, or classically based. A charter school
has to follow certain guidelines set by their state and
their district and they must meet benchmarks and
align with the states curriculum guidelines. But a
charter school can also create some of its own
educational goals, guideline, and content.

Charter schools are publically funded, meaning that


they receive the ADMw for each student which
attends the school, although their sponsoring district
is allowed to keep a portion of the ADMw in their
general fund. A district generally keeps between 5%
and 15% of the money brought to the charter school
through attendance. Charter schools are a testament
to freedom of choice in education because any

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student can attend any charter school which they
choose.

The charter school movement has been gaining


momentum in recent years. Numerous issues
influence parents to choose charter schools. Parents
who feel that their local school isn’t doing a good
enough job will often choose to drive farther and
rearrange their schedules to allow their children to
attend a charter school. Many charter schools
choose curriculums and set standards that are
appealing to parents, such as curriculums or
programs that focus on a classical education, the arts,
science, or technology. While not all charter schools
are outstanding and not all succeed, they are
attractive in many ways. Charter schools have the
ability to institute dress codes, hire teachers who are
experts in their field, fire teachers who do not meet
the school’s standards, maintain strict discipline
policies which include the ability to remove habitually
disruptive students, and maintain local control. Most
charter schools are operated by teachers and parents
of the students they represent and the charter school
board has a close, hands-on relationship with the
school, the students, and the parents. While charters
don’t fix all the problems in education, they have
made an important step in that direction which is
choice. Educational choice allows for competition,
which forces improvement and fosters excellence.

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3. Private Schools
Private schools are privately funded and operated.
Usually a sponsoring entity, such as a mosque,
provides the base support for the school, while tuition
provides the rest. Private schools usually will become
accredited so that the education they offer will be
considered comparable to other schools.
Accreditation organizations review schools and
colleges to ensure their standards and improvement
rates. While accreditation is not the only quantifying
standard for a school it is especially important for
private schools because they do not necessarily have
to adhere to government rules and regulations for
schools. Private schools are allowed greater
freedoms since they use only private funds and they
choose not to take advantage of public funding. Most
private schools are religious based and funded by
religious organizations. Private schools are
universally recognized as providing higher levels of
achievement and higher college attendance.

4. Homeschooling
Homeschooling is a growing trend here in the United
States. According to the National Center for
Educational Statistics, there were 850,000
homeschoolers in 1999, 1.1 million in 2003 and in
2007 that number had increased to approximately 1.5
million homeschoolers in the U.S. alone. It is

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important to bear in mind that these numbers are
never truly accurate because many homeschoolers
choose not to register their children and are not
included in surveys because they tend to be less
involved in activities where they would be surveyed.
Homeschooling tends to be a private, family oriented
activity.

Homeschooling is generally defined as any education


which takes place outside of a public or private school
environment. In actuality, the term “home” schooling
can be misleading. Most homeschoolers find that
they spend much of their time at the park, the library,
the zoo, homeschool classes, gymnastics, martial arts
classes, museums, and at the homes of other
homeschoolers. These are just a few of the places
homeschoolers roam as they take advantage of the
freedom which exists outside the walls of the
schoolhouse.

While homeschooling is legal in the United States,


each state has its own requirements for homeschool
registration and standardized testing. Any parent or
legal guardian can homeschool. A teaching license is
not required. Most parents who homeschool feel well
equipped to do so. Raising children is natural, and
homeschooling is a natural continuation from infancy
to toddlerhood to elementary age. Of all education
methods, homeschooling affords the most freedom for
the family and the student. While homeschooling,
parents can adjust curriculum requirements to fit their
child’s needs and to accommodate learning

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disabilities or accelerated learning abilities. Parents
also enjoy the ability to embark on the educational
journey with their children, being an integral part of
the journey instead of just a bystander.

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Chapter
2

Why Parents Choose to


Homeschool

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Bindi Erwin

Bindi Sue Irwin was born on the 24th July 1998 in


Queensland, Australia to her two proud parents Steve and
Terri Irwin. From the very first day of her birth, Bindi has
been involved with her Mum and Dad's filming and wildlife
conservation work and handled everything from spiders
and snakes to crocodiles and elephants. She has traveled
extensively all over the world with her family and made
numerous appearances in not only most of her parent's
television programs but guest spots on many worldwide
talk shows. Bindi is homeschooled and making excellent
grades — a first class student who likes "creative writing"
best and not too keen on math. She sponsors a World
Vision unprivileged child in Asia and donates a lot of her
time and pocket money to help Wildlife Warriors Worldwide
(her dad's conservation charity) and assists at the
Australian Wildlife Hospital.

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The reasons parents homeschool are so numerous,
it’s hard to know where to start. When asked, most
homeschoolers will begin to get very excited about
telling their story, the reasons they homeschool, and
their experience. The reasons to homeschool range
from wanting to raise their children with their faith,
dissatisfaction with local schools, lack of challenge in
coursework, experiences with bullying, a desire for
family unity, a concern with negative socialization, a
desire to meet the needs of a child with disabilities,
and the list goes on and on. Most families
homeschool for a variety of reason and those reasons
can change as time goes on. The National Center
for Educational Statistics breaks down the reasons
parents give for homeschooling as follows:

“In 2007, the most common reason parents gave as


the most important was a desire to provide religious
or moral instruction (36 percent of students). This
reason was followed by a concern about the school
environment (such as safety, drugs, or negative peer
pressure) (21 percent), dissatisfaction with academic
instruction (17 percent), and "other reasons" including
family time, finances, travel, and distance (14
percent). Parents of about 7 percent of homeschooled
students cited the desire to provide their child with a
nontraditional approach to education as the most
important reason for homeschooling, and the parents
of another 6 percent of students cited a child's health
problems or special needs.”
(http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=91)

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1. Moral and Religious Instruction
The most common reason to homeschool, to provide
religious or moral instruction should be disseminated
a bit. Many homeschooling parents want to provide
religious and moral instruction, but often this
translates into the idea of raising their own children
instead of sending them off to be raised by the
government. Parents feel that a child should be
shown all the love, patience, support, and guidance
that they need by their parents. Homeschooling
parents strongly believe that in the first five, eight, ten,
or fifteen years of a child’s life, they are learning the
moral and character lessons which will set the stage
for everything else they do in their life. Especially, in
Islaam this is the time to help build the child to be a
responsible, righteous, pious adult, inshAllaah

Teaching children at home is not just a story about


parents choosing full responsibility for their children’s
education, but understanding the greater
responsibility of molding and shaping an excellent
human being. We live in a complicated world which is
fraught with mixed messages, questionable morality,
and a lack of the knowledge of right and wrong.
Homeschooling provides a safe haven where parents
can teach their children morals, values, and tools for
handling the complexities of modern life. By
homeschooling, parents also keep children under
their wing longer. A five year old child does not yet
have a strong base in their beliefs, nor the ability to
defend themselves. Homeschooling allows parents to

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take the time to raise and train their children in the
ways of the world, and keep them safe until they are
ready to venture out on their own with a mature and
grounded foundation. These parents understand the
importance of fully preparing their child for life before
they send that child out into the world.

The influences of public school also may not reflect


the religious beliefs of the family. For example,
parents who believe in creation theory may not
approve of their child being taught the origins of life
through evolutionary theory. Also, a family which
believes in the sanctity of marriage and that sexual
activity should be reserved for marriage may not
approve of a health class which promotes the use of
birth control and sexual experimentation. The bottom
line is the right and responsibility parents to
homeschool so that they may pass on their beliefs
and values to their children, even in the area of
hobbies, interests, and issues such as conservation
or social service.

2. Safety and the School Environment


Today more than ever, safety in our schools is a huge
concern. Stories about bullying, harassment, sexual
abuse, drugs, and gun violence are in the news daily.
Today’s public schools resemble The Lord of the Flies
more than the sweet, quaint, one room school house
depicted in Little House on the Prairie. In the last

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fifteen years, school violence has become a regular
occurrence. Below is a list of school shootings:

Time Line of Worldwide School


Shootings
The following table lists the worldwide school
shootings from 1996 to the present. Find the date,
location, and a short description of each incident.

Feb. 2, 1996 Two students and one teacher


Moses Lake, killed, one other wounded when
Wash. 14-year-old Barry Loukaitis
opened fire on his algebra class.

March 13, 16 children and one teacher killed


1996 at Dunblane Primary School by
Dunblane, Thomas Hamilton, who then killed
Scotland himself. 10 others wounded in
attack.

Feb. 19, 1997 Principal and one student killed,


Bethel, Alaska two others wounded by Evan
Ramsey, 16.

March 1997 Eight people (six students and two


Sanaa, Yemen others) at two schools killed by
Mohammad Ahman al-Naziri.

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Oct. 1, 1997 Two students killed and seven
Pearl, Miss. wounded by Luke Woodham, 16,
who was also accused of killing
his mother. He and his friends
were said to be outcasts who
worshiped Satan.

Dec. 1, 1997 Three students killed, five


West wounded by Michael Carneal, 14,
Paducah, Ky. as they participated in a prayer
circle at Heath High School.

Dec. 15, 1997 Two students wounded. Colt


Stamps, Ark. Todd, 14, was hiding in the woods
when he shot the students as they
stood in the parking lot.

March 24, Four students and one teacher


1998 killed, ten others wounded outside
Jonesboro, as Westside Middle School
Ark. emptied during a false fire alarm.
Mitchell Johnson, 13, and Andrew
Golden, 11, shot at their
classmates and teachers from the
woods.

April 24, 1998 One teacher, John Gillette, killed,


Edinboro, Pa. two students wounded at a dance
at James W. Parker Middle
School. Andrew Wurst, 14, was
charged.

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May 19, 1998 One student killed in the parking
Fayetteville, lot at Lincoln County High School
Tenn. three days before he was to
graduate. The victim was dating
the ex-girlfriend of his killer, 18-
year-old honor student Jacob
Davis.

May 21, 1998 Two students killed, 22 others


Springfield, wounded in the cafeteria at
Ore. Thurston High School by 15-year-
old Kip Kinkel. Kinkel had been
arrested and released a day
earlier for bringing a gun to
school. His parents were later
found dead at home.

June 15, 1998 One teacher and one guidance


Richmond, Va. counselor wounded by a 14-year-
old boy in the school hallway.

April 20, 1999 14 students (including killers) and


Littleton, Colo. one teacher killed, 23 others
wounded at Columbine High
School in the nation's deadliest
school shooting. Eric Harris, 18,
and Dylan Klebold, 17, had plotted
for a year to kill at least 500 and
blow up their school. At the end of
their hour-long rampage, they
turned their guns on themselves.

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April 28, 1999 One student killed, one wounded
Taber, Alberta, at W. R. Myers High School in first
Canada fatal high school shooting in
Canada in 20 years. The suspect,
a 14-year-old boy, had dropped
out of school after he was
severely ostracized by his
classmates.

May 20, 1999 Six students injured at Heritage


Conyers, Ga. High School by Thomas Solomon,
15, who was reportedly depressed
after breaking up with his
girlfriend.

Nov. 19, 1999 Victor Cordova Jr., 12, shot and


Deming, N.M. killed Araceli Tena, 13, in the
lobby of Deming Middle School.

Dec. 6, 1999 Four students wounded as Seth


Fort Gibson, Trickey, 13, opened fire with a
Okla. 9mm semiautomatic handgun at
Fort Gibson Middle School.

Dec. 7, 1999 One teacher and three students


Veghel, wounded by a 17-year-old
Netherlands student.

Feb. 29, 2000 Six-year-old Kayla Rolland shot


Mount Morris dead at Buell Elementary School
Township, near Flint, Mich. The assailant

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Mich. was identified as a six-year-old
boy with a .32-caliber handgun.

March 2000 One teacher killed by a 15-year-


Branneburg, old student, who then shot
Germany himself. The shooter has been in
a coma ever since.

March 10, Two students killed by Darrell


2000 Ingram, 19, while leaving a dance
Savannah, Ga. sponsored by Beach High School.

May 26, 2000 One teacher, Barry Grunow, shot


Lake Worth, and killed at Lake Worth Middle
Fla. School by Nate Brazill, 13, with
.25-caliber semiautomatic pistol
on the last day of classes.

Sept. 26, 2000 Two students wounded with the


New Orleans, same gun during a fight at
La. Woodson Middle School.

Jan. 17, 2001 One student shot and killed in


Baltimore, Md. front of Lake Clifton Eastern High
School.

Jan. 18, 2001 One student killed by two boys,


Jan, Sweden ages 17 and 19.

March 5, 2001 Two killed and 13 wounded by


Santee, Calif. Charles Andrew Williams, 15,

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firing from a bathroom at Santana
High School.

March 7, 2001 Elizabeth Catherine Bush, 14,


Williamsport, wounded student Kimberly
Pa. Marchese in the cafeteria of
Bishop Neumann High School;
she was depressed and frequently
teased.

March 22, One teacher and three students


2001 wounded by Jason Hoffman, 18,
Granite Hills, at Granite Hills High School. A
Calif. policeman shot and wounded
Hoffman.

March 30, One student killed by Donald R.


2001 Burt, Jr., a 17-year-old student
Gary, Ind. who had been expelled from Lew
Wallace High School.

Nov. 12, 2001 Chris Buschbacher, 17, took two


Caro, Mich. hostages at the Caro Learning
Center before killing himself.

Jan. 15, 2002 A teenager wounded two students


New York, at Martin Luther King Jr. High
N.Y. School.

Feb. 19, 2002 Two killed in Eching by a man at


Freising, the factory from which he had

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Germany been fired; he then traveled to
Freising and killed the headmaster
of the technical school from which
he had been expelled. He also
wounded another teacher before
killing himself.

April 26, 2002 13 teachers, two students, and


Erfurt, one policeman killed, ten
Germany wounded by Robert Steinhaeuser,
19, at the Johann Gutenberg
secondary school. Steinhaeuser
then killed himself.

April 29, 2002 One teacher killed, one wounded


Vlasenica, by Dragoslav Petkovic, 17, who
Bosnia- then killed himself.
Herzegovina

October 28, Robert S. Flores Jr., 41, a student


2002 at the nursing school at the
Tucson, Ariz. University of Arizona, shot and
killed three female professors and
then himself.

April 14, 2003 One 15-year-old killed, and three


New Orleans, students wounded at John
La. McDonogh High School by gunfire
from four teenagers (none were
students at the school). The
motive was gang-related.

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April 24, 2003 James Sheets, 14, killed principal
Red Lion, Pa. Eugene Segro of Red Lion Area
Junior High School before killing
himself.

Sept. 24, 2003 Two students are killed at Rocori


Cold Spring, High School by John Jason
Minn. McLaughlin, 15.

Sept. 28, 2004 Three students killed and 6


Carmen de wounded by a 15-year-old
Patagones, Argentininan student in a town
Argentina 620 miles south of Buenos Aires.

March 21, Jeff Weise, 16, killed grandfather


2005 and companion, then arrived at
Red Lake, school where he killed a teacher,
Minn. a security guard, 5 students, and
finally himself, leaving a total of 10
dead.

Nov. 8, 2005 One 15-year-old shot and killed an


Jacksboro, assistant principal at Campbell
Tenn. County High School and seriously
wounded two other administrators.

Aug. 24, 2006 Christopher Williams, 27, looking


Essex, Vt. for his ex-girlfriend at Essex
Elementary School, shot two
teachers, killing one and
wounding another. Before going to

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the school, he had killed the ex-
girlfriend's mother.

Sept. 13, 2006 Kimveer Gill, 25, opened fire with


Montreal, a semiautomatic weapon at
Canada Dawson College. Anastasia De
Sousa, 18, died and more than a
dozen students and faculty were
wounded before Gill killed himself.

Sept. 27, 2006 Adult male held six students


Bailey, Colo. hostage at Platte Canyon High
School and then shot and killed
Emily Keyes, 16, and himself.

Sept. 29, 2006 A 15-year-old student shot and


Cazenovia, killed Weston School principal
Wis. John Klang.

Oct. 3, 2006 32-year-old Carl Charles Roberts


Nickel Mines, IV entered the one-room West
Pa. Nickel Mines Amish School and
shot 10 schoolgirls, ranging in age
from 6 to 13 years old, and then
himself. Five of the girls and
Roberts died.

Jan. 3, 2007 Douglas Chanthabouly, 18, shot


Tacoma, Wash. fellow student Samnang Kok, 17,
in the hallway of Henry Foss High
School.

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April 16, 2007 A 23-year-old Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Va. student, Cho Seung-Hui, killed
two in a dorm, then killed 30 more
2 hours later in a classroom
building. His suicide brought the
death toll to 33, making the
shooting rampage the most
deadly in U.S. history. Fifteen
others were wounded.

Sept. 21, 2007 A Delaware State Univesity


Dover, Del. Freshman, Loyer D. Brandon,
shot and wounded two other
Freshman students on the
University campus. Brandon is
being charged with attempted
murder, assault, reckless
engagement, as well as a gun
charge.

Oct. 10, 2007 A 14-year-old student at a


Cleveland, Cleveland high school, Asa H.
Ohio Coon, shot and injured two
students and two teachers before
he shot and killed himself. The
victims' injuries were not life-
threatening.

Nov. 7, 2007 An 18-year-old student in


Tuusula, southern Finland shot and killed
Finland five boys, two girls, and the

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female principal at Jokela High
School. At least 10 others were
injured. The gunman shot himself
and died from his wounds in the
hospital.

Feb. 8, 2008 A nursing student shot and killed


Baton Rouge, two women and then herself in a
Louisiana classroom at Louisiana Technical
College in Baton Rouge.

Feb. 11, 2008 A 17-year-old student at Mitchell


Memphis, High School shot and wounded a
Tennessee classmate in gym class.

Feb. 12, 2008 A 14-year-old boy shot a student


Oxnard, at E.O. Green Junior High School
California causing the 15-year-old victim to
be brain dead.

Feb. 14, 2008 Gunman killed five students and


DeKalb, Illinois then himself, and wounded 17
more when he opened fire on a
classroom at Northern Illinois
University. The gunman, Stephen
P. Kazmierczak, was identified as
a former graduate student at the
university in 2007.

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Sept. 23, 2008 A 20-year-old male student shot
Kauhajoki, and killed at least nine students
Finland and himself at a vocational college
in Kauhajok, 330km (205 miles)
north of the capital, Helsinki.

Nov. 12, 2008 A 15-year-old female student was


Fort shot and killed by a classmate at
Lauderdale, Dillard High School in Fort
Florida Lauderdale.

March 11, Fifteen people were shot and


2009 killed at Albertville Technical High
Winnenden, School in southwestern Germany
Germany by a 17-year-old boy who
attended the same school.

(Read more: Time Line of Worldwide School


Shootings — Infoplease.com
http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0777958.html#ixzz17
uxkfPcA)

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Besides the hyped and dramatic school shooting
scenario, smaller problems which are just as deadly
and destructive seem to occur at an alarming rate in
public schools. Drug use is common in public
schools, partly because there are so few adults that it
is easy to get away with wrong behavior, and partly
because many children come to school bearing so
many wounds that they are looking for relief. Drug
abuse is frighteningly common among children and
teenagers.

According to the National Institute on Drug


Abuse:

Since 1975 the Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey


has measured drug, alcohol, and cigarette use and
related attitudes among adolescent students
nationwide. Survey participants report their drug use
behaviors across three time periods: lifetime, past
year, and past month; for some drugs, daily use is
also reported.1 Initially, the survey included 12th-
graders only, but in 1991 it was expanded to include
8th- and 10th-graders. The MTF survey is funded by
NIDA and is conducted by the University of Michigan's

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Institute for Social Research. The 35th annual study
was conducted during 2009.

Positive Findings:

Cigarette smoking is at its lowest point in the


history of the survey on all measures among
students in grades 8, 10, and 12. These findings are
particularly noteworthy since tobacco addiction is one
of the leading preventable contributors to many of our
Nation's health problems.

Between 2004 and 2009, a drop in past-year use of


methamphetamine was reported for all grades, and
lifetime use dropped significantly among 8th-graders,
from 2.3 to 1.6 percent. Among 10th- and 12th-
graders, 5-year declines were reported for past-year
use of amphetamines and cocaine. Among 12th-
graders, past-year use of cocaine decreased
significantly, from 4.4 to 3.4 percent.

From 2004 to 2009, decreases were observed in


lifetime, past-year, past-month, and binge use of
alcohol across the three grades surveyed.

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In 2009, 12th-graders reported declines in use across
several survey measures of hallucinogens: past-year
use of hallucinogens and LSD fell significantly, from
5.9 to 4.7 percent and from 2.7 to 1.9 percent,
respectively; and past-year use of hallucinogens other
than LSD decreased from 5.0 to 4.2 percent among.

Attitudes toward substance abuse, often seen as


harbingers of change in use, showed many favorable
changes. Among 12th-graders, perceived
harmfulness of LSD, amphetamines,
sedatives/barbiturates, heroin, and cocaine increased.
Across the three grades, perceived availability of
several drugs decreased.

Areas of Concern:

Marijuana use across the three grades has shown a


consistent decline since the mid-1990s. The trend
has stalled, however, with prevalence rates
remaining steady over the last 5 years. Past-year
use was reported by 11.8 percent of 8th-graders, 26.7
percent of 10th-graders, and 32.8 percent of 12th-
graders. Also, perceived risk of regular use of
marijuana decreased among 8th- and 10th-graders,

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although perceived availability decreased among
12th-graders.

From 2008 to 2009, lifetime, past-month, and daily


use of smokeless tobacco increased significantly
among 10th-graders.

Past-year nonmedical use of Vicodin and OxyContin


increased during the last 5 years among 10th-graders
and remained unchanged among 8th- and 12th-
graders. Nearly 1 in 10 high school seniors reported
nonmedical use of Vicodin; 1 in 20 reported abuse of
OxyContin.

When asked how prescription narcotics were


obtained for nonmedical use, about 52 percent of
12th-graders said they were given the drugs or
bought them from a friend or relative. Additionally, 30
percent reported receiving a prescription for them,
and a negligible number of 12th-graders reported
purchasing the narcotics over the Internet.

http://drugabuse.gov/infofacts/HSYouthtrends.html

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Sexual activity in schools has also become rampant.

Homeschooling parents, as human beings,


understand that life is dangerous and that by simply
keeping their child at home and out of school does not
guarantee their safety. But they understand and
accept their duty to care for and protect their child for
as long as is needed and to the best of their ability.

Middle school youth as young as 12 years is at risk of


engaging in sexual activities.

ScienceDaily (Apr. 10, 2009) — Middle school youth


are engaging in sexual intercourse as early as age
12, according to a study by researchers at The
University of Texas School of Public Health.
(http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/09040
8145354.htm)

According to a research, it has been seen that by the


age of 12 youth has gotten in to different kinds of sex
activities such as vaginal, sex, oral or anal sex. These
statistics are threatening because such youth who
start having sex before age 14 are much more likely
to have multiple sex partners, they also use drugs,
alcohol and unprotected sex and because of that they

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are at a greater risk of sexually transmitted diseases
or become pregnant.

3. Individualized Education
For example, a family may homeschool because a
child has trouble keeping up in school or is slow
learning to read. It is extremely common for some
children, especially boys, to take more time learning
to read than the public school allows. A little boy may
be hesitant about reading until age nine or ten, then
all of a sudden make gigantic leaps in their reading
abilities. Later on, that same child who struggled to
read at age six, may suddenly leap to a high school
reading level at age ten. A homeschooling family has
the ability to nurture that slow reading capacity, then
accelerate when the child does and begin to provide
much more challenging reading materials as needed.

When a child is schooled at home, they are fortunate


enough to have a completely individualized education
and all of the one on one help they need. No one is
more invested in that child than their parents. One of
the downfalls of public school is the lack of
individualized instruction. The public system touts it,
talks about it, yearns for it, yet can’t do it.

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Homeschoolers have the market cornered on it. The
homeschooling family is a nearly perfect example of
the natural progression of a child’s education. In fact,
almost everyone homeschools for a short period of
time whether they know it or not. A mother teaching
her son to talk is homeschooling. A father teaching
his daughter to walk is homeschooling.
Homeschooling is just a term for anything people
teach their own children. In that respect, it is a natural
instinct in almost all parents, and, like breastfeeding,
the healthiest choice for a precious child. The
individual nutrients in a mother’s milk are created
especially for her child, and the nutritional benefits are
numerous, just like the individualized education of a
homeschooler. It is important for parents to know that
each parent is uniquely qualified to raise, and teach,
their own child. A mass education where one size
supposedly fits all is rarely successful, and is
sometimes damaging in the early years. When
children are very young, they need personal, positive,
one on one interaction more than anything else. A
homeschooling parent can provide that.

Children naturally want to learn. An individualized


education means that the activities are geared toward

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the child’s interests and abilities. One of the joys of
homeschooling is seeing what interests the child, and
then following their lead wholeheartedly. All of the
important basics can be covered on a path toward the
interests of the child. For example, for a young child
who is extremely interested in animals, may learn to
count animals, learn about digestion from learning
about what animals eat, will be inclined to learn to
read by being read books about animals, and learn to
write by the parent asking them to write about
animals. The parent may give strict instruction about
what constitutes a letter, but gearing the lesson
toward the child’s love of animals makes the lesson
part of the child’s life and love, not a “lesson” per se.
The child begins to learn important basics in a context
which they love, which in turn produces a lifelong love
of learning.

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Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright only attended a traditional


classroom for 4 years (between the ages of 11 and
15) because he started attending the University of
Wisconsin as a "special student" when he turned 15-
years-old. Prior to this time he was homeschooled.
While at the University of Wisconsin, he majored in
engineering since there were no architecture
courses available, at the time. Nevertheless, he still
went on to become a very famous architect.

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The homeschool environment is able to nurture the
individual and set a pattern associating learning with
joy. As a child grows older and begins to face
situations where they must learn something which
may not be exactly what they want to study, the love
of learning instinct and the web of knowledge
pathways which have been created allow the student
to access something in that subject which is of value
to them. The individualized education of the
homeschooler better prepares the child for tackling
new and difficult subjects.

An individualized education also paves the way for a


child to actively and aggressively pursue their talents
and passions. In a homeschool environment, a
student who discovers they are good at something or
a certain topic is intriguing to them, they have the
freedom to pursue it wholeheartedly. A
homeschooling family has the freedom to seek out
specific and unconventional educational opportunities
for a child who shows specific talent and interest in
any area. Through homeschooling, parents have the
ability to tailor the child’s education to fit the specific
needs in order to enhance the true abilities of their
child. A very artistic child may need only a little time

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devoted to reading, writing, and mathematics, while
needing many hours each day to explore their artistic
nature. A child who craves math will need to know
how to read, but more than anything else needs time
and freedom to explore the yearning for a
mathematical reality. The student who has
discovered a passion and a dream who has the
freedom and time to chase that dream has a
remarkable opportunity to flourish and excel.

4. Socialization

Socialization is a big issue among the homeschooling


community. Time and time again the issue of
socialization rears its ugly head when opponents of
homeschooling try to degrade the idea by saying that
homeschoolers lack socialization. What is
socialization anyway? Socialization is the process by
which a child learns the social norms of their culture;
socialization includes learning morals, values, social
expectations, proper public behaviors, etiquette,
manners, and the skills needed to function effectively
in society.

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In essence, the environment where children spend
most of their time, the people they are around, and
the behaviors and attitudes which are rewarded in
that environment are the elements that influence how
a child is socialized. Many homeschooling parents
look into the inner workings of the public school
system and realize that the “Lord of the Flies” type of
environment, where children begin to create their own
social structure and hierarchy, is rampant. This
occurs regularly in schools, and is not what many
parents want for their children.

Many parents understand that there is a proper ratio


of adults to children if they are to be raised properly.
That ratio lands around natural family numbers: two
adults for roughly every one to six children (or more in
larger families. More than a dozen children in a family
is extremely rare today, but even in that scenario the
adult to child ratio is still one to six in a dual parent
household. Compare that to an average school
classroom, where the average fourth grade class
could have twenty five children and only one
supervising adult. In this situation, the other children
soon become the socializing agents, not the adult.
Children, in their ignorance and immaturity, begin to

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decide amongst themselves what is right and how to
handle each other. At this point, bullying, sex, peer
pressure, apathy, and lack of respect for the adult
minority begin to run rampant.

Fortunately, many parents choose to take action and


be the predominant influence in their children’s lives.
But parents still have to work against the outside
influences affecting their children, such as their peers,
teachers, television, and the internet. Through
homeschooling, those influences are minimized, and
the love and respect inside the family are
emphasized. By homeschooling, parents can solidify
foundations in their child before the child is faced with
too many opinions and options; in this way, parents
give their child the tools they will need to navigate
through life.

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Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson was schooled at home until he was nine


years old. He spent his childhood enjoying an idyllic life in
rural Virginia on the edge of a new frontier where he gained
a love of nature and the outdoors. At age nine, he began
his formal education studying with classically trained tutors
and was a voracious student Greek French and Latin. At
age seventeen Jefferson enrolled at the college of William
and Mary, graduating at age twenty with honors.

Many homeschoolers use A Thomas Jefferson Education


by Oliver DeMille as a guide to leadership and classical
education. The focus of a Thomas Jefferson inspired
education is more on mentorship than professorship and
classic works instead of textbooks. TJED strives to inspire
greatness and leadership abilities in students.

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Chapter

How to Homeschool

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Homeschooling is first and foremost a unique and
fluid endeavor. No two people homeschool quite the
same way. A parent may even homeschool siblings
differently depending on what is appropriate for each
child and the natural tendencies of the individual child.
There are some basic categories of homeschooling,
but it is important to note that mixing styles, using one
for a time and then switching to another, and
changing styles as children grow and mature is ok. In
fact, no child stays the same forever and the flexibility
afforded by homeschooling is one of its great benefits.
Using all of the styles and switching when appropriate
is common, healthy, and should be encouraged.

A common story in homeschooling is for children to


start out Unschooling, very free, open, and child
based. As the child grows and becomes more
mature, a tighter structure becomes useful to
introduce more difficult or academic topics and to
prepare a child for the discipline and rigor of college.
However a parent tackles homeschooling, the ability
to do whatever your child most needs at any given
time is one of the beautiful parts of the decision to
homeschool.

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Agatha Christie
On September 15, 1890, Agatha Christie was born in
Torquay, England to Frederick and Clara Christie.
Frederick was very outgoing, but Clara was quite shy.
While Agatha’s older sisters received regular
schooling, Agatha was very shy like Clara, and Clara
felt that Agatha should be taught at home. Her father
taught her arithmetic until his death in 1901. Agatha
taught herself to read at age 5, even though her
mother had scheduled to teach her to read when she
was 8. The Christie home was full of books and
newspapers, and Clara taught Agatha history and
general studies. In her teen years, Agatha delved into
the stories of Sherlock Holmes.

1. Unschooling

Unschooling is a very common form of


homeschooling, especially when a family first starts to
homeschool. The term Unschooling is somewhat
hard to define, because by its very nature it is
completely determined by the individual. In the
homeschooling community, when a parent realizes

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that they must pull their child out of school, there is
almost always a pronounced adjustment period where
the child just needs to “de-school”, meaning that they
need time to let go of what school has always meant
and to be open to something new. Often parents
need to allow a period of time where they allow their
child to be free to simply relax and pursue their own
interests unencumbered by a strict regime. This
usually leads to Unschooling, which in its simplest
terms means learning without school. Unschoolers
know that most learning happens organically without
a school building, textbooks, or certified teachers.

In 1964, John Holt wrote How Children Fail, and then


in 1967 wrote How Children Learn. Holt was a great
advocate of the idea that children will learn no matter
what. He felt that the most important thing adults
could do was to be with their children, talk with them,
listen to them, and follow their lead. The idea that
learning only took place inside a school building was
repugnant to Holt. He was a huge advocate for
including children in the lives of adults instead of
separating them into age segregated groups with only
each other to look to for guidance. In How Children
Learn, he wrote:

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"Birds fly, fish swim, man thinks and learns.
Therefore, we do not need to motivate children into
learning by wheedling, bribing or bullying. We do not
need to keep picking away at their minds to make
sure they are learning. What we need to do, and all
we need to do, is bring as much of the world as we
can into the school and classroom (in our case, into
their lives); give children as much help and guidance
as they ask for; listen respectfully when they feel like
talking; and then get out of the way. We can trust
them to do the rest."

In essence, to unschool means to be open to any and


all learning possibilities. The role of the parents or
adult is mainly to be available to support the child,
have discussions with them which often lead to
opportunities for passing on knowledge. The adults
need to create a rich learning environment filled with
books, art supplies, trips to the library just to browse,
time to wander through museums with no agenda in
mind, and time outside to explore nature.
Unschoolers see learning as life and life as learning.
Education happens while living, not while set apart

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from life and sequestered inside a school building.
Unschooling means to go back to our most basic
inclination as humans: to learn.

2. Classical Schooling

The core of a classical educational model is the


Trivium, which simply means a model which
addresses the appropriate mode of learning for the
corresponding age and maturity level. The grammar
stage corresponds to elementary school. This age is
open to absorbing facts and memorizing. During this
stage young children are building a large database of
facts and skills; they are amassing a strong
foundation of knowledge on which to lay higher level
thinking in higher grades. The grammar stage
focuses on tools such as understanding language,
numbers, and basic laws of science. Children love to
learn, this phase takes advantage of that natural
ability to absorb facts by filling the child’s mind with
important facts which will be analyzed in the next
phase. A classical model includes a lot of
memorization and drilling. In recent years
memorization and drilling have been downplayed,
labeled as harsh, cruel, and unnecessary. The focus

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has turned to “authentic” education and “child-
centered” learning. This organic child centered
education has its place, but parents who use the
classical model also understand that to be truly
creative and to have the ability to really succeed, one
needs tools and a certain amount of rote, automatic
knowledge. It is hard to build a beautiful bridge
without excellent math skills. It is hard to move to
higher level math without a firm grasp of addition,
subtraction, multiplication, and division. A student
can never do simple addition if they do not first
memorize their numbers. Classical education
understands that without a firm grasp of basic skills
and knowledge, a child will always be at a
disadvantage.

The second phase is the logic phase, where the child


begins to take the knowledge they have amassed and
analyze it. During this phase, the middle school
years, children naturally begin to question everything
from their parents to their teacher to their textbooks.
The logic phase comes alongside the student and
helps them to focus their questions into logical
answers and how to properly analyze information to
come to logical conclusions.

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The final stage is the rhetoric stage. In the high
school years, students learn how to take their broad
base of factual knowledge and their ability to analyze
and conclude logically to now form their own
suppositions and learn how to express their thoughts
and conclusions coherently and authentically. The
final phase of the trivium focuses on the student not
only expressing themselves, but doing it eloquently in
both written and verbal form.

It is important to understand that although in a school


setting the stages are loosely categorized by age
level, the trivium is a lifelong process. When a person
begins to learn a new skill at any age, he or she will
start at the grammar stage, learn the basics, and
move on from there. Classical homeschooling
emphasizes mastery of the facts of a subject before
using those facts to ask intelligent questions and
analyze the world around them.

The classical education model places high emphasis


on the arts, history, and literature, particularly
Western civilization and ancient civilizations. A
classical education usually includes Latin, and
sometimes Greek. Latin is included because it is the

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foundation for the Germanic and Teutonic languages.
For the student who knows Latin, all other language
study becomes easier, and exposure to Latin
increases comprehension in the study of science,
medicine, and law. Latin increases SAT scores,
improves logical thinking skills, and improves ordered
thinking as well.

Original sources are an important part of a classical


education. Students use fewer textbooks and more
novels and essays. Reading what Homer or
Benjamin Franklin actually wrote takes the place of
reading about them in a textbook. Students learn
about time periods through the writings of the people
who were there. A classical education emphasized
reading classic works in their full form, not excerpts or
abridged versions.

3. Eclectic Homeschooling

The eclectic homeschooler looks around and takes


bits and pieces from any and all styles and curricula.
The truth is that most homeschoolers are at their base
eclectic. Drilling the ABC’s but allowing freedom to
explore whatever element of science suits the child’s

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fancy is typical of eclectic homeschooling. It takes
some courage on the part of the parent to boldly take
responsibility for tailoring each area of a child’s
education and having the courage to try a new
curriculum, but dump it two weeks later because it just
isn’t a good fit for the student. It is not uncommon for
new homeschooling parents to start out with a specific
curriculum to give themselves and their child some
structure and guidelines. Later on the parents may
see that the math in this curriculum suits their child
perfectly, but they would rather generate English and
writing assignments themselves to fit their child better.
Sometimes a curriculum will spur a family to head off
in another direction for a while before returning to the
original plan.

For eclectic homeschoolers, nothing is off limits and


all possibilities are welcome. Eclectic homeschoolers
may spend most of their time Unschooling and
following the lead of their child. But when it comes to
math, they realize the necessity of drilling and math
fact memorization. Or a parent may bemoan their
own lack of historical knowledge and be very diligent
about teaching their child historical facts and
important dates in history. Knowing when to drop

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something that isn’t working and knowing when to
stick it out because even though it’s hard, the student
is showing progress, does take some time to figure
out. But flexibility is key in eclectic homeschooling,
and in homeschooling in general.

Realizing that your style is eclectic is usually just that:


a realization. Along the homeschool journey, parents
begin to see that they have naturally learned how to
follow what works, drop what doesn’t, and when to
persevere. Families rarely choose a style and decide
that is what they will do. Most homeschoolers end up
a bit eclectic.

4. School at Home

Sometimes a family will choose to create school at


home which mimics the regular school day. While
this is a more uncommon way to homeschool, it can
work for different reasons. Sometime a parent will
only be planning to homeschool for a specific amount
of time and therefore wants to maintain a school
atmosphere so that their child will be ready when they
go back to school. Sometimes a family is just
naturally very structured and is very comfortable

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starting at a specific time each day, reciting the
pledge of allegiance, working on specific subjects for
specific times, and breaking for lunch at exactly 11:45
each day. If this style works for a family, then they
should do it.

Having school at home also lends itself to the use of


the local schools curriculum and resources, which can
make the child’s re-entrance into the local school
much easier. The family schedule and other personal
obligations may make a strict school at home format
the only way to successfully homeschool.

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Maeda Hanafi
While she is just like other 13 year olds in many respects,
Maeda Hanafi entered the University of New Haven in the fall of
2009.

Maeda’s father has a marine engineering degree and degrees in


computer science and her mother has training in economics. By
second grade, Maeda was bored in her local elementary school,
and her parents decided that she would do better at home. After
five years homeschooling, Maeda was ready to attend college.
She already had 15 college credits by the time she would have
finished seventh grade.

In school, Maeda found that she played too much and really
wasn’t learning very much. Homeschooling helped her to
concentrate on learning. Her parents feel strongly about
teaching a love of learning and also about teaching their faith
and values. For them, building good character and morals is
very important. Maeda is involved in her mosque and has
tutored her peers in Arabic.

Maeda also enjoys playing with her friends and doing all the
usual things that a 13 year old does, but she also is a step
ahead in planning her future and preparing for success.

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Chapter
4

How to Advance While


Homeschooling

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Once a family decided that homeschooling is right for
them, they face many questions and concerns. One
concern is how to manage their time and be sure that
they are moving at a proper pace. The way a family
chooses to homeschool has a lot of influence on this
question because unschoolers often feel that
“advancement” is not as important as the child
developing in their own way and picking up the
information they need to know on their own timeline.

One thing to consider when deciding to homeschool is


where do you hope to end up? While no parent
knows exactly where they are headed with their child
and cannot foresee what the future holds, usually the
parent and child have an idea where they want to end
up. Considering where you and your child plan to be
in a year or two will help you plan your advancement

If you know that you will only be homeschooling for a


short time and that your child will most likely be
returning to school, then it may be to your advantage
to plan to advance right alongside the school. Get
curriculum and lesson plans from the school or other
teachers. Follow the schools plan with regard to
subjects, time spent on each subject, and project

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timelines. This will help keep you in line with the
school and help to ensure that your student has a
smooth transition back into school.

Most homeschoolers find themselves having no idea


how long they will homeschool. They feel that
homeschooling is right for them now, but maybe their
children will go to school some day. Maybe. Or
maybe not. The key to homeschooling is flexibility.
But you still need to be able to manage your time and
keep your student on the right track.

1. Talk to Other Homeschoolers

This may be the very best advice in any area of


homeschooling. Getting together with other
homeschoolers will help you see what other people
are doing and how it is working for them. Most
seasoned homeschoolers will be able to help you to
compare what you are doing to what others are doing
and how your child is doing compared to other
homeschooled children. But do not misunderstand
this thought. The idea is not to compare and make a
judgment call on yourself or someone else. It is to
gain valuable information about where others are,

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where you are, and to help you see that maybe you
need to step things up a bit, or maybe your child is
sailing along ahead of the others. Having a gauge
simply helps you realize that you might want to focus
more on a subject that you hadn’t thought about until
a fellow homeschooler mentions that they have been
studying that topic.

Most homeschoolers will tell you that watching and


spending time with your child will be all that you need
to know if they are advancing.

2. Testing

Most states require registered homeschoolers to


periodically take standardized test just like their public
schooled peers. These tests are useful for showing
where a homeschooled student stands in relation to
the other entire student their age or in their grade.
Testing can be very useful for showing parents where
the gaps are in their child’s education. It is not
uncommon for a homeschooling parent to say “Oh
my! I hadn’t even thought about studying that area
yet.” Test can also show where a child has a real
weakness, such as in multiplication facts.

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Testing is NOT the greatest factor in assessing your
child’s abilities or educational level. Mandated state
tests should be seen as one measuring tool which
can be useful in the total evaluation of a student’s
progress.

3. Time Management

While each person needs to find their own personal


way to manage their time, there are a few techniques
which help. Just remember that when you first start
homeschooling, your entire family is entering into a
learning process. A large part of homeschooling is
integrating learning into everyday life; homeschoolers
understand that teaching and learning should be part
of our everyday life, not separated from it. Embrace
your own part of the process as a student of
homeschooling. Don’t expect that everything will go
exactly as you picture it immediately. Adjusting to the
new processes that are taking place in your home will
take some time. Consider your and your child’s
natural tendencies, then consider what you hope to
accomplish. Be patient and stay flexible. Again, it’s
very important to realize that this is a process, and the

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journey is the important part, so just relax, do your
best, and keep improving

Purchase planners and calendars. Think about how


your want to organize your household and your
homeschooling schedule. It is helpful to have a large
monthly calendar where you and your children record
all of their activities and obligations. Teach your
children to plan ahead and to be organized. Teaching
a child how to use a planner is a wonderful skill.
Implementing the discipline to use a planner regularly
will help them to stay organized throughout their lives.
Keeping a planner will save them time and frustration
and help them to reach their goals.

Backward scheduling is a great tool on a long term


basis and on a daily basis. Look ahead at the end of
the year and think about where you want to be and
what subjects or skills you want to have covered.
Work backward to create a map of how you want to
get there. Not only will you feel more secure that you
are covering everything you need to cover, but you
will be motivated daily to do what you need to do to
reach your goals. It is ok to follow the local public
school’s schedule, or to adjust your plan to fit what

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you feel is important. Also, remember that this is a
guide, but it is not set in stone. It is like using a map
when you go on vacation. You have a destination in
mind and a plan to get there. That doesn’t mean that
you won’t decide to take a more scenic route for part
of the trip or that you won’t see an attraction that you
weren’t aware of and decide to stop and experience it.
But you will know where your destination is and how
to get back on track to end up in the right place.

Plan ahead for dealing with distractions. The


telephone is definitely one of the greatest distractions
known to modern man. And not only do we now have
our home phone, but our cell phones to manage as
well. It’s a good idea to turn the ringer off during
homeschool hours. There is no law saying that you
have to answer the phone or that anyone who calls
deserves your immediate attention. Use the vibrate
setting on your cell phone so that you will be notified
of important calls, but the call won’t interrupt your
children while they are working. Text messaging can
be a benefit here, since you can quickly and quietly
answer important communication with minimal
disruption to your learning environment. Also, once
you have established a routine, let the people in your

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life know when you are available to talk and when you
will not communicate with them because you are
schooling. Be firm. If people know they can interrupt,
they will. Some telephone companies offer a service
which allows you to set specific times during the day
when you will not be accepting phone calls. The
caller will receive a message stating that the number
is not taking calls at this time. However, you will have
a code that your spouse or anyone who truly may
need to contact you may use which will allow their call
to come through. Check with your local telephone
company to see if this is an option. It will save you a
lot of time wasted to interruptions.

Discipline yourself regarding e-mail and internet.


These are huge distractions that usually end up
sucking much more time than you plan. Give yourself
a limit, or set one time each day to check e-mail. Put
it in your schedule so that in your head you know you
will be able to get to it, then set a timer so that you will
not lose track of time.

Set goals. Look ahead and make yearly goals,


weekly goals, and daily goals. Having a goal helps
you remember where you are headed. Involve your

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children in setting goals for themselves. One child
may want to master cursive writing by Summer.
Another may plan to read the entire Seerah series by
next spring. Goals can be anything, such as grasping
algebra, doing household chores, flossing daily,
covering the 1400 years ago, or measuring rainfall
every day for a month.

Assess your progress regularly. Check in on whether


goals have been met and become aware of subjects
which take much longer than planned or are going
much faster than planned. Regular consistent
assessment of your progress will help you adjust the
schedule accordingly. This also helps you see where
you are losing time so that you can take action to
remedy the situation. Just as importantly, you will be
able to clearly see where you are meeting your
deadlines and how much you and your children are
accomplishing. Homeschooling can be a fairly
solitary endeavor, and seeing the strides your children
are making and having a clear record of their
accomplishments will inspire you to keep going.
Another side benefit will be your ability to clearly state
what your children have learned so far when you are
confronted by naysayers and doubters. That good

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feeling of accomplishment and the confidence you will
have is priceless.

Create a Do Not Disturb sign. It is a simple strategy,


but can make a huge difference. Your sign might be
as simple as black sharpie on a piece of paper; or you
can have your children create an elaborately
decorated sign. Stick it to your door every morning
before you start working. Better yet, put a nail or
hook in the wall next to your front door to hang your
sign on. Put the Do Not Disturb message on one
side, and Welcome on the other side. Neighborhood
children will get the message and stop ringing your
doorbell as soon as you start studying. Other stay at
home moms will get the message that you aren’t
available for coffee and chit chat until later in the day.
Salesman will think twice before bothering you. The
Do Not Disturb sign puts you in control of the
interruptions which will show up at your door.

Make your goals public. After joining a


homeschooling play group or support group, share
your goals with other members of the group. Making
goals public adds a sense of responsibility and also
opens you up to encouragement and support.

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Homeschoolers can be a fringe group and they tend
to band together to support each other. You will have
no problem finding other homeschoolers who will
agree to hold you accountable and will be willing to
get together regularly to assess their progress. Your
new homeschooling friends will also be there to help
you get through difficult times. When you have
periods where you feel like you are hitting a wall or
can’t seem to get through a subject, your
homeschooling cohorts will help you brainstorm new
ways to approach the topic. They will share their own
experiences and share different strategies which they
have found useful and may even share resources,
such as books or curriculum they are finished with.
Soon you will find yourself sharing and helping other
new homeschoolers as well.

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Chapter
5

Patience While
Homeschooling

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All parents know that having children requires
patience, but when a parent considers
homeschooling, they often wonder if they will have the
patience to be with their child all day every day and
be able to accomplish everything they hope to
accomplish.

Relax. It’s not as hard as it sounds. First, remember


that having and raising a child is natural. Our society
has programmed us to think that our tiny 5 year old
should be trucked off to another building to be taught
and that we as parents don’t have the training to
handle, teach, and raise our own children. But we do.
You do. InshAllaah. (God-Willing)

Just like with everything else in life, there are times


when you experience smooth sailing and everything
just falls into place perfectly. But there will be days
when the people around you, your child included, will
not cooperate and will seem to want the opposite of
what you want and are determined to undermine
everything you have set out to do. Realizing that
having bad days and going through difficult times with
your child is NORMAL will help you remain calm and
stay the course. Having a difficult child or a hard time

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sticking to a teaching schedule is ok. Having days
when you think you can’t do it or think you are ruining
your child are NORMAL. Wondering why you decided
to do this and fantasizing about all the fun stuff you
could be doing if you would just stick your kid on that
bus every morning is NORMAL. DO NOT let any of
these thoughts or feelings deter you. Remember that
what you are doing is an investment, and just like all
investments, it can be painful at times. We don’t
always want to exercise, but it is an investment in our
health. We would rather buy something fun than put
money in the bank and save it, but it is an investment.
Each parent will need to find their own way to stay
calm and save their patience while homeschooling,
but there are a few things that will help, inshAllaah.

1. Network

The most important resource you will ever have while


you homeschool is other homeschoolers. This cannot
be stressed enough. As soon as you decide to
homeschool, or better yet, as soon as you start
thinking about it, find other homeschoolers and get
connected. These days most areas have homeschool
groups and classes where homeschoolers can get to

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know each other and share their stories. The word
“home” in homeschooling is a bit of a misnomer,
because most homeschoolers spend more time out in
the world than their public schooled counterparts.

Don’t try to homeschool in a vacuum! Feeling alone


and isolated can make anyone feel depressed and
anxious. Get involved, meet new people, and get
your child involved in activities outside your home.
Meeting with other homeschoolers, getting involved in
homeschool classes, planning trips to the zoo or local
museums with other homeschoolers, and joining
online forums to share information about
homeschooling will save your sanity and keep you
excited. Homeschoolers in general love to share their
experiences and are very supportive. Getting to know
others and developing a support system is
indispensible. Every parent begins to lose patience
and feel stressed out at times. Getting involved in a
local homeschool class, whether it be Quraan, Arabic,
martial arts, science, or any other topic, is incredibly
helpful. Knowing that you have some time when you
know your child will be learning something useful, at
the same time and you will be able to relax and talk
with other homeschooling parents about your

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struggles and triumphs is incredibly helpful. You will
find that a little time each week when someone else
takes over and you can connect with other adults will
refresh you and give you renewed patience and
strength.

2. Read and Research

Stay active in your search for knowledge about


homeschooling.Reading stories about other
successful homeschoolers will help keep you excited
and renew your resolve. Also, while reading and
researching you may stumble upon just the right new
idea that you need for your child. Or you may read a
story about a homeschooler who struggled through a
situation just like yours and seeing how they handled
it will help you handle your own situation. You never
know when a particular book or article about
homeschooling will trigger an “ah ha!” moment and
get your out of a rut or inspire you and renew your
strength.

Take Time for Yourself


Homeschooling requires a lot of your time and
energy. Just like the emergency instructions on an

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airplane when the flight attendant reminds you to put
your own oxygen mask on before helping your
children, you need to have your own well being in
mind so that you are able to take on the task of
homeschooling. Other parents who send their
children off to school may not truly understand the
sacrifices of time and energy which you will be
expending while you homeschool. Schedule a small
amount of time each day if you can to be alone to do
whatever you want to do. A half hour of exercise,
reading, walking in the woods, napping, listening to
music, or whatever feeds your mind and soul makes a
huge difference in your personal well being. Whether
you need to be soothed or energized, take the time
and make it a priority. Do not make yourself a martyr
for the needs of your children. Sacrificing too much of
yourself won’t do any of you any good. Many
homeschooling parents find that trading an afternoon
of babysitting or play dates works great. Knowing that
you will have, say, every Wednesday afternoon to
yourself can help keep you in shape for the great
journey of homeschooling.

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Chapter
6

Socialization

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Socialization seems to be the question which comes
up regularly, especially from those outside the
homeschooling world. In today’s world most people
are programmed to believe that children need to be in
groups of other children to learn how to socialize.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Socialization
is first and foremost the responsibility of parents.
Children aren’t born knowing how to properly socialize
with others. Certainly they are born with a need to
socialize and naturally want to socialize. The
question is how they socialize and who do they
socialize with. When you decide to homeschool, you
also are choosing to take the bulk of the responsibility
for the socialization of your children and the
influences which you allow and the influences you
encourage in their lives.

For homeschoolers, socialization takes on a true


world view. Instead of sitting in a classroom full of
students who are all the same age, live in the same
area, and probably have a similar socioeconomic
background, homeschoolers have the world at their
fingertips. The freedom of homeschooling allows your
children to interact regularly with people of all ages
and backgrounds. Some homeschoolers take their

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school on the road and travel extensively, exposing
their children to a wide range of experiences and
people. Even taking your children with you while you
run errands expose them to the folks at the post
office, your friendly bank teller, or the kindly produce
manager at your favorite grocery store.

Having control of your daily schedule without having


to work around the public school schedule means that
you can plan a morning of volunteering at the local
senior center where your children can interact with
elderly people. An experience like this allows your
children the opportunity to not only learn from people
who have a wealth of life experience and a host of
interesting stories, but to feel comfortable with people
of different ages. Teaching your children the
importance of spending time with elderly people and
showing respect and deference to the elderly is a truly
noble goal. Many homeschooled children are at ease
with people of all ages, more so than their
sequestered public school counterparts.

Your children will need time with other children, but


not nearly as much as society would have you
believe. Again, YOU are the main influence in your

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children’s lives. But it doesn’t take too much effort to
be sure you children have time to play with other
children and have the opportunity to make and have
friends. This is another area where getting involved
with homeschool support groups will be indispensible.
Spending time with other homeschoolers will give you
and your children a chance to make friends.
Homeschool groups also often plan activities such as
a trip to the zoo or to the local museum. Getting
together with other folks of like mind is a wonderful
experience. You will have a chance to hook up with
people who share your values and education
philosophies. Homeschoolers always share great
classes they have found for homeschoolers, such as
Quraan, Arabic, martial arts, science, sports, and art.
Don’t forget that your child can also participate in
sports and organizations like boy scouts and girl
scouts, along with Mosque groups and volunteer
groups. However, as a homeschooling family, you
have the opportunity to watch other people’s children
and decide whether you want to encourage those
friendships your child creates. Sometimes you will
find that your child may gravitate toward other
children who don’t behave properly or who don’t

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share your values. This is a great time to teach your
children how to be discerning and particular about
who they let in to their inner circle. This isn’t to teach
discrimination, but to practice maintaining proper
space between people. For example, you may enroll
your child in a martial arts class. As you watch the
class, you will notice how different children behave,
and a child who is out of control and has anger issues
may not be the child you want to be your child’s best
friend. Certainly in the class setting, you want your
child to be friendly to all the other children and to treat
them all fairly. But you can encourage your child’s
friendship with children who show the qualities you
want for your child. By homeschooling, you virtually
eliminate the common dilemma of discovering that
while at school your child has formed a strong
friendship with a child who is a bad influence. While
your child is at school, you have no control over how
your child interacts with problem children or how
much time they spend with that child. Again, please
remember that you are not teaching discrimination,
but discernment. Teaching your child to gravitate
toward people who are good influences and will build
your child up is essential. Guiding your children as

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they choose friendships and relationships is crucial
and very rewarding.

Christopher Paolini

In 2003, Christopher Palolini published his first book,


Eragon. Christopher’s mother, Talita, stayed home to
raise her son and began educating him using the
Montessori Method. Due to the cost of curriculum
materials, she began developing her own lessons and
activities. When the time came for Christopher to attend
school, his parents were concerned that he would be
bored in a regular classroom, so they made a conscious
decision to live a simple life so that they could devote
most of their time to homeschooling their children.

At the age of fifteen, Christopher graduated from high


school, and had begun working seriously on his writing.
He has always been fascinated by science fiction and
fantasy, and was inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien and Anne
McCaffrey. In 2002, he first published Eragon. The
family struggled during that first year, but in 2003 Eragon
took off and became a major success, bringing in a six
figure income. Christopher has also written two sequels
to Eragon and the book has been made into a major
motion picture.

Christopher credits the support of his parents and the


environment they created for him as the key to his
success.

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Chapter
7

Which Curriculum Should I


Get?

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Choosing a curriculum for homeschooling is tricky
business. When a family starts thinking about
homeschooling, one of the first questions they ask is
“what do I use?” Homeschooling requires a different
mindset when it comes to gigantic questions, such as
“What do I teach?” “When do I teach it?” “Am I
covering everything?” While these are good
questions, they aren’t always the most important
questions. What you teach, when, and how, depend
a lot on you, your child, the ages of your children, and
the interests of everyone involved. It is a good idea to
familiarize yourself with many curricula so you know
what is out there, and then consider your own needs.

The best way to begin looking into curricula is while


networking. Veteran homeschoolers are a wealth of
knowledge regarding curriculum. As you begin to
make friends with other homeschoolers and begin to
gravitate towards those who are of like mind, they can
give you information about what they have tried, what
worked, what didn’t work, what they liked or didn’t
like, and how different curricula works for different
kids.

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Another great bonus regarding networking and
curricula as you network is that you may run into
people who are nearly finished with their curriculum
and are willing to pass it on to you for free or a very
low price. This is a great way to try out a curriculum
and see if it will work for you. Networking online can
also open up avenues for finding used curricula which
you can try for minimal cost.

As you think about the tools you will use for your
homeschooling, take into consideration your own
personal situation. Your child may already show that
they are a very visual learner, and therefore you want
to look for a curriculum which is geared in that
direction. A curriculum which is mainly online or
computer based may appeal to you, or you may really
want your child focusing on reading real books and
writing on paper with a pencil for now.

There are some good books out there which will give
you an overview of what your child should learn at
each age level. By reading these books before you
begin, you will have a better understanding of what
you need and want to cover. Using these books may
also convince you that you don’t need to purchase a

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curriculum and that you can find most of what you
need at the library or local bookstore. Following are
just a few of the excellent books available which will
be very helpful throughout your homeschooling
journey

Cultural Literacy: What Every American


Needs to Know by E.D. Hirsch

The Core Knowledge philosophy is based on the book


Cultural Literacy by E.D. Hirsch. Hirsch stresses the
idea that knowledge builds on knowledge, and that
every child needs a base of knowledge in order to
function well in society and to pursue higher
education. Reading Cultural Literacy will give you a
well rounded view of what you will want to cover by
the end of your homeschool journey. You may want
to add or leave out topics or reading materials, but
this book is an excellent guide.

The “What Your ___ Grader Needs to


Know” series by E.D. Hirsch

This series of books also by E.D. Hirsch lays out the


necessary skills and knowledge a student should
know by grade level from kindergarten through eighth

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grade. These books are another excellent resource
for finding gaps in knowledge which your child may
have. It is a good idea to peruse the grade level both
before and after the “grade” your child should be in.
For instance, if you have a child who would be in
second grade, reading What Your Child Needs to
Know in First Grade, What Your Child Needs to Know
in Second Grade, and What Your Child Needs to
Know in Third Grade will be very helpful.
Homeschooling allows for, and encourages,
education to be personal. You may need to address
kindergarten math skills with your second grader, but
find that your second grader is ready for reading
materials at the third grade level. This series of books
will help you find out where you need to focus your
attention for your particular student.

The Educated Child: A Parent’s Guide from


Preschool Through Eighth Grade by
William Bennett

William Bennett, former U.S. Secretary of Education,


wrote this book as a guide for schools and parents to
understand the basics that need to be addressed at
every age. The Educated Child is another excellent

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tool which parents can use as a guide to be sure they
are covering important aspects of their child’s
education.

The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise


Bauer

This is another excellent resource for finding out what


you need to address while homeschooling. The Well-
Trained Mind is a classically based guide to what a
child needs to know at each age level. Using the
Trivium, a guide to the three stages of learning, Bauer
lays out what children need to know at each grade
level and also how to approach the knowledge
according to the stage of learning that your student is
in. The Well Trained Mind is unique in that it covers
topics which may not be covered in modern curricula,
such as logic and rhetoric, and also focuses on using
classic literature to teach important lessons.

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Alex and Brett Harris

Alex and Brett Harris are the authors of Do Hard


Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low
Expectation which was published in 2008. The book
is a battle cry calling out to teenagers to resist the
temptation to accept low expectations. The Harris
brothers believe strongly in the abilities of teenagers
to do more than play video games and hang out. In
2005, the Harris brothers founded
TheRebelution.com, a website which promotes a
rebellion against the widely accepted idea that
teenagers are lazy and spend their time causing
trouble.

The boys were homeschooled by homeschooling


pioneers Gregg and Sono Harris. Brett and Alex feel
that homeschooling allowed them the freedom to
follow their interests and to really focus on whatever
project was important to them at the time. They also
feel that their parent’s reasons for homeschooling, a
yearning for excellence and higher standards, led
them to their philosophy and paved the way for their
accomplishments. The Harris brothers currently
attend Patrick Henry College in Virginia, and they are
regular contributors to numerous magazines and
speak at conferences nationwide.

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Sample Curricula Used by
Homeschoolers:

SuperCharge Home Schooling

This curriculum is designed and done for the Muslims,


but Non-Muslims may also benefit tremendously from
it. The curriculum is still being completed, inshAllaah
it will be from teaching your 3 year old to read to Pre
K-12th grade. Right now it has “The Power of
Reading,” Pre K, and K. By the end of 2011
inshAllaah they are hoping to have grades 1-8 done.
By the end of 2012 their hoping to have high school
finished as well, inshAllaah.

This curriculum is different than others because Zohra


Sarwari is actually homeschooling her 3 kids, plus
one more child right now. She has gone from
teaching them to read to the 8th grade level right now.
She is particular about how they learn, and what type
of knowledge should be in books. Due to books
having so many bad themes even early on, she knew
that Muslims needed a righteous curriculum. Since
Muslims do not date, drink, eat pork, and do other

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unrighteous behavior, literature would have to be
taught in a righteous way, not based on what a few
thought was literature. This curriculum is for every
parent who wants to teach their child to be righteous,
pious, and obtain knowledge that will help them with
those character building skills.

Calvert

The Calvert school began in 1905 when the Calvert


Day schools headmaster, Virgil Hill pushed for the
sale of the school’s curriculum to families who were
unable to send their children to the day school.
Harvard trained Hillyard believed that a good
education should be available to everyone and that
“the whole realm of knowledge is the true field of
study and that school is not he preparation for life-it is
life.”

Hillyard continued to promote the sale of the


curriculum for five dollars, and found that there was a
great demand for a curriculum which could be used in
the home. Soon the Calvert curriculum was in use
around the world. Children overseas with missionary
parents were receiving Calvert lesson, as were

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children in remote areas where their lessons were
delivered by boat or airplane. Calvert has also been
used for many years military families around the
world.

Today Calvert is more popular than ever and has also


kept up with technological advances, offering
computer based software. Also, each Calvert student
has personalized access to valuable online resources,
enrichment courses, technology support, and
educational advising.

Oak Meadow

Oak Meadow is a homeschool resource and has a


physical school in Vermont. They have been in
business for 35b years, and have developed a whole
child approach to education, and believe that
education should speak to every aspect of the child.
Lessons integrate all learning styles, encourage the
use of multiple intelligences, and accommodate all
types of learners, including visual, auditory, and
kinesthetic.

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Children are encouraged to express their knowledge
through writing, painting, drawing, building, and
creative play. Oak Meadow supports age appropriate
lessons and is highly aware of each child’s
developmental needs. Parents can choose to use a
complete curriculum, including 36 weekly lesson
plans, teacher manuals, activities, and supplementary
materials, or choose only the specific books and
lessons which you need. Oak Meadow offers
flexibility and homeschooling support to
homeschooling families all over the world.

Connections Academy

Connections Academy is tool which can be used by


homeschoolers, but is also a fully accredited public
school which is accessed from home. By enrolling in
Connections, your child is technically enrolled in a
public school. Connections offers a quality curriculum
and utilizes certified teachers.

Perhaps the best thing about Connections is that


because it is actually a public school, it is free.
Connections is a good choice for parents who feel
comfortable with what public school offers, but are too

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far from a local school. Parents who want to maintain
family togetherness and to be closely involved in their
child’s education may choose Connections. Families
who have been homeschooling and feel prepared to
take a step toward school will also find Connections a
nice bridge to the structure and requirements of
regular school.

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Chapter
8

History

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Homeschooling is an educational option which many
people don’t know about or don’t understand.
Compulsory public education is a fairly new idea
which has only been around for about 150 years.
From ancient times up until the 1800’s, education was
mainly the responsibility of the family. Children were
raised by their parents and taught the necessities of
surviving, whether on farms, frontiers, villages, or
cities. Education began at home learning to farm,
hunt, build, and sew. Often children learned a trade
from their parents. There was a time when children
usually followed in their parents’ footsteps, becoming
blacksmiths, bakers, butchers, and even leaders or
their tribe or town.

As the world moved closer to the Industrial age,


human beings were becoming more specialized, and
fewer families were one hundred percent self
sufficient. People were specializing and hiring out
work more and more often. As this shift in economics
came about and government was growing and
branching out, the need for common knowledge for all
people became a growing concern, particularly in the
United States, where an unprecedented mixture of

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cultures, languages, and histories were coming
together to form a new country.

In 1852, Massachusetts became the first state to


enact a compulsory attendance law requiring children
to attend public school. 16 states had compulsory-
attendance laws by 1885, and all states had enacted
such laws by 1918. In the early years of government
mandated school attendance, these laws were rarely
enforced and sporadically adhered to. As the
industrial age came into being, the need for factory
workers increased, and the need for people with
specific and uniform skills grew. Education became
less about raising children and more about creating
workers. Although general education was still
important, education of the masses to create a strong
workforce was the goal.

The humble beginnings of public education have their


basis in good intentions. The idea that all children
should have access to free education is a great.
However, when the idea becomes a government
funded and government run operation, some changes
come about which parents and educators didn’t
expect. As time has gone by, public school has

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become more about its own business operations and
less about each individual child.

The places where public schools fall behind are the


places where homeschoolers have decided to pick up
the pieces. In fact, most homeschooling families do
so from the very beginning, considering regular
school only when their students are older and mature
enough to handle the pressures and influences of
school.

One Homeschooling Family’s Story

I suppose our story began before my children were


even born, when I was finishing my education degree.
During my student teaching, I began to see so many
issues and difficulties with the modern educational
system. I found that so many of my efforts to really
teach something important were stifled in the regular
school. Bells interrupted important conversations.
Taking roll and keeping grades were important, but
took up so much valuable learning time. The
vastness of the abilities in each classroom made it
difficult to really make a difference, either for those
who were behind, or those who were ahead. Real

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and true learning was often disrupted by bad
behavior, and one or two students could easily kill a
whole class period of learning. I loved to teach, but
regular public school seemed to almost be set up in a
way that extinguished even the possibility of success.

When my son was born, I was so enamored of him,


that I knew he simply had to become my number one
priority. I worked very part time as a substitute
teacher, and spent the rest of my time raising my son.
When he was three, my daughter was born. I
continued to work, but had my hands pretty full. I
enjoyed watching them grow and learn. When people
ask me about homeschooling and whether or not they
are qualified to do it, I remind them that all parents are
teachers from the beginning when we teach our
children to walk, talk, and eat.

Soon I realized that kindergarten was approaching for


my son. The thought made me nervous. I had now
spent five years behind the scenes in public schools,
and had not always been happy with what I saw in the
students, teachers, and administration. So far I had
been teaching my own children and all was going

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great. My son was beginning to read and could count
quite well. When I thought of him leaving me for most
of the day and thought about someone else taking
over my position as number one teacher, I would
literally feel sick. I had to laugh a bit when a neighbor
asked me if I was taking my son to “kindergarten
round-up”. When did we decide to refer to our
children with the same terms we use for cattle?

Besides my background in regular education, I began


to study homeschooling. In the past, I had taught two
high school students who mentioned to me that they
had been homeschooled. These two students were
so impressive that I began to see this as a very viable
option. I started reading books and looking into
homeschooling groups. What I saw appealed to me
as a teacher and as a mother.

When the first day of kindergarten came, I was still a


little nervous. I admit that the decision to homeschool
was pretty passive; I watched the clock that day, and
when I saw that the school day was well under way
without us, I thought to myself, “Well, it looks like we
are homeschooling.” Maybe it was a big decision, but

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it was really just us continuing to live our lives. I still
read to my kids every day, we colored, did puzzles,
practiced math, worked on writing, and whatever else
caught our attention. My son showed and obsession
with insects, for example, so he spent a lot of time
catching bugs and reading about bugs. I found a
book from the library which taught how to draw bugs,
and he made a book of bug drawings with
descriptions and information about the different bugs.
We laminated it, and it is a treasure. He caught
praying mantises, and would keep them in a cage and
hand feed them. My daughter showed a love of art,
and spent a lot of time with crayons, paint, and glitter.
Both my children, years later, are still pursuing these
passions.

Those years of homeschooling were more amazing


than I ever would have imagined, and I never
regretted a moment of it. Then we came to a low
point in our lives. My husband left us. It was an
unforeseen tragedy, and certainly turned our world
upside down. I could say a lot about that, but there is
no need. Life happens while we are going along,
minding our own business. But I will say that during

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that difficult time, I was more thankful than ever that I
had been homeschooling. The closeness I had
cultivated between the children and I was a saving
grace. I strongly believe that the time we had
together allowed us to remain stable and close;
divorce can be devastating for children, and by
managing to homeschool and maintaining that
stability made a big difference in the lives of my
children. I homeschooled for two more years after the
divorce, then chose a very small local school for them
to go to. The next year, my son attended a private
school because I refused to send him to the local
middle school. I intended to homeschool again, then
my ex husband decided to pay for my son to go to the
private school. The following year I took my daughter
out again and homeschooled because I felt she
wasn’t being challenged and her teacher was too
political.

Now, finally, our charter school is open, and both


children attend and are happy. They are well
adjusted and excel in their classes. We have been on
quite a journey. I tell people all the time that it is the
right and privilege of a parent to do what they feel is

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best for their child. Homeschooling can be a saving
grace in many ways. Raising a child is more than
sending them to the local school all day, every day.
There are many options. I strongly support parents
who decided to homeschool early, late, part time, full
time, or just for a period of time during a transition. It
takes strength and courage, but could be the best
investment you make in your family. Homeschooling
is truly an exercise in educational freedom and can be
a wonderful adventure.

--Marcy Andersen, Molalla, Oregon

Success after Homeschooling

In The Teenage Liberation Handbook, Grace


Lewellyn writes that “One third of the men who signed
the Declaration of Independence, the Article of
Confederation, and the Constitution of the United
States had no more than a few months of schooling
up their sleeves.” Throughout most of history, people
have done great things using only the education they

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received from their parents, other relatives, or through
internships. The idea of twelve years of compulsory,
public schooling is very new, and its effectiveness is
questionable.

NOTES:

Short List of Recent Successful


homeschoolers:

• In the academic world, Chelsea Bets


Christenson won the UN High School Essay
Contest in both 2003 and 2005, and has just
finished her first year of college in New York
City.

• Yang Liu, a homeschooled graduating senior,


was selected as a finalist for the National Merit
Scholarship Program.

• Morgan Bate finished a year at St. John's in


Santa Fe, a college that focuses on the works
of great thinkers and discussion with peers to

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cultivate a love of learning and the skills for a
lifetime of reflective thought.

• Yakov Vorobyev successfully graduated from


George Washington University (2005), with a
BA in Computer Science, and works at the IT
department of one of the biggest law firms in
Washington, D.C. He also continues a parallel
career as a DJ.

• Matthew Lifson got into 9 of the 10 colleges he


applied to. He was admitted to USC and
Pepperdine, UC Davis, the UC Irvine honors
program, and UC Berkeley. In addition he
received financial awards at the University of
Dallas, Santa Clara University, Loyola, and the
University of Arizona. He will be going to UC
Berkeley.

• Laurel Springs' student Britni Gleitsman


received a letter of acceptance from the
International University of Monaco and will
enroll in their Bachelor of Science in Business
Administration program. The University only

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accepts 150 Freshman from all over the
country and Britni was number 78!

• Rachael Lambin had a 3-page article featured


in "Teen Vogue" about her project HOPE
(Helping Obese People through Education).
She was also the winner of the Do Something
BRICK Award, which is called the Academy
Award of Community Services. Only 9 winners
are selected each year out of thousands of
applicants.

• Brooke Conway, a junior at Laurel Springs


Private School in Ojai, Calif., attended the
National Honors Convocation on Medicine at
Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles and
is a current member of Who's Who in America
and the National Society of High School
Scholars.

• Kate Siegel beat out over 80,000 other


students from the United States and Europe to
become the national winner of the Veterans of
Foreign Wars "Voice of Democracy" Speech

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Competition in Washington, D.C.

• This year Elena Hoshizaki has been


participating in the YMCA Youth & Government
program. At the leadership conference in Paso
Robles, Elena was elected Forum Lieutenant
Governor for the state of California. As Forum
Lieutenant Governor she presides over the
Forum Senate when it convenes in
Sacramento for the annual Model Legislature
and Court.

• The National Society of High School Scholars


selected 12-year-old Lars Christian Benthien of
Simi Valley for membership. The society
recognizes top scholars in the nation and
invites only those students who have achieved
superior academic excellence.

(http://www.homeschool.com/articles/successst
ories/default.asp)

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List of Homeschoolers by Interest and
Profession

Athletes
Michelle Kwan
Jason Taylor
Tim Tebow
Serena Williams
Venus Williams

Authors
Agatha Christie
Alex Haley
Beatrix Potter
C.S. Lewis
Charles Dickens
George Bernard Shaw
Hans Christian Anderson
Louisa May Alcott
Margaret Atwood
Mark Twain
Phillis Wheatley
Pearl S. Buck

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Robert Frost
Virginia Woolf

Businessmen
Andrew Carnegie
Colonel Harland Sanders
Dave Thomas
Joseph Pulitzer
Ray Kroc

Explorers
Davy Crockett
George Rogers Clark

Inventors
Alexander Graham Bell
Benjamin Franklin
Cyrus McCormick
Eli Whitney
Thomas Edison
Orville Wright
Wilbur Wright

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Presidents
Abraham Lincoln
Andrew Jackson
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
George Washington
Grover Cleveland
James Garfield
James Madison
John Adams
John Quincy Adams
John Tyler
Theodore Roosevelt
Thomas Jefferson
William Henry Harrison
Woodrow Wilson

Religious Leaders
Brigham Young
Dwight L. Moody
Joan of Arc
John & Charles Wesley
William Carey

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Scientists
Albert Einstein
Blaise Pascal
Booker T. Washington
George Washington Carver
Pierre Curie

Statesman
Alexander Hamilton
Daniel Webster
Patrick Henry
William Jennings Bryan
William Penn
Winston Churchill

United States Supreme Court Judges


John Jay
John Marshall
John Rutledge
Sandra Day O'Connor

Women
Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams
Clara Barton, started the red cross
Florence Nightingale, nurse

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Martha Washington, wife of George Washington
Susan B. Anthony, women's rights leader

Famous Homeschooling Parents


Lisa Whelchel
Kelley Preston and John Travolta
Will and Jada Pinkett Smith

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Have You Bought The Series “Things Every
Kid Should Know: Drugs, Alcohol,
Smoking and Bullying” for Your Kids By
Alya Nuri

Have You Bought The Series “Things Every


Kid Should Know: Strangers and Fire” for
Your Kids By Zafar Nuri

Have You Bought The Series “Things Every


Kid Should Know: Hand Washing” for Your
Kids By Arsalon Nuri

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Zohra Sarwari’s 10 Books:

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Zohra Sarwari’s Inspirational E-
books:

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