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Homeschoolers: were you required to take classes?

Ok all you homeschooling moms...
I am in a Master's program and for my thesis I would like to develop a program that will train parents how to be effective home-school teachers.
From my research I have found: 1) any parent can decide to home-school their kid- regardless of their ability or educational level. 2) every school district has different educational requirements for the children-per grade level and if you move the requirements will be changed. 3) there are many programs out there where parents can purchase lesson plans for every subject.
My questions are 1) Do you think you would be a better home-school teacher if you had taken a class (6-10 weeks) on how to be one(from making lesson plans to understanding how to teach effectively)?
2) Do you think the requirements for grade levels should be the same across districts?
3) Do you think that if you purchase a lesson plan for a subject you do not know much about (or have no love for or talent in) you understand HOW to teach it properly or in a manner that won't put your child off it?
4)If you had the chance to take a crash course on homeschooling would you think it would be beneficial? Or that it should count as credits (along with how many years you home-schooled) towards a teaching degree?

This thesis topic is not approved yet. I have to present four different topics for approval and the instructor will choose one she wants me to pursue.
Thank you.

Answer Question

Asked by elizabooks at 10:25 PM on Jul. 1, 2012 in

Level 15 (1,946 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • I homeschooled in two different states, California and Wyoming. The requirements to homeschool couldn't have been more different. In California, technically it's illegal to homeschool unless you have a teaching credential. Most parents who don't have a teaching credential use an umbrella school to teach through, and their curriculum and lesson plans are purchased through the umbrella school. There are now some online programs that people use as well. There are some parents who have found ways around this requirement, and do their own lesson plans. The umbrella school that I used required us to turn in our educational plan, and have monthly meetings with a licensed teacher...and more.

    In Wyoming, the only requirement was to send a letter to the school district once a year saying I'd be homeschooling. I planned my own lessons, and selected my own curriculum. No real guidelines at all.


    Answer by ohwrite at 10:46 PM on Jul. 1, 2012

  • To continue and actually answer your question.....I spent hours planning lessons, and studying myself. We worked hard, and my youngest started college at 15, The older son went back to public school. Both had college grants and scholarships.

    Personally, I would have welcomed a program to teach me, and give me guidelines to make it easier. I worked very hard at making sure my kids could go to college, or do whatever they wanted to do. I voluntarily had them take the states standardized tests so that I could evaluate in some way whether we were doing what we needed to do.

    I think your program could be fabulous. Feel free to message me if I can help!!

    Answer by ohwrite at 10:50 PM on Jul. 1, 2012

  • 1.) It's a fundamental right. 2.) I don't know about public, but for home-schoolers, it's different by state, not school district.

    1.) No.
    2.) No.
    3.) The curriculum that I use, has a teacher's guide. It has the 'how to teach' instructions.
    4.) There are many different ways of home-schooling. So, I don't know how a crash course could be beneficial.

    Answer by Christine0813 at 8:30 AM on Jul. 2, 2012

  • One of the advantages of homeschooling is the flexibility. There are many different ways to teach, and you can tailor it to each individual child. Therefore, I don't think a class would be beneficial. Teachers go to school, and they all learn the same way to teach. And while I'm not saying anything against teachers, we see the result - they teach all kids the same way, and for those kids that can't learn that way, they suffer and fall through the cracks. That's why some parents choose to homeschool - they see their child falling behind because of the "one size fits all" mentality, and they want to stop that. Again, not blaming teachers - they do the best they can with what they have.

    As far as teaching what I don't know or enjoy, there are so many websites, books, tv shows/documentaries and more that can either teach me so I can teach my child, or teach my child directly, that I don't feel my child would suffer. con't.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 8:59 AM on Jul. 2, 2012

  • I also have a huge family and tons of friends, and can be relatively certain that at least one of them would have the knowledge necessary to teach just about any subject, so I could rely on their help as well.

    I DO think that the requirements and standards for grade levels should be the same everywhere. Even without homeschooling, the differences create problems for kids who go to public school and their families move. It needs to be consistent everywhere so that children don't suffer just because their family has to move.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 9:03 AM on Jul. 2, 2012

  • Your findings are flawed.
    1) Most states do have minimum educational requirements that homeschool parents must meet. Most also have minimum standards (usually a minimum standardized test score) set for the homeschooled students.

    2) That is untrue. Educational requirements for homeschoolers are set at the state level.

    3) Well you did get 1 out of 3 right..... LOL

    As for your questions:
    1) No
    2) that is already the case
    3) In general yes, especially if the curriculum guide/lesson plan is geared toward homeschooling.
    4) No and no

    Answer by sha_lyn68 at 10:28 AM on Jul. 5, 2012

  • ohwrite said: "In California, technically it's illegal to homeschool unless you have a teaching credential." ....That is 100% false. Homeschooling in CA falls under the private school laws. The only requirement to homeschool in CA is to file a yearly private school affidavit. The so called "umbrella schools" are public school at home programs.

    Answer by sha_lyn68 at 10:32 AM on Jul. 5, 2012

  • so you researched just for your state?

    Answer by autodidact at 7:29 PM on Jul. 11, 2012

  • No. I looked up 6 states and the territories. As this was the prelim research, I was hoping for some info from others. It seems that in some areas home-school is counted the same as unschools and umbrella schools. It was becoming quite confusing.

    Comment by elizabooks (original poster) at 10:40 PM on Jul. 11, 2012

  • Christine: Yes it is a fundamental right to be able to teach your own child, BUT let us say you have a parent who dropped out in the 8th grade, never took the GED, doesn't want to finish school and has never taught anyone anything before. Do you think they would be a better teacher than someone who also never graduated, dropped out and never taught, BUT has taken a series of classes on HOW to teach?

    Comment by elizabooks (original poster) at 10:45 PM on Jul. 11, 2012

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