“Let no man despise thy youth; but be
thou an example of the believers, in
word, in conversation, in charity, in
spirit, in faith, in purity” ( 1 Timothy
If you take proper family socialization
away and replace it with a cold environment with less than morally behaved social
peers, you can easily go from positive to
negative socialization. A child also can become attached to a teacher you don’t agree
with, or a school can become the authority
in your child’s life, leading to them refusing
your instruction at home.
Dr. Raymond Moore, in his book Better
Late Than Early, states, “The idea that children need to be around many other youngsters in order to be ‘socialized’ is perhaps
the most dangerous and extravagant myth
in education and child rearing today.” 1
Socialization starts in the context of family, and it is what could change an entire
society. Instead of a top-down government
plan of socialization, we start at the foundation of the power of family. Children raised
to be well-adjusted adults spend time with
well-adjusted adults and people from all
walks of life. Home education allows for
positive and powerful socialization. (See
our April 2013 Editorial: bit.ly/2sD10xJ.)
There are so many news reports of crime
and tragedy happening in schools (you
have to have a strong stomach to Google
it!). And in case we think bad schools are
isolated to certain parts of the country, I
know of someone who attended twelve different schools from coast to coast during
her childhood and had negative experiences at all of them. She was not even safe
at one of the Christian schools she attended
where a male student found her alone in
the classroom and tried to sexually assault
her. In the public schools, she was bullied,
teased, and lived in fear of the guy who
regularly sought her out to bump her into
the lockers in the crowded hall to touch her
inappropriately. And the big guy who always took her lunch. Or where the girl who
shared her locker dumped all her books in
the garbage so she had to carry that stack
to all of her classes for the rest of the year.
Or the teacher who looked at her that way
every day, or the drugs that were so preva-
lently offered, or the immoral acts going on,
or the research paper partners who were
too drugged or drunk to participate. Not
to mention the sex ed class that made her
cringe and feel sick. And believe it or not,
she graduated high school more than 35
years ago! What is it like today across our
country? (See the TOS Summer 2011 Edi-
Homeschoolers are especially noted for
their socialization with fellow students
and instructors. In fact, colleges are actively seeking them because they tend to
be the ones who engage the best at the college level. They are not only good students
who normally raise the overall GPA of their
school, they know how to research and ask
good questions and are not afraid to discuss
problems with their instructors. They are
not status quo, but instead are creative in
Now that we’ve scratched the surface of
the why, let’s talk about the how of home
The How of Home Education
Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states,
but requirements for each state are differ-
ent. So, the first thing to do is check the
homeschool laws in your state; you can do
so here: www.hslda.org/laws/default.asp.
It will also benefit you greatly to do these
• Pray and talk with your spouse about this
• Study the Scriptures and come up with
several Scriptures as your foundation.
• Research various methods and styles.
(See the section in this issue titled
Home-school Methods & Styles.)
• Join a state homeschool organization
and/or a local support group.
• Research and gather resources.
• Offer instruction in the several branches
of study per your state’s requirements.
• Maintain student and school records.
How you keep your records is up to you.
You can keep them in binders for each
child, in file folders, or in a simple plas-
tic tub or tote. These are the types of re-
cords you should keep (check your state
• course of study for each year (a list of the
curriculum you are using for each child)
• attendance records for each child
• any report cards, certificates, transcripts,
• health records and immunization paperwork (even if waived)
• testing requirements and results
• portfolios with samples of student work
• book lists, field trips attended, music
classes, extracurricular activities
Find Support and Resources
Attend a convention/conference in your
area (FPEA, HEAV, CHEA, CHEC, etc.).
They are well worth the drive and the babysitters! You will gain a wealth of information, encouragement, resources, and the
bonus of seeing so many homeschool families all in one place!
Browse through curriculum catalogs
(Rainbow Resource, A Beka, Classical
Conversations, Timberdoodle, Christian
Book.com, etc.) to see what kinds of things
you’d like to teach. Often you can find free
resources on the Internet as curriculum
printables or find discounted resources at
used book sales or even thrift stores. Start
your own homeschool library by finding
wholesome classics for the kids to read.
What to Teach
How do you know what to teach? Basically,
you need to cover the traditional subjects
of math, science, history, and language arts.
But some states have additional requirements such as studying the constitution or
flag etiquette. And my family likes to add
Bible as a subject. There are many “scope
and sequence” helps out there to guide you
in what to teach at which grade level. Note,
too, that private homeschools are normally
not bound to many of the public school requirements.
It also helps to know how your children
learn. Are they auditory, visual, kinesthetic, or maybe even logical or mechanical? Knowing your child’s learning style
will help you choose the right curriculum.
You may prefer an online type of school
that helps with record keeping and offers
Knowing your child’s
learning style will help
you choose the right