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OTHER ITA SITES:
Getting Together With Other Homeschooling Parents.
Homeschooling can have many benefits for your child. It allows for particular teaching styles to be implemented that suit your child's individual needs, as well as creating a learning atmosphere that your child works best in. Homeschooling also has financial benefits as well, if you consider the costs of a private school tutelage, and for this reason it seems to becoming increasingly popular with each and every generation.
One of the drawbacks of homeschooling, however, is the concern that your child is not surrounded by peers in the same way that he or she would be in a public school system. Also, as a homeschooling parent, you are dealing with lots of pressure - the quality of your child's education rests entirely on you, after all - and are probably dealing with many questions of your own. One good way to address this is to make a point of getting together with other homeschooling parents.
By meeting on a regular basis with other homeschooling parents, you do a service to both you and your child. You will be able to trade ideas and teaching techniques with other parents. Most importantly, though, you child will get a chance to interact with some of his or her peers. Children at a young age can be very susceptible and concerned with being different. All every child usually wants to do is fit in.
It's important when homeschooling your child that you acknowledge the fact that not everybody does it. This fact can't be kept hidden from your child, and at some point he or she will realize that lots of other kids go to school. That's why meeting up with other homeschooling parents can be valuable for your child, because they will see that they are not the only ones. The child's fear of not being "normal" will be eased by seeing and interacting with the other children.
There are many different ways you can get together with other homeschooling parents. One of the best ones is to incorporate it into the children's education. Keep in regular touch with other parents, and if you find yourselves studying the same subjects at the same time, suggest an appropriate field trip - in this way you can replicate the public and private school experience of combining your children's educational and social time.
Another good idea is to suggest a group project to be conducted with another family. If another parent is also teaching a biology unit, for example, you could suggest a that the children work on planting a garden together on your property. When studying zoology, a trip to the zoo would be enjoyable and educational for both you and your children when conducted with another family.
By keeping in regular touch with other homeschooling parents you will do a service for your child's education and social development. By exchanging ideas with other homeschooling parents you can learn new teaching strategies, and at the same time your will be teaching your children that they are not alone, and not at all strange.
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