Homeschool Teaching and Expertise

by Graeme
(Melbourne, Australia)

Hi there and thank you for this excellent forum. We recently adopted a beautiful little girl from China. She is now 18 mths old and my wife and I are considering home schooling her for a number of reasons.

I am a Secondary and Teriary teacher of 20 years and am apalled at the rising incidence of bullying in schools today.

My area of expertise is history, theology and music. If we decide to begin homeschooling from toddler age, I don't think my wife or I would have any problems teaching her the core subjects at a primary level.

My question and concern relates to Secondary level subjects such as Maths, Science, Physics, Commerce and the like. How do we, as prospective home schooling parents, provide the proper expertise for these subjects? Do we have to get a tutor for each subject? Is there an agency that provides a single teacher who can teach these subjects? What are the costs involved?

My apologies for asking all of these questions, but they are real concerns for us when considering home schooling her since we take our daughters future education and her overall development very seriously.

I hope someone can give us some advice please. Thanks in anticipation of your help.

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Home Schooling older ones
by: Kathryn Pell

Blessings on your adoption! We have 7 adopted children ourselves! Regarding educating children in the middle/high school years, we have found out the following:

1. In our wonderful home school support group, we often had classes or gathered to learn with other families where one of the parents had expertise (sometimes a Masters degree or PHD in the field) to teach beyond our level. For example: Our children took Latin in a small home school group gathering with a wonderful mom, who had her masters in Latin!

2. There are excellent materials for teaching older grades (so you don't have to remember it all at this moment).

3. Some areas offer co-ops for home educating families to pay for classes and they offer many of the more difficult high sch. subjects.

4. Some high sch. students are mature enough to attend college classes while in high school where they learn biology, etc. at a college level & get both high school and college credit for taking it. Here in NC this is called duel enrollment and the college courses are free too!

5. There are things you may realize your child does not need to take that a regular high school would require. You can customize their education.

6. Many middle and high schoolers can study intensely in subjects that interest them in their home school enviroment. It is very possible for them to take the Clep exams (at any age) and pass them for high school and college credit in the course. My young son was a U.S. history buff. He could have taken the Clep test and passed (50 % is a passing grade on the Clep by the way) to receive college credit.

So take one year at a time and see what opportunities open up for your sweet little one and your family on the journey of home education! I don't think you will be disappointed!

Teacher Expertise
by: Cassandra (Gold Coast, Qld)

Hi Graeme,
Congratulations on your successful adoption! What a precious gift you have been given. I am sure you & your wife are overjoyed at having a such a treasure in your home! We also were ready to adopt from China, when we decided to have one last go at IVF (we had already tried several times). Somehow, by the grace of God & an amazing doctor, we had an ultra-precious baby boy (just turned 7 last week)! So i feel your joy at having your little girl finally with you!

I applaud your decision to thoughtfully consider home educating. There are many wonderful curriculums available for primary - secondary teaching + there are LOADS of excellent individual programs on offer. If you can make the time to peruse some of them, i am sure you will find something that suits you. We are presently with ACC for some subjects & that gives us the benefit of having teachers on hand to help & for participation in Activity Days with several teachers attending. But there are plenty of programs that you could easily teach yourself (esp. with your own qualifications). Some programs have online tutoring available, or come with their own teaching DVD's. There is a great diversity & more than enough to give your daughter the best & highest standard of education possible - even better than the best schools b/c YOU get to choose & scrutinize them yourself & then adapt them to her own individual learning style & passion.

Hope this may help in some small way.

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