Putting Your Child in School Gives You Less Freedom, Not More

Putting Your Child in School Gives You Less Freedom, Not More

There are several advantages, which are vital to your family’s well-being, when you keep your child at home, rather than school, and which serve you better too.

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10 Smart Holiday Gifts That Will Delight Your Child and Build His Character Too

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Two Family Dinner Secrets for Raising Happier Children

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Never Say These Four Words to Your Child

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Why 21st Century Children Are Never Satisfied

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Are Homeschooled Boys More Successful?

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Increase Your Child's Intelligence by Doing This One Thing

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The more your child actively uses his mind when he's young, and the more he continues to use his mind as he matures, the smarter he'll become.

We know that the brain is an ever-changing organ. It can weaken from misuse or neglect, and it can also become stronger from the right kind of use.

You want your children to stay into the habit of using their minds as they enter the school years. One of the ways you can help your child strengthen his mind is by providing him with good literature to read when he's older.

John Taylor Gatto had his sixth-grade class read and discuss Moby Dick by Herman Melville.

Parents say things like, "Well, he only reads comic books, but at least he's reading!"

As John Taylor Gatto once said, "Teach your children to grow up to be readers of more than the daily newspaper."

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Comic books are fine for comic relief on occasion. Maybe you're on a road trip or flying cross-country; this might be a time to let your child read a comic book or two or three.

It’s probably prudent not to let comic books work their way into your home though.

Comic books will make his mind lazy because the dialogues are simple and they're full of pictures which help tell the story. When it becomes time to read challenging literature, he won't be able to tackle the vocabulary or follow the longer and more complicated sentence patterns.

He'll complain to you that the book is "boring."

It's not boring; he just hasn't learned to read well. Please do not let him blame the book!

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Great books expand the mind and help us to understand the complexities of life and ourselves. If we replaced the department of psychology with a department of Shakespeare, we'd be off to a good start in improving our colleges and universities.

The inner workings of the mind and heart are there in his plays.

Once you get used to the language, Shakespeare is no more difficult to read than authors such as Tolstoy or Dostoevsky.

The ability to read great literature is what you want for your children. You want them to be exposed to the great ideas of Western thought that take us all the way back to Ancient Greece.

John Taylor Gatto was very in support of reading great books. It's where he got the seeds for many of his ideas.

I said there was one thing you need to do to increase your child's intelligence, but as I was writing this, another occurred to me, so there are now two things.

The two things are homeschool your children and expose them to great literature. I say homeschool because, sadly, your children won't get the kind of education they need in public school.

And with a lousy education system comes a dumbed-down people.

Let me share one last thing with you; it’s a poem by Emily Dickinson:

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There is no frigate like a book

To take us lands away,

Nor any coursers like a page

Of prancing poetry.

This traverse may the poorest take

Without oppress of toll;

How frugal is the chariot

That bears a human soul!

Have your children memorize Emily Dickinson's poem, and supply them with the kind of books that let them travel lands away!

You can join the Smart Homeschooler Academy waiting list to be notified when enrollment opens again for its signature course: How to Give Your Child a Private-School Education at Home.

Elizabeth Y. Hanson combines her training in holistic medicine, “Love and Leadership” parenting coach certificate, plus 17+ years working in education to provide you with a unique approach to raising and educating your children.

A veteran homeschooler herself, she now has two homeschooled children in college. 

Should You Grade Your Child's School Work?

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Charlotte Mason said that if we should not grade our children, but if we had to give them a grade, then it should be for conduct not cleverness.

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Some Things You Lose and Some Things You Gain by Homeschooling

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The actual "homeschooling" is easy, but some things that come with homeschooling may not be.

First, let's look at some of the things you give up, and then we'll look at some of the things you gain by homeschooling.

The Losses

1) The first thing you lose is having a tidy house ready to receive a last-minute guest. It's not that your home has to become dirty and disorganized, but your home is now doubling-up as a school. While many parents dedicate one room in the house as the schoolroom, as a homeschooler, learning is not always confined to one room.

Some days you might study fractions by baking a cake, other days you might conduct science experiments in the kitchen. Maybe you decide to do some artwork in the family room or read together in the living room.

Whatever you decide, yours will not be the home where the pillows are always fluffed up, and everything is in its place. Yours is the home that is well-lived in and fully occupied by children.

2) The second thing you will give up may be one of two things: if you are a working mother, you will give up your job and the extra income that comes with it. If you are a stay-at-home mother, you will give up a lot of free time, because you now have a job.

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With the former, while you're used to working, you aren't used to working for free. The loss of income in today's economy can be coupled with a loss of dreams, too, such as fancy vacations, new cars, expensive wardrobes, and bigger houses.

You may have also spent a lot of years in school studying to earn a prestigious degree, and to a large extent, your self-esteem and self-image may be tied up in your career. Maybe you absolutely love your work, and the thought of leaving it makes your heart sink. It can be challenging for a woman to give her career up to stay home with her children.

If, on the other hand, you've been a stay-at-home mother all this time, you now have to give up your life of leisure and get to work! Doing with less leisure means your social lunches, your long visits to the gym, and maybe even some recreational activities or other pursuits you enjoy doing during the weekdays may not always be possible. It's not that you have no time to yourself when you homeschool, but your free-time does take a major hit.

There is definitely some sacrifice that comes with homeschooling, and sometimes a lot of sacrifice depending upon how your life was before.

The Gains

But let's look at the gains now. I mean, after all, you had children because you love your spouse and you dream of having a happy family with him; and you dream of raising children together who grow up to become successful adults, right?

First, there are many ways to raise and educate a child, so understand that the gains I'm suggesting here are based on the way I teach parents to raise and educate their children

1) Your children will be more intelligent by being homeschooled than by going to public school. We live in a dumbed-down society. We all know this, so I don't need to argue this point.

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When you homeschool, you will raise your children in an environment that will nurture and develop their intellects.

Studies show that homeschooled children who are taught outside the charter and virtual programs (for the record, the charter/virtual school children are categorized as public-school students and not included in the studies on homeschooling) generally score significantly higher on all the standardized tests.

They're better students because they enjoy learning, they’re inspired to learn, and they know how to learn. They are anything but dumbed-down. Ask any college professor; college professors love homeschooled children. As a teacher, I can tell you that there is nothing more frustrating than a student who is not interested in learning, yet, this is your average college student today.

They are there for the degree, and the degree they'll get. But an education, not.

Because your homeschooler is a good student, he'll have a better chance of doing well in college because that's what the studies show. If he does well in a good college, he'll have a better chance of getting a better job and so forth. We all know how this works.

And if he opts-out of college, then he'll know how to make himself successful whatever he decides this means to him.

Maybe he wants to become a successful businessman, or perhaps he wants to live in a cabin by a lake and write novels, or maybe he wants to help the lower the poverty level; he'll know how to find the thing he was meant to do, and the thing(s) he loves to do.

He'll be able to figure it out because he's been figuring things out his whole life. Homeschoolers generally learn how to spend their time on worthwhile pursuits and make things happen.

2) Your homeschooled child is not going to be perfect, but he'll have a better chance of developing good character if he's homeschooled and has better influences around him.

Do I need to tell you how the public-school environment has become base and decadent not to mention dangerous?

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In today's day and age, we have a serious societal problem, too, with the lack of respect towards parents and authority. You cannot have a civil society without regard for parents and authority; instead, you get anarchy. And anarchy is the state of many homes today.

Disrespectful children and desperate parents; a truly tragic situation where everyone is the loser.

But this is much less likely to happen when you know how to create the kind of environment in your home that will support something higher.

What about the toll this modern lifestyle takes on a marriage? We won't even go there.

When you look back, after the years, what will you wish for? Will you wish that you had a bigger house, fancier vacations, more clothes, more time to yourself?

That's not what old people in their last years think about. They think about the people they love. Many of them worry about their aging children they seldom see and wish they had spent more time building a happy family and less time on things that, in the end, didn't really matter.

While you may temporarily give up a career or your leisure time when you homeschool, what you get in its place money can never buy.

Please join the Smart Homeschooler Academy waiting list to be notified when enrollment opens again for its signature course: How to Give Your Child a Private-School Education at Home.

Elizabeth Y. Hanson combines her training in holistic medicine, “Love and Leadership” parenting coach certificate, plus 17+ years working in education to provide you with a unique approach to raising and educating your children.

A veteran homeschooler herself, she now has two homeschooled children in college. 

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7 Ways to Spruce up Your New Homeschool Year

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As you welcome in the new homeschool year, one thing that you can do to continue to encourage this is to add some fun into the mix. 

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Is Preschool the Best Option for Your Child?

Is Preschool the Best Option for Your Child?

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Introducing a Homeschool Science Curriculum That Is Rising to the Top

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3 Things Your Child Should Do Even if It Makes You Panic

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It's a confusing time to be a parent! Many parents let their children do things that aren’t good for their development like play video games, but they don't let their children do things that are good for their development like take risks and get dirty.

Here are three things that you must let your children do no matter how much it makes you panic:

1) Climb a Tree

Children have a natural sense of what they can do and what they can't do. Serious accidents are uncommon, but in the helicopter parenting world today, parents are afraid (moms especially) to let their children do things because they "might" get hurt.

Let them get hurt! A few bumps and scrapes won't kill them. They even survive broken bones.

We grew up in Northern California amongst the redwood trees, the most towering trees in the world. I don’t think we climbed Redwoods, but whatever it was that we did climb, they were tall. We would climb until we got tired of climbing or too scared to climb any higher, which was usually about 30 feet up those trees (an educated guess looking back many years!).

Yes, it was scary, but it was also a thrill.

We felt like conquerors, not of land but of our fear. We felt a sense of accomplishment to climb so high, and it gave us a sense of confidence, excitement, and adventure.

Not everyone has such tall trees available to them, but I have since witnessed mothers who were afraid to let their four-year-olds climb a thick tree branch that was two feet off the ground.

If a parent says things like, "Stop, that's too dangerous!" you interfere with your child’s developmental process.

If something is too dangerous–as in death could result–you probably want to intervene, but beyond that let them soar.

2) Make Mud Pies

Children love to play in the mud. They don't think in constructs of "clean" and "dirty" like we do. They think in constructs of fun, exciting, and worth doing–at least to them. And playing in mud has all three of these. So indulge them.

We had a backyard with a large section of dirt in it. My children spent hours in that section covering themselves in mud to their heart's content. Mud was matted in their hair, dripping from their ears, and embedded in their clothes by the time they finished. I had a huge mess to clean up, but it was always more amusing to me than anything else.

They made mud pies and had make-believe meals, they examined the mud as they closed their fists around it and watched it squish through their fingers, and they had lots of mud fights.

Mud is a perfect medium for developing your children’s senses, imagination, and motor skills - it's a great natural resource that will keep them occupied for hours.

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Eat Mud

I know this might be over the top for many of you, but unless you live in an area where they spray pesticides or you live in a high traffic zone, then let your children eat mud. They won't eat much, but they do like to taste it. I remember eating mud when I was young. It tasted like clay, but I don't think I did more than just taste it. The point is that there was no one hovering over me telling me to stop.

And if an adult was nearby, they weren't worried about it either. Tasting mud was a part of childhood - all children try it at some point. Who doesn't want to know what a little bit of mud tastes like?!

According to modern science, immersing themselves in mud boosters their immune systems. We even have an International Mud Day on June 29th now. This holiday is in retaliation to the hyper-sterile environment that children are growing up in. According to the "Hygiene Hypothesis," the sterile environment is putting children at risk for allergies, asthma, and autoimmune diseases as they get older.

Why? Because the immune system develops by exposure to bacteria, viruses, and parasites, and in the modernly-sterile environment children's immune systems are not being exposed to these things enough, and therefore, they’re immune systems aren't developing as well as they should be.

This makes sense, doesn't it?

3) Roll Down Hills

We used to climb to the top of a small hill and then see who could roll down the fastest. Do children even climb hills today?! They will get dirty, and they may even get grass stains, but that’s all right.

Children need clothes they can get dirty in. While it's fine to have an outfit or two for when the occasion calls, the day-to-day dress of children should not be designer clothes but rough and tumble clothes.

I'm much happier seeing a child with patched knees than a child dressed for a party. Come to think of it; I never see children with patched knees anymore!

And one last thing, remember that a few bumps, and bruises never killed anyone. Children take pride in their bumps and bruises especially the ones that require some cleaning and bandaging.

They're a sign of the battles they fight on the playground of life.

For our upcoming course, Raise Your Child Well: Correct Preparation for a Satisfying, Successful and Happy Adulthood, please join the waiting list to be notified first when enrollment opens again in August, 2019.

Don’t miss our free download, 10 Signs Your Parenting Strategies May Need Tweaking.

Elizabeth Y. Hanson combines her training in holistic medicine, parenting coach certificate, plus 17+ years working in education to provide you with a unique approach to raising and educating your children.

A veteran homeschooler herself, she now has two homeschooled children in college. 

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