Frequently Asked Questions

Q - Why do families homeschool?
A - Many Christian parents are committed to educating their children at home.  Their underlying motivation is the conviction that this is God’s will for them.  They are concerned for the spiritual and character development as well as the social and academic welfare of their children.

Q - What are some advantages of homeschooling?
A - There are many advantages, some of which are listed below:
      - quality time available to train and influence children in all areas in an integrated way.
      - each child receives individual attention and has their unique needs met.
      - parents can control destructive influences and pressures.
      - children respect their parents as teachers and the family experiences unity, closeness and enjoyment of   

         time spent with each other.
      - children develop confidence and independent thinking away from the peer pressure to conform.  
      - children have time to explore and think.
      - communication between age groups is enhanced and encouraged.
      - tutorial style education helps each child develop their full potential.
      - flexible scheduling can accommodate interaction of an entire family.

Q - Is homeschooling legal?
A - Each province and territory in Canada has set its own laws governing home education, and they vary considerably.  It is important that you are familiar with and follow the laws according to the province in which you reside.

Q - Are we as parents qualified to teach our children?
A - You know your own children better than anyone else and have the deepest love and concern for them.  You also have the most direct and longest-term responsibility for your children before God.  
When one considers one-to-one  tutoring of a child, it is easy to see the advantages over a classroom teacher trying to meet the needs of 25-30 individual children, all at different learning levels.
Resources are available to give you on-the-job training when you run into difficulty or have questions.  There are also various support groups, etc. available to help guide you along the journey and will be a source of great encouragement for you.

Q - How much time does it take?
A - Homeschooling does take a time commitment, one that varies from child to child, parental experience, learning disabilities and subject matter. The time required will vary according to the methods used, the ages of the children, and how many children are being taught.
One-to-one tutoring takes only a fraction of the time that is required in a full classroom.

Q - What about socialization?
A - This is perhaps the most misunderstood aspect of homeschooling.
Popular opinion assumes that children need long periods of interaction with a large group of peers to acquire social skills.  Research however has shown that extensive peer contact at any early age causes peer dependency and low self-image.  
On the other hand, godly principles of interaction can be reinforced when children play under supervision in the home with another Christian family who holds similar values.
You can help your children build and maintain lasting Christian friendships with people of all ages.
Some advantages of freedom from peer pressure can be:  self-confidence, independent thinking, the ability to relate to people of all ages, and better family relations.
In our busy culture, it is not hard to provide enough “socialization” for a child through neighborhood, church, community and family friends.

Q - What about special interests?
A - A wealth of experiences outside the home can supplement and enrich home education.
Unlimited possibilities abound for field trips that individual families or groups can take.  Specialized classes are often available through parks, museums, art schools, or private lessons.  Church and community teams may offer various sports opportunities.  Abundant opportunities for service to others can be found. 
In all, there are actually more enrichment activities, and time in which to do them, available for home-taught students than for those in school.


Q - What are some difficulties in homeschooling?
A - The following are common difficulties and suggested solutions.

      Lack of confidence:  At first, you may lack confidence in choosing materials and methods, doubting your  

      ability to teach.  With experience, you will gain confidence.  We encourage you to seek the help of other   

      friends, or support groups as well.

     Challenging Subjects:  Just as Canadian colleges and universities take advantage of technology, such as online  

     classes, so too can homeschooling families. Other options could include local instruction and tutoring in areas

     like music, sports, sciences etc.  Apprenticeship programs are also often available. The cost of these options can

     vary considerably.

      Fear of being unable to work with your own children:  Parents who do not have their children’s respect will

      have trouble getting their cooperation.  Gaining their respect through proper discipline, training, and example

      should be a parent’s top priority, whether or not they are homeschooling.  Homeschooling can provide the   

      incentive and optimum setting to accomplish this.
      Inadequate time and energy: Home teaching requires a considerable investment of time and energy,   

      especially by mothers.  Good organization and self-discipline will help ensure a well-run household.  Children 

      can be trained to help with the cooking, laundry, and household chores.
      Lack of commitment:  Families who are homeschooling only for convenience or because of a fad may soon 

      drop out unless they develop the conviction that homeschooling is best for their family and is God’s will for

      them.
      Social pressure:  Pressure from well-meaning friends or relatives can be a real deterrent.  Make a 

      well-informed decision and then stand on your convictions.
      Financial investment:  Cost of materials or programs vary considerably, but are always less expensive than a

      private school. 

 

Q - How do we get started?
A - Before beginning to teach your children, you and your spouse should agree on your decision to homeschool.  Then you should learn about the governing laws for your province regarding home education and make the necessary arrangements to comply.
We encourage you to contact a support group to help with the selection of curriculum and textbooks for the desired grade levels needed. 
Throughout this educational process you will, of course, want to give top priority to your children’s spiritual and character development. Homeschooling is a way of life in which the home is the center of life and learning.  This is a unique way you as parents can experience your responsibility to bring your children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

                                                          Box 1555, Winkler, Manitoba  R6W 4B4     www.hearthfamilies.com