Monday, August 11, 2008

Child Internet Safety is Learned

Just as you would not permit your seven-year old child to go out to the mall and play by her or himself, you also should not allow your child to access the Information Superhighway without permission, guidance, and a host of safety precautions. Since children as young as five-years old are now accessing the computer and internet, these kinds of safety discussions need to take place at progressively younger ages.

Though you do not wish to scare your child, explaining the potential dangers in age appropriate terms is vital. You should caution a child against revealing a name or address to a stranger at the playground or store AND your child should also know not to give out such personal information to a virtual stranger.

As children get older and enter into online contact with other children, email safety is another aspect of child Internet safety which must be learned. Perhaps the most important bit of guidance you can offer is the limitation on the kinds of emails which should be opened. By and large it is a good idea to only permit the child to open emails from friends and family members whom she or he knows personally. All others should only be opened with you present.

While child Internet safety is learned, perhaps the easiest way of ensuring that learning is taking place revolves around the proper computer placement. Children should never have Internet access in the privacy of their room but instead should only surf the internet from a computer placed in a well-traveled area of the home where you and other household members can keep a watchful eye on the proceedings.

Sure, junior may balk at the idea of not having a computer all to himself, but when it comes to internet safety precautions it is safer to err on the side of annoying your child than permitting clever strangers unfettered access to your child’s private sanctum.

Friday, August 01, 2008

What is Homeschooling?

The term 'homeschooling' basically refers to the process in which one or more children of not more than 2 families are instructed by parents or legal guardians, or a member of either household. The laws that define homeschooling vary from state to state. The legal requirements for establishing a homeschool also vary with the each state.

For most children, the actual process of learning begins much before school. Many children already know the alphabet, the names of animals, colors. This is mostly due to the hard work of a member of the family who has taken the time to teach the child.

Homeschooling is just a natural progression from there. Instead of sending their children to a public school, parents create a curriculum and teach their children in ways that best suit the child. This is homeschooling, in its most simplistic form.

Before you decide to homeschool, there are certain important matters for consideration. First, meet with parents of other homeschoolers. Find out the pros and cons of homeschooling. Then ask yourself why you would want to adopt this method. This is a very important aspect, as the success of the program depends on the clarity and sincerity of your purpose.

Next, it is time to consider the expenses of homeschooling. It may cost anywhere between a few hundred dollars to a few thousand every year. More importantly, you are also effectively shutting out any job opportunity for one of the parents-one parent will have to stay at home full-time to manage the homeschool. A home-based business however is a great alternative.

Are you qualified to take on homeschooling for your children? Teaching is a continuation of your own learning process. With the advent of the internet, information is plentiful. There are various books and resources for those interested in homeschooling. Go through the various methods of homeschooling and choose one that is most suited to you. It helps if you know what kind of learning style your child has. Also, find out what your child feels about homeschooling before you start.

Every state has its own laws regarding homeschooling. For instance, in North Carolina, you must first file a 'Notice of Intent' to start a home school. In this 'Notice' you have to mention if the school is a 'private church' school or a 'qualified non-public school'. The persons providing the education are required to have at least a high school diploma. You have to maintain an annual record of the child's attendance and disease immunization. Every year, the child is required to undergo a standardized test. Each student attending the eleventh grade has to take a nationally standardized test. These are the requirements in North Carolina, but it is enough to give you a good idea of what homeschooling entails.

Homeschooling may seem like a lot of fun and freedom from the outside. However, things are seldom as simple as they seem.

Homeschooling is a lot of added responsibility and hard work. But, if successful, it will forge a strong bond of love and respect between parent and child, while providing your child with the best form of education he needs.