In general, your best approach would be to learn what his specific
objections are, and deal with them individually, using Holt's chapter and
other sources. If your relationship is such that this would be too
difficult, consider using the services of a mediator, counselor, or
minister - they're trained to help with this kind of communication (of
course, you should first check out their feelings about homeschooling!)
The Growing Without Schooling staff also offers consultations;
see their web site. Their newsletter, which I consider almost essential
for successful homeschooling, includes many stories from parents who have
come to some type of agreement, such as trying one year of homeschooling.
This type of arrangement may be the best approach, because homeschooled
children generally make excellent progress, and it can be easy to show
that homeschooling "works".
2. I am on welfare, how do I afford the supplies
and necessary teaching tools?
There really aren't too many supplies that are absolutely necessary.
Books can be borrowed from libraries (don't forget about the interlibrary
loan service if your own library's collection is small) and some libraries
include educational toys on loan. Families can form a homeschooling
support group, with their own lending library of books, toys, and tools,
and can ask local merchants for a discount for group members. More and
more schools now allow homeschoolers to utilize their facilities. There
are many inspiring stories about families who have been able to make
special arrangements with schools, colleges, and local businesses, in the Growing
Without Schooling newsletter. If you have close friends, neighbors,
or relatives, you could ask to borrow tools and other items as your
daughter shows an interest. There are good web sites and books offering
suggestions for "simple living" that can help you to stay within
your budget and still meet your child's educational needs. And don't
overlook the cost of sending her to school - extra clothes, transportation
costs, fees for special activities, "necessities" for keeping up
with more wealthy school mates, and so on.
3. How can I be sure that I am teaching Amber and
her sister what they need if I don't understand it?
No school teacher knows all subjects thoroughly either. If a child can
read or listen to someone reading or talking, and has access to the real
world, all knowledge is available to them. Be sure to see question 7 in
the Holt chapter on objections.
4. I have a four-month-old baby, where will I get
It can be challenging to meet your daughter's needs (in general) when
you also have a small baby. But babies do get older and require less time
and energy. In the meantime, many mothers have found that with a little
creativity, they can care for a baby and still answer an older child's
questions or help her to find the answers, and this is the basis of
successful homeschooling. After all, your daughter has already learned a
great deal since birth, despite the arrival of her sibling. How have you
found the time? :-)
There are many large families who have homeschooled all of their
children. The book Homeschooling for Excellence by David and
Micki Colfax is an inspiring story of a family with four homeschooled boys
(three of whom went to Harvard) There are many other large families who
have successfully homeschooled.
Homeschooling, if done in the most beneficial way, does not require
(nor would it be helpful for her to have) your constant help all her
waking hours. Homeschoolers, if they are trusted to learn at their own
pace and in their own way, become amazing self-teachers. Once, when my son
was about 7, his dad asked how he had learned so much, and he said "I
taught myself." Then he considered a little longer and added,
"And how did I learn to teach myself? I taught myself!"
If there is a homeschooling support group in your area, this would be
an excellent source for reassurance that older siblings can and do learn
well and quickly. They also have the added benefit of learning about
caring for small children. This vastly important subject is entirely
neglected at schools, as children are kept isolated in same-age groups.
Remember, your time and energy would also be required if she did
continue with school - and some of this can be stressful: the daily early
morning rush, which includes waking a child whose biological rhythms may
not match the school's schedule, and dealing with the problems your
daughter has already encountered, and may encounter in the future (which
these days can include some pretty worrisome situations). It also takes
extra time and energy to reestablish bonding between parent and child, and
between siblings, after daily separations.
I hope this is helpful. If you need anything further, please write