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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
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In the initial stages, we faced a multitude of challenging issues that raised a host of questions. The first answer we sought was for a good, working definition of homeschooling. Our definition of homeschooling refers to a situation where a student in grades K-12 is not enrolled in traditional public, private or parochial academic institutions. Instead, the student is taught by a parent or parents and/or by their designee(s).

Since each state has its own legal requirements for authorizing the homeschooling process, plan on doing your own research. We began our homework at the local board of education. They were quite helpful in explaining our district's policies as well as directing us to several academic planning assistance resources. This early, fact gathering phase placed us in the roles of PacMom and PacDad foraging our way into a homeschooling information subculture and consuming bits and pieces of knowledge along the way. In a surprisingly short time, we could see the big picture and found it quite reassuring that we were not alone. In time, we got the hang of it and worked our plan. 
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The following is a list of 20 questions I have distilled over time. Some responses reflect information gained from my unique homeschooling experience and may or may not universally apply.

1. Is it legal? Yes. The requirements vary by state.

2. Who do you have to ask for permission? Nobody. Most states require notice of intent to homeschool and some sort of yearly assessment. This is not a "permission thing."

3. What about the socialization? Be creative and open-minded. Remember, all socialization is not good; Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gasey, and Jeffrey Dahmer all went to school. Look for holistic, positive, stimulating opportunities to engage your kids.

4. Can homeschooling be done collectively with other families?

5. Do kids enjoy it? Some do. Ours didn't.

6. Are lots of people doing this? Yes!

7. Does it work? Yes!

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8. What are homeschooled students taught? It depends. There are commercially produced curricula/ae (sorry, my Latin is rusty). However, Charles and I created our own curriculum. We used our experiences at Dartmouth and Wellesley to establish a baseline for secondary academic preparation. One of the advantages of attending extremely competitive colleges is the awareness of how the admission process is supposed to work and what prospective students and their parental units should expect.

9. How much does it cost? It depends. But even with a 12-month academic calendar, Masters/Ph.D. candidate teacher/tutors, SAT tutors and extensive travel, this was infinitely cheaper (okay, not actually "infinitely", it can be measured, but you get the point) than private school!  Also, remember there are lots of ways to homeschool effectively, and they all do not require large outlays of cash for tutors. And besides, the Columbus Metropolitan Library system was our most utilized resource for books, periodicals, videos and research-and it's free, complete with a terrific HVAC system!

10. Can they get into college? Yes!

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11. Do the parents do all the teaching? Not necessarily.

12. Can any family do this? No. I know that might not be the anticipated response, but it is an honest one. Parents need to meet some baseline requirements. You should enjoy the company of your kids (this is kind of a biggie). Loving your kids is not the issue. I hope and pray that all parents love their kids; and especially anyone even considering homeschooling should love their kids, I mean they are ours after all. But, loving someone and enjoying their company almost all day, everyday are distinctly different things! Parents also should be fairly well organized and disciplined. This does not mean rigid and dominating,by the way, and, of course, the rationale and desired outcome of homeschooling will determine how much organization and discipline is required. And most importantly, parents should enjoy learning, as good teaching seems to mandate a genuine love of learning.

13. Is it hard? Yes!   

14. Are there homeschooling groups and associations?

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15. Can the kids participate in the arts? Yes! Our kids participated in the arts on lots of different levels. They've had tap classes and roles in community theater productions of "Really Rosie" and "Peter Pan." (More kudos to Columbus Parks and Rec!) They've also been in professional performances of BalletMet's "Nutcracker" and OperaColumbus' "Turendot" and "The Magic Flute." The kids have participated in Suzuki violin at Capital University's Community Music School and have been members of the Pastoral and Teenage Choirs of the Church of Christ of the Apostolic Faith. Saturday art classes at the Columbus College of Art and Design and an ongoing apprenticeship with Mr. Roman Johnson, an internationally exhibited, 80+ year-old, African-American artist, have strengthened time spent visiting art museums  around the country. And while all of the kids have not done all these things, supporting each others' art activities is just another way of supporting the arts.

16. Do they get a diploma? Yes and no. Our kids got diplomas--I made them. That's the "yes" part of the answer. The "no" part is that it, the diploma granting that is, has absolutely no significance to anyone but us.

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Last FAQs, Jaq!
17. Does the mother do all the work? It depends. Each family's situation is different. I did most of the organization, but I certainly didn't do most of the work.

18. Do the kids become clones of their parents?  Some do; ours definitely did not!

19. Can homeschooled students play sports? Yes. That's one of the best reasons I can think of for cities to have departments of parks and recreation. Our kids have enjoyed golf, tennis, swimming, tae kwan do, and fencing lessons, all courtesy of Columbus City Parks and Recreation. And talk about socialization...they met and played with kids from all over the city, not just within their own rather insular, suburban community! They also played competitive football with a community league team. Again, they were engaged with kids they otherwise might never have met.

20. Aren't some homeschoolers crazy? Absolutely, but they probably would be crazy regardless of the educational option exercised. 

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