'HOMESCHOOLING IS AS EASY AS ABC...'
By: Hilary Douglas
June 10, 2012
AN American mother is giving hope to thousands of British families worried by a chronic lack of school places by revealing how children can be taught at home.
Laura Huber has written a step-by-step guide on how to give children a perfect education outside conventional schooling.
Thirteen years ago, frustrated by the overcrowded, dangerous and often outdated schools in her area, Laura decided she had no choice but to home-educate her three young children.
Having enrolled eldest son Keith in kindergarten, the 1999 Columbine High School massacre, in which two students killed 12 classmates and a teacher, made up Laura’s mind to turn her back on mainstream education. In a minority then, today more than two million US families homeschool, and more and more British parents are doing so to deal with the chronic lack of primary school places in the UK.
Having been lauded by American education experts, Laura has written what is being billed as the must-have bible for home-educating parents, The ABC’s (sic) of Homeschooling.
“Kindergarten went fine, but it was very regimented and I remembered the almost factory-like way I had been taught at school and knew I should probably take an individual approach. I had gone to private school and would drop my nephew off at elementary school when I took my son to nursery. I was appalled how the kids were running around everywhere, it was like they were running wild.
“When I told the kindergarten teacher that I was considering homeschooling, I expected her to tell me what a bad idea it was. Instead, I was amazed that she said if I could teach my kids at home, then I could do way more for them than they would ever be able to in a state school.
“I make sure to focus on the interests of each of my children to help them learn, and we do formal grammar, punctuation and spelling by keeping a journal every day.”
Laura added: “The work is assessed and it meant that my eldest son, Keith, will graduate in the normal way this summer. If he wants to go to university then he would be able to in just the normal way.
“Kristin is 17 and about to go into her senior year, and the youngest, Elijah, is 15.
“I insist on discipline for learning. In the book I go through each letter of the alphabet. A is for authority and attitude, B for behaviour, vital for learning properly.
“One of my favourites is H, for heart’s desire. I used to think how many times parents tried to force their own hearts’ desires on to their children, rather than looking to the child to see what they are talented at themselves. That is how a child will succeed.”