WESLEY SWIFT | MAY 26, 2010
Because I am home-schooled, the questions I receive concerning my education from public school parents and kids are often repetitive and occasionally humorous. I am constantly being asked, “Is home-schooling legal in Arizona?” Yes, but there are Arizona state laws we must follow.
For instance children between the ages of 6-16 must be instructed in at least the subjects of reading, grammar, mathematics, social studies and science, and the persons who have custody of those children are responsible for their education. Laws on home-schooling can vary depending on the state. The complete laws and regulations concerning home-schooling in Arizona can be found at www.azleg.gov.
Other than the Arizona home-schooling regulations, another repetitive question is, “You’re home-schooled! So what’s that like?” Well, being home-schooled is interesting. I have more of a flexible schedule and a comfortable classroom (my desk). My mom orders curriculum from schooling magazines and assigns us weekly work. Some parents register their children for online home school courses only. In either case it requires a lot of independent work but definitely pays off.
I receive this question a lot too, “Do you have tests? Homework?” Yes, I have tests. I study for and take midterms, finals and weekly quizzes. As for homework, it is often included in my weekly work.
Although public school parents are my most common inquirers, I have to answer to public school students as well. I am occasionally asked uninformed questions reflecting common biases about home-schooled kids, but I sometimes get this, “You’re home-schooled? Do you do school in your pajamas?” When asked this, I hide my smile. Yes, I’m home-schooled, but no, I don’t do school in my pajamas. I wake up early, dress, eat breakfast and start school just like public high school students.
The controversies that dominate the home-schooling world range from social experience to public school funding. Being educated at home has led to debates on matters such as these and over the best possible education for your child.
My mother chose to home-school her three children as a result of her dislike of public school management. Many parents register their kids in public schools, but my mom determined that she had the ability with her graduate’s studies in education to home-school us. With an older child currently finishing up at the University of Arizona, one writing this article, and another advancing in 5th grade, I would say my mom has accomplished much in home-schooling her kids, and we would encourage anyone to try it.