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Homeschooling Resources and Information

As school bells begin to ring across the Ozarks, there may be fewer students entering the building, instead, they are waking up and walking just a few steps to the family kitchen table to begin their school day.

According to an article in Education News, the number of children being homeschooled across the nation has increased 75% since 1999. In Missouri it is estimated that approximately 40,000 students receive the majority of their education outside of public or private school walls. This is about 4% of the population under 18, which is equal to national average for homeschooling.

The reasons vary for parents choosing to provide their child’s education through alternate settings. Data collected by the National Center for Education Statistics in 2007 reported the following reasons:

  • 36% stated they wanted to provide religious or moral instruction
  • 21% stated they were concerned about the school environment (safety, peer pressure, drugs)
  • 17% stated they were dissatisfied with instrution
  • 14% stated other reasons- family time, finances, travel, and distance among them
  • 7% stated they wanted to use nontraditional approaches to instruction
  • 6% stated their child had health problems or special needs to address

If you have chosen to educate your child through a homeschooling framework, the state of Missouri requires you to notify the school where your child would otherwise attend. Most schools have a form to complete. In addition, you must maintain the following records:

  • plan book, diary, or other written record indicating subjects taught
  • portfolio of samples of the child's academic work
  • record of evaluations of the child's academic progress
  • verification that at least one thousand hours of instruction is offered in reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies and science or academic courses that are related to these listed.

In the Ozarks, there are homeschool networking groups that can provide additional assistance and resources for parents providing instruction to their children. Resources that the Springfield-Greene County Library can provide come from a collection called the Learning Resource Center. Located in the Children’s Library at several branches, you will find curriculum specific to homeschool education, as well as college planning and preparation for homeschoolers. Some newer titles in that collection are:

How to Tutor Your Own Child: Boost Grades and Inspire a Lifelong Love of Learning by Marina Koestler Ruben
Educating the Wholehearted Child: a Handbook for Christian Home Education by Clay and Sally Clarkson
The Everything Homeschooling Book: All You Need to Create the Best Curriculum and Learning Environment for Your Child by Sherri Linsenbach
Homeschooling for the Rest of Us: How Your One-of-a-kind Family Can Make Homeschooling and Real Life Work by Sonya Haskins

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