Most parents enjoy anticipating and watching the milestones that their children achieve from birth through age five: first words, first step, potty-trained, first artwork, mastering a tricycle, learning to put toys away, or feeding the dog. Sometimes they forget the obvious. Mr. Suzuki, who developed the Suziki music method, humorously stated: “All Japanese children are brilliant. They learn to speak Japanese in four years.” Understandably, children of English-speaking parents speak English because their parents modeled that for them. Likewise, the parental role model in the academics and all of life will also greatly influence them.
Parents teaching their children to read, write, compute math, master new skills, and investigate other academics and new interests is merely a continuation of the early preschool years. This is commonly called homeschooling. We have coined a parallel term: Family-Directed Education. It compasses independent homeschooling but also includes those families who access additional help, while still maintaining parental authority and responsibility for the instruction and financial support of their family’s home education. For how Family-Directed Education can work with a professional educator assisting the homeschooling family, click here (pdf).
Parents often know when “things” are going right or wrong, but may not always know how to address the issues that are not going well. Children of home educators are wildly successful when compared to those in traditional classrooms, both public and private. However, research indicates it takes a two-year learning curve for most parents to finds effective ways to tailor academics to their children’s learning needs. After two years, the reasons for home educating usually change from didactic (just providing a good education) and ideological to a complete worldview and lifestyle change.