Can single parents homeschool their kids. I believe the answer is yes. I do have to admit though that I am a bit of a free-thinker both where it comes to homeschooling and traditional schooling.
First, parents would have to decide on whether or not to make a committment to what to many seems to be a radical concept. Remember that schools are a 20th century invention originally conceived to produce a strong, compliant workforce. Schools were based on a Prussian system of severe discipline and the belief that students were best educated in a one sized fits all situation. In the past kids were given much, much more responsibility. They responded to it. We have largely forgotten that kids are able to do almost anything an adult can do given training. I have always been amazed to find out what kids can do when they are trusted as well as given responsibility.
The principle is simple. You extend responsibility to the child until the child proves that he or she is unable to accept any further responsibility. Then you back off to a point where the responsiblity could be managed. Then as more self-reliance is developed extend the opportunity to the child again. Am I talking about teenagers or pre-teens? I am talking about both. The positively worst thing one can do to a child is to do anything for them that they are able to do for themselves.
From the time I was in upper elementary school I was in a single family household. My father had passed away. My mother had to work to keep bread on the table. I was alone most of the time. During that time I was responsible to do what I needed to do at home as well as just enjoy myself. I would add that I was a public school student. The times I am referring to are times in the summer.
Let me just think of some things my mother did that kept track of me. First of all she called every hour on the hour. She made a schedule for me with me sitting there with her. The schedule listed everything I was going to be doing that day even if it was free time watching television. I was free to go to friends homes, ride my bike, be outside in the yard or do the other normal things kids do. Now, of course, there will be those who argue that the world is a much more dangerous place than it was then….I am 58 so we are talking about the 60’s. I wonder. I am not so certain that a kid in his or her own home is in much more actual danger. That call kept me on the straight and narrow.
Everyday during the summer I had a number of things I had to do. Those things ranged from practicing my trumpet to various home school assignments that took place even though it was the summer. I learned so much more in the summer anyway on my own. My schedule was laid out hour to hour. And I loved it because I was in on making it.
Today there are so many more technological ways to keep up with kids from gps locators to web cams in the house to text messaging and the traditional phone call. Of course all this is predicated on responsible, good parenting with good training of a responsible child. I will be the first to admit that this is not going to be possible if a parent does not set a good example themselves or hasn’t raised a respectful and responsible child.
But having said that…there is no reason why an older child cannot be left alone for extended periods of time with an arranged schedule while being in constant contact with the parent.
We are going to be looking at many more ways single-parents can home school their children in the future. I welcome your contributions as well.