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In a study of over 7,000 homeschooled adults, most said that being homeschooled was an advantage to them as an adult.

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You Can Homeschool!

A popular question posed among parents who consider homeschooling for their children is: "Am I qualified to be a teacher?" In his book Worldwide Guide to Homeschooling (Broadman & Holman, 2002), author Brian Ray answers with a resounding "Yes!"

"One of your most important qualifications, as a parent, is that you care - a lot - about your children," Ray says. "You love them more than does anyone else...more than licensed teachers and administrators in institutional schools."

In fact, research shows that homeschoolers are doing very well academically, whether or not their parents earned advanced educational degrees. Parents are finding that their own willingness to learn and be resourceful is the key to their children's success.

"You are not afraid of a little hard work," Rays believes. "You are willing either to learn something so that you can teach it to your children or to find someone or some resource that can teach what you are not prepared to teach."

Ray, president of the National Home Education Research Institute (, offers practical ideas for new homeschooling parents by responding to their frequently asked questions about subjects ranging from sports and field trips to socialization and daily learning schedules.

Concerning athletics, homeschool students can find opportunities for physical fitness and team experience in neighborhood leagues, through the YMCA, or at local parks where impromptu sports competitions are common. Likewise, countless other extracurricular activities, from playing in musical bands and taking dance lessons to joining a book club, aren't typically linked with schools anyway.

Elsewhere, Ray sees the opportunity for firsthand learning as a key advantage of homeschooling that is clearly realized through field trips. With a flexible schedule and smaller entourage, homeschoolers can easily visit art museums, business offices, historic buildings, military sites, TV stations, publishing companies, farms, etc., receiving more quality teaching time and more access to operation details.

But to some potential homeschool parents, perhaps these ideas conjure up images of a child relatively isolated from society. On the contrary, Ray has seen the opposite result. A more dynamic method of daily learning enables children to interact more confidently with people of all ages and backgrounds.

"They are not confined six hours per day, five days per week, 185 days per year, for 13 or more years, largely with same-age peers," he says. "Their friends are older, younger, the same age, from down the street, from across town.... Most people live most of their lives this way once they finish school."

Ray's suggestions for daily, structured learning and curriculum selection are equally insightful and well researched, all supporting the belief that parents really are among the best teachers in the world.

Brian D. Ray, Ph.D., is the president of the National Home Education Research Institute ( Brian and his wife Betsy have been married 23 years and have eight children, all of whom have been home educated since birth.

This article is excerpted from Dr. Ray's book The Worldwide Guide to Homeschooling and is provided courtesy of

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