Homeschooling advocate, actress, author, and talk-radio host Sam Sorbo has witnessed many misconceptions from parents and students, including the idea that homeschooled children are social introverts and their parents must be rocket scientists. Yet, that’s not the case at all. As a homeschooling advocate, Sorbo presents a more realistic viewpoint on the subject and she offers advice to homeschooling parents.
Sorbo suggests homeschooling parents have their own form of a parent-teacher meeting. “I ask myself, is my child kind, polite, engaged, and improving. I will admonish myself, for instance, for losing my temper, but I will also encourage myself to find a different way to get it done. I remark on my own improvement as a parent and as an educator, and on the milestones accomplished by my child,” Sorbo explains. “I advise parents to cut themselves some slack. I’ve discovered that public schools have engendered feelings of inadequacy in us that we don’t feel competent to teach our third-graders, or that we can’t possibly measure up to the high, high bar that our institutions set. But the fact is, the bar simply isn’t that high any longer, and if they aren’t capable of teaching a third grader, that’s an indictment on the system that educated them.”
Sorbo makes an interesting point. When a child reaches a certain age, parents are supposed to automatically institutionalize their child’s education from that point on. Sorbo’s new book They’re Your Kids: An Inspirational Journey from Self-Doubter to Home School Advocate is a wealth of knowledge both from a motivational and fundamental standpoint. In the book, Sorbo discusses the importance of being involved in your child’s education. While Sorbo’s book is centered on homeschooling, any parent will find Sorbo’s general parenting tips helpful. She explains how parents must stay up-to-date on their child’s studies. In order to truly provide assistance when children are completing homework and other projects, parents must be able to perform and understand the concepts their children are learning.
Furthermore, parents must also learn the course of action that will work best with their child. To further explain this concept, Sorbo references her own experiences as a homeschool teacher. “My son loved to do math, and asked in first grade if he could do more,” she says. So she allowed him to continue his math work prior to his other studies. “I didn’t insist he do all the reading [first], but only half of it,” she says. “He finished his first-grade math book on Halloween of that year. More importantly, sometimes your brain wants to do math, and sometimes it’s better to curl up and read. It’s important to honor those inclinations, and not force concentration on something that would be better served later in the day,” Sorbo added. “That’s why the order is important. Shane liked to do math first because he was assured a win. Math was easy for him. After an early victory, his mind was better prepared for tackling something more challenging, like spelling, for him.”
Sorbo is realistic and admits that there are struggles every homeschooling parent will face. She admits to over-reaching, trying too hard, and becoming preoccupied from time to time. However, these are obstacles that every parent faces and must overcome. Sorbo hopes her book will provide readers with a positive attitude about home education, noting that it can preserve, nurture, and strengthen familial bonds.
If you’re a homeschooling parent or are interested in homeschooling your child, be sure to visit K12.com to view the available supplemental or 12-month courses that you can purchase directly for homeschool use.