The choice to home school children is one of the most important decisions that a parent can ever make. It takes courage to "go against the norm". But now that you have control over the education you child will receive, it's important to choose a well-rounded curriculum. Sure, the children will learn how to read and write, do mathematic calculations, and learn social studies. But what those non-academic subjects such as music and art?
Many schools have cut back on non-academics due to budgetary restrictions. This is sad, because music lessons (in particular) can have an astounding effect on the child's overall grades.
Studies have shown that there is a link between music and intelligence. Music training, specifically piano instruction, is far superior to computer instruction. In short, this type of training "expands the brain". Children learn abstract reason skills, which are the foundation for learning math and science.
The good news is that many communities have realized their mistake and are trying to reverse the trend. In June 2007, the California State legislature approved $105 million in annual ongoing funding for music and arts education. That's a good start. But more still needs to be done across the country.
So as a homeschooling parent, here is your opportunity to really help your child grow. Teach the academics - but don't forget about music and art, and any other non-academic subject you chose. Engage your children and let them experience the joy of learning.
Break up the day with creative time. Allow your child to study music history and theory. Let the child learn an instrument (or two, or three!). Piano is a great place to start. You don't need to play these instruments yourself. There are some great teaching tools out there, it's just a matter of finding the right ones. Either way, choose a method that is "fun". Music and art are meant to be fun, not rigorous and boring. The more enjoyment a child gets out of it, but the better they become at it.
Maximize your child's chances for success in life with a well-rounded education. When you open up both sides of your child's brain you allow him or her a real opportunity to achieve.
About the Author: Vincent Miele is the Founder & CEO of CYBERMIDI.com, and a consultant for Music Wizard.