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FAQs

Q:

Do I need to be a member of BCHE to come to all the activities?

A:

There are several areas in which non-members are invited to participate.

Those events are Park Days, our Annual Enrichment Expo, Mom's Night Out (replacing our monthly meetings) and any of our public meetings like "So You're Thinking About Homeschooling" and "Homeschooling Through High School", as well as our annual Book Sale and our annual Standardized Testing week. 

Q:

**Why does my membership cost so much?**

A:

Compared to other support groups that we have researched, we are on the low end of the cost scale. We know that we are mostly one-income families and we take hours each year to discuss every detail of the budget in order to keep our costs low. One of the reasons you saw your Family Membership Fee increase a few years ago is because we have added Liability Insurance which has been requested by most of the churches where we hold activities. Your dollars also go toward special events, parties, office supplies, paper products, and website fees. The BCHE Co-op is self-supporting - meaning no membership dollars fund this activity. 

Q:

What is a Learning Style?

A:

 

In a nutshell, all children do not have the same learning style.

Most public and private schools are designed for one type of learner: he/she who can sit still and focus for a period of time, who takes joy in accomplishing tasks, who does not have a learning glitch or disability, and who is not disruptive. However, most children are NOT this type of learner, especially in a crowded classroom of 20 kids. And at home, they don't HAVE to be this type of learner.

What better way to be a good teacher than to teach in a way that matches the way your student learns? A learning style is the way a person processes, comprehends and learns new information.

Developmental psychologists say that young children are sponges for information and this is true for at least three reasons: 1) they usually learn from experience and therefore life is a constant training session for young children, 2) they don't have a great deal of conflicting information which might bias the learning outcome (they start out with a "clean slate"), and 3) they begin life with a natural, uninhibited desire to learn because their self esteem is intact (they believe in themselves).

A great way to foster your child's self esteem- their acceptance of themselves just as they are- is to supply them with learning experiences in which they can thrive. A great way to do this is to pay attention to how they learn best and then to teach to their learning style so that they experience success.

A child's learning style involves one or a combination of the following five senses:

  1. Visual - seeing it

  2. Auditory - hearing it

  3. Olfactory - smelling it

  4. Verbal - saying it (sometimes tasting it!)

  5. Tactile - touching it

Experts agree that young children learn best when a combination of the five senses are utilized. That is, when the content to be learned is presented in way that stimulates as many of the senses as possible. Example: audio books for auditory learners, narration for verbal learners, let the boys play with Legos while you read their lessons out loud (kinesthetic learners).

Homeschooling offers a unique opportunity to create individualized learning experiences for each of your learners according to their specific learning styles. If your child becomes over stimulated by excessive noise you can control this in his/her learning environment in many ways: 1) turn the volume down on the computer or the stereo equipment, 2) ask other learners to speak quietly, 3) create a special area for your child, and 4) provide earplugs for him or her (most of the over the counter brands don't block out all of the noise anyway, they just take the edge off of the higher pitched sounds).

As children grow older they tend to adopt a single preferred method of learning and they can verbalize this preference with your help and inquiry. A good way to help older children identify their learning style is to ask them how they like to absorb, store, and retrieve information. There are online assessments available at

http://adulted.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htmzi=1/XJ&sdn=adulted&zu=http://www.engr.ncsu.edu/learningstyles/ilsweb.html

http://www.ldpride.net/learning-style-test.html

http://www.businessballs.com/vaklearningstylestest.htm

BOOKS

The Way They Learn by Cynthia Tobias

Discover Your Child’s Learning Style by Mariaemma Willis and Victoria Kindle Hodson

Q:

**What is BCHE's position on Virtual Schooling (TN K-12, and Bradley Virtual)? I consider myself a homeschooler. **

A:

 

Please believe us, we had hoped this would not be a divisive issue for our group. Your leaders hope that you will make an effort to understand the difficult position in which we find ourselves. 

In a nutshell, THE STATE OF TENNESSEE (not BCHE) has determined that if you enroll in TN K12 or Bradley Virtual School, you are NOT a homeschooler. We will not debate the right or wrong of this, because this is THE LAW. We are a law-abiding organization that runs itself by Christian principles. If you disagree with the law - do what you can to change it at the legislative level.

We are also NOT an organization that will police it's members about their curriculum. It is up to YOUR CONSCIENCE as to which schooling method you use. Your leaders would rather NOT be forced to draw a line in the sand and deny memberships to those families using virtual schools. 

Below you will find our official policy on Virtual Schooling. Please read the entire policy. 

Bradley County Home Educator's Policy regarding Virtual Schooling (eSchool)

Our official position on `e-schooling' or `virtual school' is as follows:

To meet TN state law requirement, you must homeschool either a) by registering with the local LEA (Local Education agency) or b) registering with a CRS (Church Related School). Further, our bylaws state to be a  member, you must be compliant with  TN state law. Click on the link to read the full law (a layman's translation) http://tnhomeed.com/HSLaw.html

HSLDA, with which we are an affiliate support group, states:

"Virtual charter schools have been aggressive in targeting homeschoolers, sending multiple mailings and marketing materials to persuade them that this form of public education qualifies as "homeschooling." In reality, virtual charter school administrators are competing with traditional public schools for the thousands of dollars per student in state funds that they receive if they bring more homeschoolers into the public school system."

http://www.hslda.org/docs/nche/Issues/C/CharterSchools.asp#en12

Some new homeschoolers may lack the confidence to educate their children without professional supervision or government money, and the virtual charter school programs seem like a  dream come true. However, children who are enrolled in virtual charter schools must follow all of the program's policies and procedures, which include restrictions such as exclusion of religious educational materials as part of the formal curriculum. Parents who choose these programs must realize that in accepting virtual public schools into their homes, they are also accepting the bureaucracy and government supervision that is linked to accepting tax dollars.

 HSLDA believes that a distinction between virtual charter schools and homeschooling is vital. While charter schools provide parents with another choice, we emphasize that they are still public schools in every sense of the word.

 HSLDA also strongly cautions homeschoolers against enrolling in virtual charter schools. Many homeschoolers are seduced by attractive marketing and forget that virtual charter schools are actually controlled by the public school system. HSLDA does not represent students enrolled in full-time charter school programs.

 HSLDA is concerned that virtual charter schools will negatively impact the public and American lawmakers' understanding of what it means to homeschool. For nearly three decades, we have worked to define homeschooling as privately led and parent-directed education within the home. If virtual charter schools are accepted as "homeschools," it will be much more difficult for traditional homeschoolers to separate the two in the minds of lawmakers and to obtain legal protections for their "class" of homeschooling. We thus advocate strict adherence to a narrow definition of the word "homeschooling."

In addition, virtual charter schools still suffer from multiple accountability   challenges. Having that group of schools lumped with homeschools can lower the homeschool "average" academic scores and undo much of our effort to demonstrate homeschoolers' academic excellence.

 Finally, we remind homeschoolers that participation in virtual charter schools counts as participation in public schools, and invites increased government regulation over the inner workings of their homes."

 Our recent growth coupled with the recent availability of TN Virtual schooling has made this a challenging issue for our organization. We  endeavor to be a support system for all homeschoolers, no matter your curriculum choice. Further, we believe that all homeschooling families would benefit from the services, classes and social opportunities we provide.

 That being said, the principles of eroding freedoms and  government intrusion are very real dangers. We believe every homeschooler should carefully consider and weigh all options when making their curriculum choices.

Ultimately though, every family is accountable TO GOD for their school choices and curriculum. It is not part of this support group's vision and mission to engage in the practice of examining and approving every option available to every family. At this time, how you choose to school is left to your discretion.