Once the preserve of a small minority, homeschooling in the U.S has almost doubled over the last decade, with nearly 2 million children currently being homeschooled. More parents are choosing to homeschool because of concerns about the education system and school environment, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
As far as Binz is concerned, personal preference is most crucial. "If you choose a foreign language that the child actually wants to study, chances are the student is going to be more successful."
In addition, some audio-based systems offer simple tests or other markers of progress, such as recommendations for when to move on to the next lesson. While worlds away from the fraught school testing situations which homeschooling parents wish to avoid, these inclusions offer a clear record of progress.
The flexibility and portability of audio-based systems makes it easy to stay in daily contact with the language, which is unanimously hailed as the single most important factor in language learning. "Just make sure that you're consistent, every day," says Lee Binz. "You have to practice it every day in order to build on those skills, and so sometimes success is as simple as making sure that you study your foreign language for at least 15 or 30 minutes every single day."This isn't always a simple task if your child doesn't want to sit and study, but they will be happier taking a walk with the dog while listening or simply relaxing outside.
Not to mention the flexibility it offers when going on vacation. Simply load lessons onto an mp3 or CD player to stay in daily contact with the language- no lugging heavy books or laptops involved.
As any homeschooling mom will wryly attest, homeschooling is intense and more than a full-time job. "It does involve a big commitment and requires spending a great quantity of time with one’s own offspring," says Amelia Harper. "It (also) requires acceptance of the fact that your house will likely never be totally immaculate again."