Home schooling seems daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some tips if you want to home school your children and don’t know where to start:
The Beginners Guide to Homeschooling
Homeschooling is a great way to give your child more time and space. Studies show that homeschooled students are happier, healthier, better adjusted socially than their counterparts in traditional schools. Homeschoolers also have an easier transition into college life as they do not need to adjust from one learning environment to another for the first time in years!
What is homeschooling?
- Homeschooling is a form of education that provides parents and guardians with the ability to teach their children at home. Being homeschooled, or educated by one’s parent(s), can provide for an individualized curriculum, as well as offer more flexibility in terms of scheduling than traditional schooling does.
Misconceptions about homeschooling
Homeschoolers are anti-social and will never find a social life. Despite common misconceptions, many people thrive in an individualized environment outside of typical school where they can build relationships at their own pace, and meet others who share similar interests–all without the pressure or stigma faced by those attending public schools.
How to get started with Homeschooling
1. Connect with other homeschooling families
When it comes to homeschooling, the best thing you can do is talk. Talk with other parents who are teaching their kids at home and get an understanding for how they achieve success in a variety of lifestyles.
There’s no one-size-fits all approach when it comes to educating your child from home so take some time out of your day and chat with different families that have made this decision before coming up with what works for them as well!
2. Search online for literature and tutorials
Along with the more traditional books and blogs about homeschooling, there are now online resources to help get you started.
Websites like Homeschoolers.com provide a wealth of information on every aspect of starting your own home education program for children; from getting organized to teaching specific subjects, these websites offer plenty for parents just beginning their journey into this world.
3. Contact your Local Board of Education
Your local board of education should be able to help you in this regard. Most communities require a “letter of intent” or some official statement declaring that your child will be home schooled in the upcoming year.
The age at which these rules and regulations kick into effect varies from county-to-county, so make sure you follow what’s needed on a more specific level by first contacting the appropriate authority for your location – usually one’s district office or regional center.
4. Choose the right Curriculum for your child
Homeschooling is a great way to teach your children, but it can be overwhelming if you don’t know what resources are available. If the child likes reading and stories then there are curricula that will follow their interests; these might not work for other kids or parents so research more before deciding on one!
There’s also more structured curriculum- some of which focuses on geography and social studies as well. Starting small with an easier topic like math homework should ease anyone into homeschooling smoothly.
5. Join online homeschooling communities
There is usually a “main” group to which most home schoolers in your community will belong, and you can find out when you talk to them. Your local board of education might be able to help in this regard, too.
6. Keep Records of your child’s progress
Get your child some kind of system – it doesn’t need to be elaborate, even a box with file folders will do. Or you can get an entire software system that keeps track of their progress for them. This is going to depend on what’s required in your area; different regions have different requirements for tracking student progression and achievement.
Some areas require portfolios- collections of the students work from various subjects- while others only require standardized testing as evidence they’ve learned something (and which region gives parents more choice about how).
Check out our Homeschool Teachers Planner
7. Setup a homeschooling station
This can be the kitchen table, or a special chair, or an entire room. It’s just a good idea to have a set time and area in the house where you do your home schooling. It helps set the mood and enhance concentration when the time and place are somewhat scheduled.
Tips for Success in Homeschooling
- Have a Positive Attitude
- Allow your child to explore their creativity
- Create a daily routine
- Don’t over do it
- Provide an organized work station
- Schedule Break Times
THE PROS & CONS OF Homeschooling
* You make the decision about what your children learn. Some parents have reservations about what is being taught in public schools, and want to protect their children from certain information they deem inappropriate. They also may see a lack in what is being taught in public schools, and want to enrich their child’s learning experience.
* You make the decisions about how your children learn. There is no way a public school classroom can tailor its teaching style for each child. Yet each child differs. As a home schooling parent, you can teach your child in the style that best fits him or her, and you can tweak your teaching style as needed.
* You get to choose the curriculum. This ties in with the “what your children learn” note listed above. You can decide how many books, worksheets, crafts, and so forth that your student does. You can reject or accept aspects of various curricula and/or design your own.
* Your child gets one-on-one instruction. Time and again, studies have shown that children learn well with individual instruction.
* Homeschooling takes time. Not only do you have to commit to the actual teaching time; depending on the curriculum, you may have to research and prepare lessons, copy or print out worksheets, maps, exercises, etc., and keep careful track of your child’s progress. This all means less time to run errands, clean the house, cook meals, work at a job, and so forth.
* Depending on the laws and regulations in your area, you will have to present a portfolio or submit your child to standardized testing. This means you have to keep careful records. Check out our Homeschool Teachers Planner
* Homeschooling can cost money. It is not just the curriculum – while some curricula are very expensive (over $1000 a year just for the study materials), others are based on free resources like library books. So the expense is not necessarily the materials, although it can be. The expense also extends into loss of income – the parent who is teaching usually ends up spending less time at work.
* Criticism and even contempt from others unfortunately comes with the territory of home schooling. Those who tend to doubt themselves or who are overly concerned with what other people think may find this aspect of homeschooling stressful.
As you can see, there are trade-offs to home schooling. There are pros and cons to sending your child to public or private school, too. So the key is to figure out what works for your family.
Common Questions/FAQ About Homeschooling
- How do I start homeschooling my child?
- Homeschooling is a great option for parents who want to provide their kids with an enriching education that goes beyond the classroom. If you are considering homeschooling your child, then I recommend doing extensive research on different curriculums and connect with other families about their experiences.
- How can I homeschool online for free?
- The internet has allowed me to homeschool my kids for free! I use YouTube, Netflix and Minecraft. The library is great too, as well as this list of 100% FREE online resources you need in your life if you are a newbie or veteran home-educator. Don’t forget to check out our Free printable activities and worksheets to help you get started with teaching your child.
- How do I choose a good homeschool curriculum?
- There are various places online where you can buy a curriculum to use at home. These will vary from traditional textbooks and workbooks for reading, writing, and arithmetic, to more custom curriculum that is aimed more at your own child’s interests.
- How long is a homeschool year?
- One of the most common questions for someone who is considering homeschooling, whether they plan to do it year round or not, is how many weeks go into a typical homeschool year. There are 36 planned school weeks in conventional schools and 180 total days that would equal this amount if you count weekends as well.
- The average curriculum across subjects has between 30-36 weekly lessons which means there will be around 240 cumulative hours each subject by the end of one academic calendar (about 9 months).
- What are the disadvantages of homeschooling?
- Home schooling has been a difficult yet worthwhile experience for many parents. They are frequently explaining their reasons to friends and relatives who may be unsympathetic or confused about the decision, but they have found it is worth it in order to keep an eye on what goes on around their children all day long.
- Sometimes this can get tiresome when children become restless and misbehave as well as study subjects that seem too hard at times, so there needs to be patience exercised by both parent and child alike if things start getting rough during these trying years of education.
The Last Thing You Need to Know about Homeschooling
- Be patient and seek help from others in the Homeschooling community, remember you are not in this alone.
Do you homeschool or are interested in homeschooling, leave us a comment and tell us why you want to homeschool.