Homeschooling is an alternative option for children’s education. It grew when distinguished writers and researchers started to write about educational reform. Since then, it has evolved to be one of the fastest-growing forms of education in the US. Across the 50 states, homeschool is legal. Often dubbed “parent-led education” and “home education,” it grew exponentially from 2019 to 2021. As of March 2021, there are an estimated 5 million homeschooled students in grades K-12.
There are many good words to be said about homeschooling. One of its best benefits is that you can customize your child’s learning environment. Homeschooled children also ten to perform better in achievement tests. Amidst the worsening COVID-19 pandemic, homeschool can also provide an extra layer of protection for your child.
Despite the advantages of homeschooling, it is not an easy system to implement. What’s the best way to get started with teaching your child at home? There are many factors you must take into consideration before implementing this way of education. Before you jump straight into homeschooling your child, here are some questions therapists want you to ask yourself first.
Why Do I Want To Homeschool My Kid?
There are many possible reasons why you started to consider homeschool.
Do you think that there are needs that are not being met in your current school environment? If so, how do you think homeschool will address these needs? Perhaps your child was a victim of bullying or racism. You wish to protect them, especially from the public school environment. Maybe you want to be hands-on with your child’s education. You want to impart certain values and beliefs.
Whatever your reason is, define it clearly. Start your decision process with the “why.” Your answers to these questions will let you know if homeschooling is the right path for your child.
Am I Ready To Teach?
Homeschooling is a major commitment — both for you and your child. You don’t necessarily have to be a licensed teacher to make this work. However, some states require minimum educational attainment for parents. Make sure to coordinate with your local government before you push through with homeschooling.
More importantly, ask yourself if you’re ready to teach. Homeschooling is an immense responsibility that you should only take on if you feel prepared. Here are some more questions to consider:
- Do you enjoy explaining things?
- Are you ready to answer your child’s questions and clarifications?
- Do you have the mental space to carry out tasks such as making lesson plans?
Can I Afford Homeschooling?
Just because you are not subject to tuition fees doesn’t mean that homeschooling is free. You will also have to purchase your child’s homeschool curriculum. Like in an in-school setting, you will also need to buy learning materials such as books and worksheets. However, homeschooling is still considerably more affordable than sending your children to school. There, they have to spend money on projects, school trips, and lunches.
The biggest thing you’ll have to spend when homeschooling is time. So before deciding to homeschool your child, ask yourself if you can commit a big chunk of your hours to teach them.
Is My Home A Capable Environment For Homeschooling?
Include your house in the decision-making process, and ask yourself: is it a fitting environment for homeschooling? Although not required, it’s best if you have a dedicated room for your classes. Being in this specific space can prime your child that it is time for learning. It also helps if you have audio-visual materials in that room so that you can watch educational videos.
Will I Be Able To Balance Homeschool And Home Management?
When you start to homeschool your kid, you are adding another job to juggle in your hands. You will have to add this responsibility on top of your daily housework. You may also be running a business or working a full-time job. So, it’s crucial to ask yourself whether or not you can handle wearing all hats.
You have to be honest and be okay if your answer to this question is no. After all, it is your child’s education on the line. Also, remember that you can enlist the help of other family members or parents who have also chosen to homeschool their child.
What Are The Local Homeschooling Resources Available Near Me?
Homeschooling may be uncommon in your extended family, and they may not understand your circumstances. So, having a handful of people you can lean to for support is crucial.
Consider the lack of availability of homeschooling resources in your area. These can come in the form of homeschool organizations or cooperatives. They can arrange playgroups or group field trips with your child. More importantly, you can get valuable insights from parents in these groups.
How Will I Give My Kid The Opportunity To Socialize With Others?
Many parents worry about their child’s social skills while homeschooling. Face-to-face schools provide bountiful opportunities for social interaction. In comparison, it’s mostly you and your child when in homeschool. As such, you should note how you can supplement this crucial component of this developmental skill.
However, take note that homeschool does not take the whole day. You can personalize your days to be shorter than a traditional school, too. By doing so, you can have more free time for extracurricular activities.
As a parent, you only want the best for your child. If you feel that traditional educational modes do not benefit your family, homeschooling is viable. However, you have to take note of many things before taking this leap. Take the time to consider the questions above and consult with your therapist as you go through them.
Once you decide to shift to homeschooling, the key is to trust yourself. You will not always figure everything out at the start. However, that is completely fine. As long as you keep yourself flexible, you will be able to conquer challenges. You can tap the support of your extended family and even homeschooling groups to make the experience a success for you and your child.