Have you been thinking about homeschooling? Maybe you're looking for a temporary solution because of the coronavirus pandemic. Maybe you're looking for a permanent alternative to public education. Have you considered the sacrifices you may need to make or the effects it may have on you and your family? Are you wondering where to begin?
One thing you can do is search the World Wide Web. Many homeschoolers share their experiences and offer help and advice online. You'll find a smorgasbord of videos on YouTube and helpful homeschool blogs on the Web. Another thing you can do is find other homeschoolers to talk with. Start by searching for homeschool support groups. Check your library, too. Libraries oftentimes have information about local support groups and group meetings.
Every family is different, and homeschooling families have their own reasons for homeschooling and homeschooling preferences. Learning from other homeschoolers can help you better understand the nuances of homeschooling and help you form your own ideas about it. While you're considering homeschooling, consider your reasons for homeschooling and the impact your decision may have on you and your family. Consider asking yourself the following:
"Why do I want to homeschool?"
Making the commitment to homeschool is an important decision. You want to be sure you are homeschooling for the right reasons. Make a list, and be honest with yourself. Maybe you have control issues. Sometimes it's hard letting go. Maybe you feel it will be easier for you or for your child. Maybe you plan to travel. Perhaps you are being pressured by someone else. Maybe you're even being pressured by your child. Is your child's school failing to meet your child's academic needs? Maybe you're concerned for your child's safety.
"Am I willing to sacrifice my personal time?"
Homeschoolers are typically with their children ALL THE TIME, and while most of us cherish (almost) every moment, it's not for everyone. Some parents can't wait for summer vacation to be over. In addition to your everyday household responsibilities, homeschooling will consume your day with projects, activities, park days, field trips, lesson planning and paper grading, and plenty of unplanned, unforeseen excursions. Homeschooling means making personal sacrifices every day.
"Will we be able to adjust financially?"
For many families, homeschooling means living on a single or reduced income. If homeschooling means a change in your family's finances, are you prepared to make adjustments? The money you might normally spend on dinner and a movie, a mobile phone upgrade, or a family vacation may need to be set aside for curriculum and homeschool activities.
"Does my family support homeschooling?"
It's comforting to have the support of your family, and even your friends, but sometimes that support isn't there. Because some people don't understand what homeschooling really is, you might feel like you need to prove that your decision to homeschool is a good one. Are you prepared for controversy?
"Am I ready to homeschool?"
Have you done your homework? Do you know what curriculum you will use? Do you know what your state's requirements are? Homeschool laws vary by state, so be sure you understand what you are required to do to homeschool in your state.
"Are my children ready to homeschool?"
Are your children ready to transition from a classroom setting to a home-based one? Will your children lose touch with their classmates? Are they prepared to accept you as their teacher and guidance counselor?
Once you have made the decision to homeschool, don't think you can never go back. Take things a year at a time, or even a semester at a time. It will probably seem overwhelming at first, but things will begin to come together. It will take effort on everyone's part, including your child's. Homeschooling is a worthwhile commitment that requires self-discipline, planning, and time, but there are many resources available to help.
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