The Homeschool population is growing at a steady pace and has piqued the interest of parents all over the world. Whether you are considering homeschooling or still figuring out what exactly it is all about, you have come to the right place.
We bring to you all the detail about this interesting alternative education system. Here we bring you a complete homeschooling guide.
What exactly is Homeschooling?
Though homeschooling has gained popularity over recent years, it has been around for decades. The system first started growing in the year 1970 and soon became an alternative system for education for most people. Homeschooling is a system where parents or guardians take up the responsibility to educate their kids at home. In this system, kids learn by a curriculum as they would at school without having to be enrolled in a public or private school. Parents not only focus on the academic development of the child but also focus on their physical and mental development.
Homeschooling is not as daunting as most people believe it to be. This system offers special freedom that usually is found in the regular school system. From selecting subjects of your choice to helping children learn in their preferred methods, homeschooling has a plethora of benefits to offer.
Is Homeschooling the Right Option For Your Kids?
People have varied opinions on homeschooling. While some look at it as a progressive movement, others prefer the conventional schooling system. There are pros and cons to both systems and figuring out if homeschooling is the right option for your family can get a bit confusing with so many opinions floating about. Listed below are some things that might help you:
- While homeschooling is a great option if you want to customize your child’s education, it is a huge commitment. Only choose to homeschool if you have the time and patience to commit to it every day.
- If you are worried about not being able to teach certain subjects, you can always hire a tutor. But if you feel like you won’t be able to help your child with most of their curriculum, this system might not be the best option for you.
- If you want your child to learn more life skills and subject that usually isn’t taught in school at their grade, you might want to consider homeschooling. This system offers you the freedom to choose what your child learns and how they learn.
- Homeschooling might not be a great option for families with more than three kids as it is hard to give all the kids the kind of attention and care they deserve. It might work if you have help but if it is just you and your partner, we do not suggest it.
Are there any Benefits to Homeschooling?
There is a reason, well, several reasons as to why more and more parents are choosing to homeschool their kids. Listed below are some benefits of homeschooling that are getting parents to ditch the conventional schooling system:
- Focus on character training
One of the major benefits of homeschooling is that it offers you the opportunity to teach things such as politeness, punctuality, the value of hard work, and more. Not to say that the same things aren’t being taught in schools, but as a parent, you will have more time to teach your kids these things when you homeschool them. At the end of the day, who better than to learn these things from than from your parents.
- Customized learning
Under homeschooling, you get to choose the curriculum for your child. This system offers you the advantage of choosing a curriculum that best suits your child’s interests. Not only does this make learning easier for kids but it also helps them achieve better in their area of interest. Another added advantage is that your kids receive your complete focus and attention which they probably wouldn’t get in a class of 20-50 kids.
- Flexible schedule
You don’t have to stringently stick by a schedule when you are homeschooling. This education system gives you the freedom to choose your own time for learning and teaching. If your child isn’t feeling up to studying in the morning, you can always teach them later in the day. Having the freedom to teach your child when they are more receptive is one of the biggest benefits of the system.
- Spend more time with children
You don’t have to wait for eight hours from breakfast to see your kids again when you are homeschooling them. This system gives you a lot more time with your children as compared to the regular schooling system. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you stay stuck at the hip all the time, it just allows you to be around for your kids if they need you.
These are just a handful of benefits of homeschooling. While this system might not be for everyone, it offers a plethora of perks for both children and parents.
How to Homeschool?
So you have decided to homeschool your kids. Where do you start? We bring to you some tips that will help you get started with homeschooling:
1. Compliance with the law
Homeschooling is legal in almost all countries around the world. But some countries have laws that parents have to abide by if they want to homeschool their kids. These laws vary depending on the place you live in. If the place you live in does not have any rules regarding this, you do not have to worry. It is crucial to check the state laws regarding homeschooling and make the necessary preparations before you start.
2. Connect with other parents and homeschooling groups
Connecting with parents or guardians who are in the same boat as you will help make this new process so much smoother and easier. Connect with parents in your friend circle who have experience with homeschooling to get information. You can always check out homeschooling groups in and around your locality on social media platforms like Facebook to connect with more people.
3. Talk with your kids
Talking to your kids about this is imperative especially if you are making the switch from the conventional schooling system. We strongly suggest that you sit your child down and explain to them why you are doing this and how it will benefit them. Clarify any doubts and questions they might have about this process. Your kids might not immediately take up to the idea and you must give them some time to process it. Also, assuring them that they will still be in contact with their old friends and continue their extracurricular activities will help them adapt better to the new system.
4. Pick a curriculum
The next step is to choose a curriculum based on your child’s current grade and learning abilities. You can either follow a curriculum that’s similar to one followed by schools or customize it to suit your child’s interests. Involving your child in the process of picking a curriculum and letting them have a say will not only instill confidence in your children but also get them excited to learn.
5. Set up the right environment
Just because you are homeschooling doesn’t mean your kids study wherever they want. Having a study space is very important unless you want this experience to turn into a chaotic mess. Set up a designated learning space for your child, preferably away from the tv and somewhere quiet. Ensure they have all the necessary study equipment and materials close at hand. You can even put up a board in their study space where you can write down the daily timetable/ schedule.
6. Plan the year in advance
This is a step most parents miss when they start homeschooling and it rarely serves them well. It is important to set up a plan for the whole academic year. Figure out when you will set up tests, how you will measure their learning, rewards, and goals before you start your first lesson. There are plenty of resources available online to help you set up a solid plan.
7. Set up goals
Goals are an integral part of homeschooling. Without goals, you and your children will probably be lost. Your children are more likely to achieve if they know where they are headed and what they are supposed to do. We suggest starting with weekly and monthly goals and progressing onto bigger goals once they are accustomed to the process.
8. Evaluate the progress
It is critical to evaluate your child’s academic progress when homeschooling. This will not only help you understand how well your children are doing but also figure out if the system is working. Quizzes, tests, and exams act as tools of academic evaluation. You can choose to grade your kid yourself or seek the help of someone else in the family for the same. We also suggest looking into standardized tests to assess your child’s progress.
We bring to you the answers to some of the most popular homeschooling questions:
- Is homeschooling expensive?
The cost of homeschooling varies for each family. But if planned the right way, homeschooling can be much cheaper than traditional schooling. The key to cost-effective homeschooling lies in planning and utilizing the right resources.
- How many hours a day do you have to homeschool?
You do not have to spend 8 hours teaching your kids every day. You can effectively homeschool your kids in 3-4 hours every day. You can always extend the time if needed but you usually don’t need to teach more than 6 hours a day.
- What is deschooling?
Deschooling refers to the adjustment period when a child transitions from the traditional schooling system to homeschooling. Deschooling brings along a set of challenges for both parents and children. But the right attitude and patience can help overcome these challenges easily.
- Do parents need a teaching degree to homeschool?
No, parents do not need a teaching degree to homeschool their kids unless stated so by their local laws. It is always best to check your state law before you start homeschooling.
- At what age should I start homeschooling my children?
Everyone has a different journey when it comes to homeschooling. There is no standard age as to when you should start homeschooling your kids. You can start homeschooling your kids when you think they are ready to learn.
- Does homeschooling make kids anti-social?
Just because your kids learn at home does not mean they can’t have friends outside. Homeschooling does not have to affect your children’s social skills. Encouraging your children to join a dance or sports class or play with their friends is a good way to ensure they don’t feel isolated.
- Are homeschooled kids accepted into colleges easily?
Contrary to what many people might think, most homeschooled candidates do not have a hard time getting into universities. Most colleges use standardized tests to assess a candidate and accept them as long as they meet the criteria.
Do you have any questions regarding homeschooling? Drop them in the comments below and we will do our best to answer them!