Homeschooling is a great option for families who want to educate their children at home. Here’s how you can get started with your own homeschool program and what resources are available to help you along the way.
For many, homeschooling is an attractive alternative to public or private schools. It allows parents to have greater control over the curriculum and schedule of instruction, as well as freedom from the rigid environment that often comes with traditional schooling.
If you’re interested in homeschooling but aren’t sure where to start or which method will work best for you, here’s a brief guide.
What Is Home Education?
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how to sign up for a homeschool program, it’s important to understand what it means to “home educate.” In short, this refers to any education being conducted by one or more individuals in their own homes.
While some programs may run out of a single family’s living room (like those offered by The Old Schoolhouse), others may require several adults to coordinate to teach their children.
Choosing A Method Of Education
When choosing a method of education, there are a few things to consider. First, you should figure out what kind of child you have. Children learn differently, and so do methods of education. Some kids like to sit quietly through an entire class period and listen while their teacher explains math concepts.
Others need to actively participate to remember information. If you have a child who requires more active participation, you may want to look at online courses, correspondence courses, or other options that allow for hands-on learning.
Another factor to consider is whether you’d prefer to use a curriculum or develop your own lessons. Curricula provide a list of activities and assignments students complete throughout the week. These types of programs can be quite flexible, allowing for different schedules based on each student’s needs.
However, they are also very structured, and you won’t be able to deviate much from the lesson plans provided. On the other hand, developing your own lessons provides more flexibility, but creating materials specific to your child’s learning style takes time and effort.
Resources & Support
Suppose you decide to go the route of a curriculum. In that case, you’ll find numerous options today, ranging from $20 per month (for a basic subscription) to several hundred dollars per year (for a comprehensive package). There are even sites like homeschoolershub.com that offer free curriculums that are designed specifically for homeschooling families.
If you decide to go with a curriculum, you’ll also want to check out local parent groups and meetups. You can find these through a Google search using your city name and “parent group” as keywords. This will give you access to a wide array of parents who are looking for ways to supplement or replace existing school systems.
You may also want to speak with your child’s pediatrician about other educational options.
And finally, don’t forget to check out the local government offices and libraries as well. They may have programs specifically geared toward helping parents homeschool without paying for a curriculum. And if all else fails, ask around! Most communities have a handful of parents who are willing to share their experiences and knowledge with new homeschooling families.
Getting Started With Your Program
Once you’ve chosen your curriculum, you’ll likely want to set up your program to coincide with the days and hours of your child’s regular school routine. This way, you can make sure the two systems don’t conflict. Many curriculums include lesson plans, textbooks, and worksheets that you can adapt to fit your child’s schedule.
There are also a number of sites on the internet that are designed specifically for homeschooling purposes. Some are free, while others charge fees ranging from $5-$50/per month. Each has its own unique benefits and drawbacks.
If you’re unsure which site would be right for you, look around until you find something appealing. You can cancel at any point, so there isn’t a commitment. Some sites even offer discounts for signing up for multiple years at once.
Home education is a great option for anyone who wants to take a more hands-on approach to educate their children. Whether you choose to teach through a curriculum or develop your own lessons, plenty of resources are available today to help you get started.