Homeschool is a term that has been used for years by parents who want to educate their children at home. The idea of homeschooling was first introduced in America during the 19th century when it became popular among Christian families due to religious reasons. However, many others have become interested in homeschooling and are opting out of the public schooling system.
Recently, there has been an increase in the number of students choosing to attend school through homeschooling after completing primary or middle school. It might be because the current generation of kids has trouble focusing on their studies, as they spend most of their free time playing video games or watching television.
This trend may also be attributed to the fact that some schools no longer provide quality education to their students since they focus more on a general understanding of lessons rather than ensuring proper knowledge and skills.
Here are several questions that you should ask yourself before starting your homeschool.
Why Choose Home Education?
If you’ve decided to take your kid out of their usual classroom setting, there must be a reason or goal you want to achieve through this arrangement. Here are the following points which will give us insight into the benefits of homeschooling compared to traditional learning methods:
It is cheaper – You’ll save on traditional tuition and supply expenses. Just think how much you spent buying textbooks, notebooks, pencils, pens, clothes, and extracurricular activity fees associated with a typical year at public school.
Better concentration levels – When children study inside classrooms, teachers use chalkboards, overhead projectors, and whiteboards during lessons. Students must take notes, work on assignments, and understand the lesson objective quickly before moving to the next class. These tools are necessary to teach, explain, and explore the classes but can also cause frustration, confusion, and overwhelming feelings.
On average, each student spends only 10 minutes per day studying, according to research by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES).
Conversely, if you take your child outside the classroom walls and let them learn with fewer distractions, expectations, and pressure, they have more potential to excel, understand, and ask questions. Concentration on single tasks will be more accessible, and personal interests can be further explored.
Also note that extracurricular activities such as sports practice, music lessons, and even homework assignments distract young minds that need total concentration to comprehend their studies properly. Designing a well-managed schedule reduces the stress of rushing through tasks to participate in extracurriculars and allows time for students to maintain the appropriate amount of focus on their current class.
You won’t lose touch with your child – One thing about going back to school via homeschooling is that you can keep track of your child’s progress without contacting the school or their teachers or waiting for the quarterly progress reports.
Your child gets socialization opportunities unlike those offered by traditional schools – Some studies show that teens who attend public schools seldom meet new friends until college age, whereas homeschooled ones tend to interact with peers of all ages and demographics earlier than others.
As a parent, you are responsible for exposing your children to different types of personalities and cultures by bringing them around diverse groups of individuals once in a while.
Teachers aren’t always knowledgeable on multiple subjects. Most educators nowadays focus on one study and know little about others. This knowledge gap is not unexpected but does result in students needing to set up additional times outside of classroom hours to discuss schoolwork with multiple professionals.
The extra time spent with each teacher can quickly add up and cut into the time needed to complete daily homework for assignments to be turned in on time.
While conventional schools rely heavily upon textbook readings, lectures, and presentations, homeschoolers can access various online sources to search for information whenever they wish. This way, they can enrich themselves with relevant facts and figures regarding whatever topic they want to learn. They can also discuss issues freely with their fellow learners and exchange ideas.
Some argue that homeschooled students lack motivation compared to those enrolled in public schools. There is no denying that homeschooled kids require more discipline and effort from their parents; however, the truth is that most of them are driven enough to complete their tasks successfully, provided they receive proper guidance from their parents.
What’s important here is to understand that if your child doesn’t enjoy reading, writing, or arithmetic, chances are that he wouldn’t excel well in their regular classes, nor would they be interested in continuing his education past the elementary level.
What’s Involved With Homeschooling?
Aside from providing support, mentoring, and love, parents play crucial roles, especially when educating their children. Below are the responsibilities involved with homeschooling:
It would be best to plan the day’s activities for you and your child every morning. Ensure everything is written down, including meals, exercise routines, entertainment options, and academic goals.
Make copies of workbooks. Although textbooks are also available online, it is best to print off worksheets and handouts in advance so your child doesn’t encounter problems later on.
Take notes. Keep a notebook handy to record your observations, thoughts, and discussions about your child’s performance throughout the week. This helps you follow along with your child’s progress over time.
Set deadlines. Ensure that your child follows a timetable that includes breaks, scheduled rest periods, and sleep. Set short-term and long-term goals based on their capabilities.
Create a checklist. Create a list of tasks you expect your child to finish within a specific time. Use checklists for grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry, packing lunches, doing homework, preparing snacks, and similar chores.
Ensure safety. Have fire extinguishers readily accessible and smoke alarms installed near windows and doors. If your child is old enough, enroll them in a local CPR class. Provide them with emergency numbers and ensure they know whom to contact if a dangerous situation occurs.
Choose appropriate subjects. Select materials that suit your child’s interests and capabilities. Please don’t force them to memorize or write words unless they enjoy doing so. Consider asking them to draw pictures instead.
Monitor grades. Check report cards regularly. Compare results with previous years’ reports to see whether they have improved or need additional help in reading, writing, and comprehension. Ask them to point out areas in which improvements are necessary.
Provide feedback. Be open-minded when evaluating your child’s performance, and share your opinions honestly. Help them improve their weak areas by pointing out mistakes and offering constructive criticism. Encourage positive behaviors too. Praise effort instead of the outcome.
Review tests. Give your child an ample amount of time to answer test questions. Do not rush to review tests right away. Instead, wait till your child feels comfortable with answering them.
Discuss possible scenarios. Discuss hypothetical situations with your child to prepare them mentally.
Keep records. Record attendance, meal plans, field trip expenses, and receipts related to extracurricular activities.
Plan vacations. Take frequent trips outdoors to explore nature and visit museums, fairgrounds, zoos, botanical gardens, and aquariums. Plan outdoor camping excursions during the summertime.
Organize outings. Organize fun events and parties for your child involving food gathering, crafts making, and other recreational activities.
Show appreciation. Thank your child for completing tasks correctly and respecting their elders. Showing gratitude makes your child motivated to continue working hard.
Do not criticize. Avoid criticizing your child directly. Maintain healthy communication lines between you and your child to avoid conflicts.
Stay informed. Read informative magazines and newspapers and watch T.V. programs relating to your expertise. Stay updated with local news and world affairs.
Legalities Of Homeschooling
All states in the U.S. allow parents to decide how their children should be educated. States differ slightly in terms of requirements and regulations surrounding homeschooling. Regarding legalities, government agencies set forth specific guidelines to protect American citizens against fraud.
There are two main categories concerning homeschooling – correspondence and distance.
Correspondence means that the teacher communicates face-to-face with their students, and minimal technological advances are required besides internet connection speed.
Distance education refers to homeschooling wherein the teacher teaches remotely using technology such as teleconferencing and webinars.
Parents can enroll their kids in private schools if they choose to, provided public funds are not allocated to cover costs incurred by their decision. Private schools offer higher standards than public schools, and tuition fees range from $1,000 to $10,000, depending on the facilities and services provided.
Another advantage of private schools is that they accept less qualified candidates than public schools. Parents looking forward to homeschooling their kids are advised to consult state laws regarding licensing and registration requirements.