Homeschooling is an activity that has gained popularity in recent times. Many families choose to educate their children themselves, whether it’s because of religion, personal beliefs, or a lack of trust in traditional education systems. However, several factors are not apparent at first glance but are necessary for the classes to run smoothly.
To start homeschooling, it is necessary to consider the laws, requirements, or recommendations your state may have, choose an appropriate curriculum, find homeschool groups and associations, and create an adequate academic plan for the student and the instructor.
This article is for you if you want to know more about homeschooling, the factors to consider, the requirements, the costs, and how it works.
Homeschooling is a process in which parents decide to educate their children independently. This decision has many reasons, such as social, cultural, or religious.
In this education system, parents must be aware of the regulations that the state in which they live has for homeschooling. Some states are stricter than others, but all have different minimum requirements.
In homeschooling, parents must purchase a curriculum commensurate with the student’s level and the method of education they prefer. From here, the instructors carry out academic planning, with schedules, tasks, assignments, exams, essays, and other activities included. Parents should generally keep a record of classes throughout the school year to verify their child’s academic progress.
In most states, parents award diplomas when they decide their child already has enough knowledge to graduate.
Sometimes the family joins groups, associations, or co-ops that help and support homeschooling and its various activities. Physical education classes can be held together in these groups, as well as field trips, talent shows, and other events that require more people involved. Also, it is a good way for the child to make friends and the parents to socialize.
In this practice, parents can educate themselves or hire an instructor, depending on the state. Also, parents do not need to have any certification as teachers in some states, although it is recommended that they take some courses to develop their teaching methods and techniques.
If homeschooling is an option hovering in your head, some costs must be considered to invest in this system and others that can be considered to save money. When it comes to finances, homeschooling has several factors:
- The curriculum
The curriculum is the highest expense of homeschooling. You may choose to make your own, but remember that this would indicate a research and planning process and a long time to carry it out. However, you could save from $350 to $900 per year per child. Also, some digital platforms have a curriculum for free, but they are not complete academic plans.
Some ways to get a good curriculum without spending a lot of money can be:
1) Find a digital platform that is responsible for developing the curriculum for you.
2) If you get a used curriculum, you could save up to half its original price.
3) Some places allow you to rent the curriculum without buying it. The only difference is that you will have to return it eventually.
- The materials
The materials used in homeschooling can take up a large part of the budget. Depending on the activities dictated by the curriculum, the materials could include craft supplies, textbooks, workbooks, and essential learning tools such as pencils and pens, among many other things. Perhaps some tools, such as computers or tablets, will be used occasionally to support the classes taught. Some states offer free national standardized tests; in others, they must be purchased from the local education district.
- The field trips and extracurricular activities
Excursions could be free if you go to public locations close to the home or each other, within walking distance. Otherwise, field trips have an expense on gasoline, meals or snacks, and, occasionally, tickets to the locations they will visit.
If you belong to a group or association, some spaces for field trips offer discounts as if they were a school, depending on the number of children attending the academic trip. Extracurricular activities have roughly similar costs as field trips, and the difference is in the frequency of those expenses.
In total, the cost of homeschooling ranges from $500 to $1800, and it will all depend on the instructor’s academic planning.
Before deciding to homeschool your children, you must investigate if it suits your lifestyle. Teaching requires a lot of time, dedication, and patience on the part of the teacher toward the student.
You should first review the laws, requirements, and recommendations for the state where you live. Some states only require assessments to ensure student progress. In contrast, others require notification of your local education district, proof of the classes taught, documentation of class hours, and some subjects that must be studied yearly.
Curriculum and teaching methods can be chosen by you as long as they follow state regulations, if applicable. You can test which form your child responds best to and base your teaching on it.
The requirements for homeschooling will depend on where you live. Each state has different rules. In some cases, these rules are mandatory and must be respected; in others, they are recommendations that can be followed.
It is recommended that you keep a record of everything, no matter where you live or where you will teach the classes. If your state requires notification, you might want to keep a copy when you submit it. Exams, assignments, works, projects, field trips, grades, and other activities are essential documents to keep in storage throughout this educational process.
Record keeping is so important because it is the way to demonstrate that quality education was provided, following what is required by law, and showing the student’s academic progress to universities and school districts.
It is also necessary to know the children’s goals after finishing school to investigate and plan o the requirements that must be met with time. If your child wants to go to college, some universities require a minimum number of credits in specific subjects.
Homeschooling is a form of alternative education that many parents prefer and is gaining popularity. It is a way for parents to spend more time with their children and instill the family’s values, principles, and beliefs in them.
Many groups and associations exist for families studying at home, so the child’s social factors will continue to develop. At the same time, it helps parents connect with other families in the same situation.
These groups carry out activities that are typical of the educational process. The advantage is that you can choose one close to your home which aligns with the principles and values you want to teach your child. At the same time, other groups focus on religion, athletics, or specific academic achievements.