Homeschooling is an increasingly popular option for parents looking to provide their children with a unique, personalized education. By taking their education into their own hands, homeschoolers can tailor their child’s learning experience to their individual needs and interests.
But what exactly is involved in homeschooling? To homeschool successfully, parents must be willing to commit to providing their child with a quality education that meets the standards set by their state. This means planning a curriculum, setting a schedule, and creating a learning environment for their student.
Additionally, parents must be prepared to take on the role of teacher, spending time teaching and guiding their student’s learning. Homeschooling can be a rewarding experience for both the parent and the student, but it is important to understand what is involved before taking the plunge.
Overview of Homeschooling
Homeschooling is the practice of educating your child through the use of independent study. This means students are not attending a public or private school but are instead learning at home with their parents guiding their education.
While the term “home school” has been used for decades, the practice of homeschooling has experienced a significant increase in popularity in recent years. Statistics show that between 1999 and 2016, the number of children who are home schooled increased by 72%.
Home schoolers now comprise about 3% of the total school-aged population in the U.S., up from less than 2% in 1999. While the exact reasons for the sudden increase in popularity of homeschooling are not fully understood, experts cite a number of benefits to home schooling as a significant contributor.
Benefits of Homeschooling
While there are a number of benefits associated with home schooling, parents should keep in mind that no two homeschooling experiences are exactly the same. Every child learns in a different way, at a different pace, and has different goals and interests.
As such, parents should not expect their child’s experience to match their own exactly. Instead, parents should focus on what is best for their child and make adjustments as needed.
Personalized learning: Regardless of the academic track your child is on, they will be able to explore areas of interest, learn at their own pace, and pursue goals that are not available in a traditional school setting.
Curriculum Options for Homeschoolers
The type of curriculum you choose for your homeschooling experience can significantly impact your learning. Since you are in control of your child’s education, you get to decide which curriculum works best for you and your family.
This can be a fun process for parents, with many options available for different subjects and age groups. You can choose from a wide variety of curriculum types, including: Traditional textbook: Textbooks are still a common choice for homeschoolers. You can either purchase new or used textbooks from sellers like Amazon, or if you want something more modern, check out websites like Open Textbooks.
Online curriculum: Many online course providers are now offering homeschooling options as well. For example, you can find online high school courses at sites like Coursera and Udemy.
Creating a Homeschool Schedule
One of the first things you will want to do as a homeschooler is to create a schedule for your child’s educational activities. This schedule should include all of the subjects your child will be studying and how much time they will spend on each.
For example, you may decide that your child will spend 2 hours each day studying math, 1 hour studying science, and 30 minutes studying history. When putting together your schedule, it is important to remember all of the other elements of homeschooling, including:
Creating a curriculum: While all subjects have standards that your child must meet, the exact materials your child uses to learn those subjects will vary.
Setting up a Homeschool Learning Environment
A comfortable, organized, and inspiring learning environment can significantly impact your child’s success as a homeschooler. While there is no “perfect” way to set up a homeschooling space, you can follow some general guidelines:
Create a space that is isolated from noise, distractions, and interruptions. Keep everything that your child needs to complete their schoolwork in one place.
Create a space where your child feels safe, secure, and empowered to learn. Create a space that is inspiring, but not overwhelming.
Parents as Teachers: Teaching Strategies for Homeschoolers
As a parent, one of the most important things you can do becomes familiar with your child’s individual learning style. From there, you can create a personalized educational experience that caters to their unique needs. There are many different approaches to homeschooling.
While you may want to follow a certain framework for curriculum and scheduling, it is important to remember that your child is an individual. There are many different ways to go about teaching your child, but here are a few general strategies you can use:
Focus on standards. It is important to remember that the primary function of homeschooling is to enable your child to meet the state-mandated standards for their grade level.
There are many resources available for parents who are interested in homeschooling. You can find books and websites dedicated to homeschooling and online forums where you can connect with other homeschooling parents.
You can also find local groups and meet-ups that are focused on homeschooling. These resources can help you learn more about the ins and outs of homeschooling and provide you with valuable support. You can also find a wide variety of online courses and other resources that can help you as a parent provide your child with a quality education.
These tools can help you track your child’s progress, see what areas they need extra help with, and provide them with additional practice with concepts they are struggling with.
Challenges of Homeschooling
Homeschooling is a rewarding experience, but it is important to acknowledge that it comes with unique challenges. Parents who are considering homeschooling their child should be aware of these potential challenges so they can be prepared to address them.
Here are some potential challenges of homeschooling: Time: While it varies between families, one of the primary challenges of homeschooling is finding the time to complete all required activities.
State Requirements for Homeschooling
While there are many benefits to homeschooling, it is important to understand that no two homeschooling experiences are exactly the same. Every child learns in a different way, at a different pace, and has different goals and interests.
As such, parents should not expect their child’s experience to match their own exactly. Instead, parents should focus on what is best for their child and make adjustments as needed. One of the most important things you can do before starting a homeschooling experience is to familiarize yourself with the state requirements for homeschooling in your area.
Each state has different laws regarding homeschooling, so it is important to make sure you understand what is required in your state.
Homeschooling Support Groups
Homeschooling can be a rewarding experience, but it is important to acknowledge that it comes with its own unique set of challenges. Parents who are considering homeschooling their child should be aware of these potential challenges so they can be prepared to address them.
Here are a few groups that can provide support for parents who are homeschooling: Big homeschooling groups like the National Home Education Network provide ongoing learning, resources, and support to parents and their children.
Smaller, more focused support groups, like private Facebook groups, might be a better fit for parents who are looking for more tailored support.
Homeschooling is a great way for parents to tailor their child’s education to their individual needs and interests, and it can be a rewarding experience for both the parent and the student. However, it is important to understand what is involved before taking the plunge.
Before you begin, make sure you have a solid understanding of the state requirements for homeschooling in your area and a plan for meeting those requirements. It is also important to ensure you have the time and energy to complete all required activities and create a comfortable and inspiring learning environment for your child.