Homeschooling has become increasingly popular over the past decade as families find that traditional classrooms are not the best option for their family or child. At the same time, this decision should not be taken lightly. Below are five things to consider before deciding to home-school your child.
Do you feel comfortable home-schooling? While we all have to do some things that we are not comfortable with, the goal with home-schooling is to give our child something better than they would receive at a traditional school. Because of this, the person doing the home-schooling needs to feel comfortable and capable in their role. One way to ensure this is to make sure that the curriculum you choose is the right one for you. More about curriculum choice in another post!
Do you have a consistent schedule?-While home-schooling does have its flexibility, a predictable, consistent schedule is needed in order to ensure that learning is accomplished. If your life is already hectic and crazy, a different school option might be better.
What is the home-school law in your state?-In my state, Texas, home-school law is very simple. Basically, parents are allowed to choose any curriculum, aren't accountable to anyone but themselves, and can easily transition their child to a college setting with the right grades and SAT/ACT scores. Different states maintain different levels of control that might affect your decision.
What social activities are available to your child outside of school? One concern that is brought up often regarding home-schooling involves whether a child will get enough social interaction. I find, that some kids, particularly when there are both social and academic challenges, actually benefit from being challenged academically outside of a social setting and vice versa so that they can put their attention and focus on one area of difficulty at a time. Many cities have active home-school co-ops where kids can go weekly or bi-weekly to take elective classes with other home-scholars, or go on field trips. There are also many sports leagues that can be accessed by families that home-school as well as scouts and arts programs. Some states and school districts allow home-scholars to still access extra curricular resources at public schools.
Can the Parent/Child also be the Teacher/Student?- This can be a learned skill, but the relationship between a parent and child is different than that of a teacher and student. Parents that home-school often need to forge a different relationship with their child in order to make it work. If done right, this can be a very rewarding experience for both!
Lisa works with families who are looking for educational solutions for their children. She has provided services to families in the DFW area for over 10 years.