Deciding to homeschool is never an easy choice. There will always be pressure from those outside your family who will try to convince you to make another choice. But, as parents it is your choice and your responsibility to determine what is best for your children. Choosing the education of your children is a deeply personal choice. And, whatever you choose, whether public school, private school, online school, a hybrid school, or you choose the homeschool life, know that it’s OK to decide based entirely on what is best for your family.
Maybe you are considering homeschool because you don’t like the type of curriculum being used by the public school system. Or, perhaps it’s because you don’t like the political climate of a government funded school. It could be that you simply don’t want to expose your children to the world view which is prevalent in institutional learning academies.
There are many reasons why a family might choose to homeschool their children. Here are some of the most common ones:
Reasons to Choose the Homeschool Life
- Personalized education: Homeschooling allows parents to customize their children’s education to fit their learning styles, interests, and needs.
- Flexibility: Homeschooling can offer a more flexible schedule, allowing families to take vacations or pursue other activities during traditional school hours.
- Safety concerns: Some parents choose to homeschool their children for safety reasons, such as avoiding bullying or school violence. Perhaps there is peer pressure or bullying that has prevented your child from excelling. Maybe it’s simply that you didn’t have a good experience in public or private school and you want to avoid that for your own child.
- Religious or cultural reasons: Homeschooling can be a way for parents to teach their children according to their own religious or cultural beliefs. It could be that you are considering homeschooling because you want to envelop your children in a Biblical worldview that helps them to build a foundation of faith.
- Special needs: Homeschooling can be a good option for children with special needs, such as those with learning disabilities or physical disabilities. Your child may have special educational needs that the school system can’t meet. It could be that your child simply learns at a slower-than-typical rate or an accelerated rate. Maybe you just don’t trust the public schools to accommodate your child’s needs. Then again, many children simply do not thrive in group learning environments.
- Quality of education: Some parents choose to homeschool because they believe they can provide a higher quality of education than what is available in their local public schools.
- Personal or family reasons: Homeschooling can offer the opportunity for families to spend more time together, or allow children to pursue a particular passion or interest that might not be available in a traditional school setting.
Here’s the truth of the matter… it doesn’t matter what your reasons are!
Yes! I just said that whatever your reasons are for homeschooling it doesn’t matter to anyone other than yourself. You have every right to decide what is best for your children. And, even though you may want to explain your reasons to others the truth is, you don’t need to or have to. Your reasons are your own, they are valid reasons, and to the rest of the world, those reasons don’t matter.
Important Things to Know about the Homeschool Life
You’ve chosen, or are in the process of choosing, to nurture your child’s educational development and that’s a the right choice for your family.
If you’re new to this, you’ll find that the biggest problem that you’ll encounter is that there’s almost no way to generalize the homeschool concept, because each case is different. There is no right and wrong way to homeschool. In fact – probably one of the unstated reasons you’ve chosen to homeschool and one of the main benefits is that you get to pretty much create your own set of right and wrong rules.
You set the curriculum. And depending on what state you live in, you choose the instructional materials, the books, the hours, and so on. You determine what your homeschool spaces will look like. You make the decisions about how your children will be educated.
And on the negative side, when you run into difficulties with your students (i.e., your kids) you and your family will have to resolve them yourself, with little or no help from the state. Which means you fully determine how to discipline your children, where and when to find help for emotional needs, as well as possible speech, occupational, or physical therapies. You might need to find a reading coach, or hire a tutor for math. Because the truth of the matter is, no matter how determined you are to educate your children, you can’t possibly know everything you might need. And
there may be, there will be, times when you will need external help.
No matter what your approach there are two things you are going to have to do:
1. You’re going to have to educate yourself about homeschooling. This means renting or buying home school educational dvds. You should also make it a point to read books written by ordinary people who have gone through the very things you’re about to so you can avoid making their mistakes with your kids.
That said, don’t worry about whether you’re qualified to teach your kids at home. As their parent you ARE qualified. That’s because you will be fully invested in working to ensure your child has everything they need to gain the best education possible.
2. There is no nationwide agreement on what a hom school accreditation program should look like or include. Each state, municipality, and school district is different. Unavoidably, you’re going to have to become familiar with and abide by the statutes governing homeschooling in your particular state.
Aside from those two things, I think the basic thing you can give your homeschool child is a loving and supporting “classroom” environment.
What Homeschool Life Looks in the Home
What does a homeschool life looks like in the home? Homeschool life can look like anything you choose.
One thing you’ll quickly discover is that trying to make homeschool look like a traditional classroom setting is going to lead to frustration. Our homes and the way that our families function simply do not lend to that type of environment.
Homeschool can look like chaos on some days when you’re dining table is filled with textbooks, lab equipment, glitter and glue, and scrap paper too. Other days, it might look like children lounging on couches and reading lots of books. While still another day might look like children out and about for a hike while searching the woods for something that goes along with their nature lesson.
Whatever educational approach your family decides on will help you to navigate what a typical, and sometimes non-typical day will look like in your family homeschool.
In conclusion, there are many reasons why families might choose to homeschool their children. Whether it is for personalized education, flexibility, safety concerns, religious or cultural reasons, special needs, quality of education, or personal and family reasons, homeschooling can offer a variety of benefits to both parents and children. However, it’s important to note that homeschooling isn’t the right choice for every family or every child, and it requires a significant amount of time, effort, and dedication on the part of parents. As with any major decision regarding your child’s education, it’s important to carefully consider all of the factors involved and make an informed choice that is right for your family.