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Deciding to homeschool is a tremendous decision. It is one that will impact your whole family. Homeschooling is not merely a matter of devoting seven hours, five days a week, with summers off to the education of your child. Homeschooling creates a 24/7 classroom.
But, the question still looms: How do you know if homeschooling is for you?
With homeschooling, there is rarely any neutral ground. Advocates are very passionate about it, citing all the wrongs and woes of the public school system. Some of the complaints may include, but are not limited to: Overcrowding of schools eliminate the opportunity for personalized attention, public school can be dangerous, a lack of agreement with the values and morals that students are being taught, and too non-Biblical in their approach to various subjects.
Though very good reasons—and not without truth—this still doesn’t answer the question of whether or not homeschooling is for you?
The only way to answer this is to ask yourself: Are you and your family willing to accept the total responsibility for your child’s education? This may seem like a "no brainer" question, but many parents have not prepared nor planned for this type of life.
Again, it cannot be stressed enough that homeschooling is a life decision.
You will be the sole source of your child’s education. You will be responsible for their social integration, for education is much more than learning to read, write, and do arithmetic. It involves socialization and meeting challenges that are usually out of parental control.
Homeschooling is wonderful if it is right for you and your family.
Many parents think of homeschooling and public schooling as opposites. This really isn’t the case. Both strive for the same goal, and this is to meet the educational needs of your child. Often, a supportive parent who truly maintains interest in the public education of their children can do as well in producing a well-rounded child as does the homeschooling parent.
How to Determine If Homeschooling Is Right for You
Remember, that you are trying to decide if it is something you wish to do, so don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions. Ask about the time involved, the materials needed, and the education needed. Look at your child’s personality. Are they the type that needs interaction with others, or do they better fare on their own? How about temperament, both yours and theirs?
Only you can decide, and the only way to do this is to get all the facts.
This is how you will be able to decide if homeschooling is the right approach for your family.
The decision to homeschool is a big one and rarely an easy one. It’s hard to know before you do it just what is involved and whether it will be the right choice for you and your children. There are a few questions you should ask yourself before you commit to the homeschooling path.
Why do you want to do it? There are many equally valid reasons to homeschool and there is no right or wrong answer to this question, but clarifying your reasons will help you address the next question.
Are there other solutions to your problems/issues? If your issues are not with the school system itself, but with your child’s particular school, is it possible to change schools, even if this throws up a whole new set of problems? (Be it money, transportation, etc.) If, on the other hand, you are worried about the lack of religion in public schools, then another solution might be Sunday School, Bible study class, or making more time to follow your religion together as a family.
What are the pros and cons of all the options? Now it’s time to really sit down and make a list of all the options with what the advantages and disadvantages of each are. Often one option (maybe homeschooling) will emerge as by far the most attractive.
Are you prepared? If homeschooling looks like the best option on paper, start researching. The more information you gather, the better. There are excellent resources for homeschoolers on the internet. Also, read books and talk to other homeschoolers. Start to think about the methods you might use and the resources you have.
Do you have the right skills and attributes? You do not need teaching qualifications in order to homeschool your child. You do need motivation, enthusiasm, patience, self-discipline, excellent research, organization, and time management skills. Only you know if you possess enough of these to be an effective homeschooler.
Do you have support? You will need the support of your spouse if you are going to do this work and the key people in your life such as friends and relatives can also be a source of support. Don’t worry if not everyone understands or agrees with your decision. Homeschooling is, after all, still the choice of the minority and it’s normal for some people to take a while to come around to your way of thinking. Find your local homeschooling group (they are all over the country) and you will have instant support from like-minded people.
How does your child feel? Make sure you discuss the decision with your child if he/she is old enough. This is a decision you need to make together. Some of their ideas and insights may throw up issues or aspects of homeschooling you hadn’t considered. It’s their education, involve them.
Does it feel right? It’s normal to have doubts when making big changes, but often, you will know deep down if you are making the right choice. If you’re still not sure, it’s OK to delay for a while and do some more research until you feel ready to make a definite decision.
How flexible are you? Flexibility is a valuable asset to homeschooling families. It can be a very good thing if you can keep an open mind and be prepared to try different ideas, methods, and resources in the early days. You may even need to be flexible enough to admit you were wrong and that homeschooling isn’t for you or your child. But if you’ve followed the advice above, you will probably find that whichever decision you make will be the right one.
About the Author
Joseline Burns is a teacher and research paper writer at an educational She has been writing and editing content for social media, while also leading her own blogs for five years. She is a big fan of Marvel movies, sports, and psychology. Her main goal: To help people with self-development, and to teach them to look at the situation from different sides.