You’ve been thinking about it, quit kidding yourself. The idea has crossed your mind more than once, you have seen those homeschooling families enjoying the last of the summer while taking their lessons to a park for the day, you have noticed that snow days can be turned into science lessons, you can even tell that the families who homeschool seem to have a special bond.
Something has been holding you back like that child who climbs to the top of the high dive just to chicken out at the last moment. Take the plunge, dive on in and swim with the rest of us crazy families who love this homeschooling thing and wouldn’t trade it (most days) for anything.
What do you need to know before you dive in to homeschooling?
The temperature is nice
The climate for homeschoolers has changed DRASTICALLY over the last 10 years. No longer is homeschooling a fringe idea but it is becoming more and more of an accepted form of education. What you need to know is there is a site that breaks down the temperature of all the states for you, in other words, the laws and what each state expects from you as a homeschooling parent.
There are two pools to choose from
It is easiest if you think of the two ways of homeschooling as “parent driven” and “online state-driven” and they are very different.
Online state driven is when the public school district provides online academics to your child, free of charge to you. You do not have to teach, you do not have to grade, but you also do not have control over what is taught to your child.
Your child will be using the computer the majority of the time they are learning, and there are more rigid schedules to be kept. There is not a separate notification requirement when using an accredited online school but there are rules that have to be adhered to. Some examples of this are K12, ODELHA and ECOT to name a few.
Parent Driven homeschooling is just that, you are totally in control. If you want to purchase a grade set curriculum from the company of your choice, do so. If you want to piece together your curriculum based on your own child’s learning personality and abilities, you can. If you want to purchase rights to some online classes and teach others yourself, you can do that too.
In essence, you take the reigns and lead the educational experience.
There are cheering fans
One of the best things about homeschooling is the camaraderie you can build with other like-minded parents. If you are a secular homeschooler, there is a group for that, if you are a Christian homeschooler, there is a group for that, if you are an unschooler, yes, there is a group for that too. You can find online groups, local groups, co-ops, and homeschool field trips all with a few clicks and search words on your Google page.
There is not a uniform
Unlike a swim team, there is no required uniform…let me explain. There is no one way to do things. You can homeschool how you see fit as long as you adhere to whatever laws your state puts out there. What is right for you may not be the same as what is right for your friend from church.
You can choose what day and what time you homeschool, where you homeschool, and how long you homeschool daily. You can also mix and match, say a higher level curriculum for math or a lower level for science, all tailored to your own individual child, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to homeschooling.
What are you waiting for…you climbed the ladder, I know that the end of that diving board may seem scary, but just go ahead, take the plunge and join the rest of us!