What You Need to Know Before you Jump Headfirst Into Homeschool
With the recent changes in our government, I’ve seen a lot of parents begin to consider homeschool as an option for their children. I think it’s amazing that so many parents are interested in home education! We all want what’s best for our children, and that means the best education. I’ve taught my kids at home their entire lives. My oldest son is 11, and we began when he was a baby. I’ve always believed that learning starts at home, and I wanted him to be ahead when it was time for him to enter kindergarten. He began reading at 2 1/2, not memorizing and recalling words, but actually reading at this age. I knew at that point sending him to public schools in our then neighborhood wouldn’t be the best idea, and the cost of private school in Atlanta matched my college tuition. Homeschool was the best decision.
Since I’ve been at this for so long, I wanted to share some tips for parents before they jump right onto the homeschool bandwagon.
Know Your States Laws – Every state has laws you have to abide by, when it comes to homeschool. Some states are more lenient than others. Here in Georgia, things are very relaxed for us, and we have freedom over what we want our children to learn. It’s mostly up to the parent to be in full control. On the other hand, in New York, there is a full protocol to follow and strict rules. Do your research before you get started and know what’s required of you as a parent. Find the laws for your state HERE.
Homeschool is not free – Public school pretty much comes at no cost or is low cost to parents. There may be some school supplies you have to purchase, and random fees, but it’s minimal. Depending on what curriculum you choose for your child/ren, homeschool can get pretty costly. There are full curriculum’s that can run you several thousand dollars per child. Every month I’m buying new supplies, books, and educational supplements.
Homeschool is not easy – So you can just teach your kids…..right?! No. Homeschool is not easy. Whoever says it is, they lied! If your child is having a difficult time learning a subject, it’s up to you to figure out how to get him through it. You have to lesson plan just like teachers do. It takes time and preparation. Homeschool can become all consuming.
Homeschool is not like Public School – Before you begin homeschooling, you have to clear your mind of the ideas you have of public school. Homeschool is not public school, at home. Every child will learn at their own pace, and there is no behind or ahead. Home education is tailored specifically for your child’s needs. This will not look the same for every family, or every child who is the same age as yours. There is no such thing as behind in homeschool. Learning can be found in everything you do. We have impromptu lessons at 9pm on a Sunday night and we turn games into school work.
Be Prepared to Spend a lot of Time with Your Children – If you’re used to spending nights and weekends with your kids, because during the day they are in school, be prepared for a wake-up call. Homeschool means that you will be spending way more time than you’re used to, with your kids. They don’t go away. If you’re lucky, they’ll go to the next room. Homeschool for the most part means spending time with your kids, all day, everyday.
You Need Patience – Teaching your own children requires a lot of patience. Some subjects might be a breeze, and you all speed right through it. Others may be harder to grasp and take more time and patience. There will be some woo-sah moments.
You Will Need Help – If I didn’t have my husband to help me with the kids, I would really be stressed out. He steps in when I need to take “me time”, run to the grocery store, the gym, or even for a cup of coffee and time alone with myself. If you homeschool, you are going to need help in some way so that you can continue to take care of yourself. It might be in the form of a homeschool co-op, drop off science club, or a babysitter.
Don’t expect support from family or friends – When I first made the decision to homeschool years ago, not many people were on my team. They thought it was a crazy idea. “Why can’t you just send them to school like other kids?” You have to show people better than you can tell them. If you commit to homeschool, there may not be much support for your decision from family or friends. That’s okay, there are homeschool groups, and organizations out there for you to find other families just like yours.
Teaching my own children is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done in my life. It feels good to see them thriving, and grasping new concepts and putting them into action. My kids know things that I simply didn’t teach them, but they decided to research on their own and begin. Homeschool is not for every family, but it’s one of the best decisions my husband and I have made for ours.
Have you thought about homeschool for your family? If you have any questions, I’m open to answering them! Leave them in the comments!!