Home Schooling: What It Takes … Will Your Child Measure Up?
Important Points to Consider Before Schooling at Home
Upon first look, homeschooling may seem like an easy decision. You can monitor your child’s educational progress and social involvement, shelter them from some of the social pressures of institutionalized education and teach them at their own pace.
No problem, right? Wrong.
Homeschooling your child is a significant commitment for parents. It requires creating and maintaining a schedule and curriculum that ensures your children are learning at a level that is similar to other children in their age group. The consequences of failing to provide a quality, age-appropriate education are children who fall behind in school.
Consider these five factors when deciding if homeschooling is right for your family:
- Time Commitment
Teaching at home requires scheduling, planning, grading and assigning work on top of the teaching part. Will you be able to devote six-plus hours a day to education? Are you able to put off the other things on your to-do list for school time?
- Review some sample schedules to get an idea of how a typical day is structured.
Home schooling requires that one parent either be employed from home or not employed at all. Is this something your family can accommodate? While home schooling itself is not terribly expensive, don’t forget to factor in the costs of materials and field trips.
- Socialization Needs
It is important to make sure your child receives the benefits of socializing with other children. Can you make the time commitment to ensure they are part of community activities? Can you make the financial commitment?
- Homeschool Coop classes are a good way to socialize children who are primarily educated at home.
Children learn best with a schedule, and part of maintaining a routine is being in the same place every day when lessons are happening. Is there enough space in your home to accommodate a learning space? Do you have a productive workplace for both you and your child?
- Learn more about preparing your home for homeschooling.
- Family Opinions
Making the transition to homeschooling will be significantly harder if your child or spouse do not agree with the change. How does your family feel about this education option? Will the teaching parent have the support to successfully handle a new schedule and the duties that teaching at home require?
Choosing to home school your child shifts the teaching responsibilities from a professional educator to you. It becomes your responsibility to ensure your child is learning at the same or a higher level than other children in the same age group.
It helps to know what to expect before making the decision to home school your child. The information is critical, as are the conversations with your child and spouse, so take the decision seriously. If you don’t invest the required effort and evaluate the decision carefully, your child will suffer.
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- Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling, by John Taylor Gatto