Even though homeschooling has become a more popular option among parents and their children in the past decade or so, there is still a great deal that isn’t accepted as common knowledge about this practice. More than two million American children are currently being homeschooled, but there remains a shroud of mystery that raises concerns for many parents. If you’re weighing the pros and cons of homeschooling your own children, consider these frequently asked questions and factor them into your decision.
What is Homeschooling?
Homeschooling is a flexible form of education that allows parents to create their own curriculum for their child in a child-led environment. This option, unlike conventional educational institutions, grants parents the ability to give their child the individualized attention that they need while crafting lesson plans that cater to their child’s unique strengths, improves upon their weaknesses, and is motivated by their natural desire to learn.
Can Anybody Homeschool Their Children?
Absolutely! Parents do not need to be educators in order to provide their child with a quality education from home. Any family that can appropriate the time and attention necessary to have their child thrive as a homeschooled child is a perfect candidate for homeschooling! Single parents, same-sex parents, nuclear families, extended families, religious families and secular folks all find their own reasons to homeschool.
Is Homeschooling Legal?
Ever since 1993, homeschooling has been confirmed as a parent’s right in all 50 states. However, each state carries with it their own sets of rules and standards that apply to a homeschooling family. In some states, standardized testing is still mandated at certain grade levels. In others, homeschooling parents have to register as private schools. Look into your state’s laws before diving into homeschooling.
Is Homeschooling Expensive?
The answer to this question isn’t straight-forward, as it really depends on your approach. Some homeschooling families make use of brand-new educational supplies and purchase all of the bells and whistles to accompany the process. Other families keep it thrifty by using hand-me-down supplies and limiting other expenses. You don’t have to be affluent to be an effective homeschool educator.
Do Homeschooled Children Suffer Socially?
Isolation is a common concern among homeschooling parents, this is true. But it can be combated by actively choosing to integrate a homeschooled child into activities in your area. Homeschooling groups can connect parents and students to form friendships, but you should look at other sources too. City-sponsored events and teams can facilitate the social needs of children, as can events held at your preferred house of worship. Libraries are another great place to get children connecting with their peers – no classroom involved.
Homeschooled children only suffer socially if their parents do not make an effort to socialize their child adequately.
Will Homeschooling Prepare My Child for College?
Homeschooled children actually make for fantastic college students, and these places of higher learning recognize that fact. Because homeschooling promotes independence, critical thinking and an out-of-the-box mentality that is accompanied by a strong basis of practical knowledge, many of the best universities in the country actively look for homeschooled candidates to accept.
It is also worth noting that homeschooled students often fare better on the ACT and SAT, as well as other college acceptance exams, than many of their privately or publicly-educated peers.
Before you make the decision to homeschool, make sure that you are informed about the requirements in your state – as well as your personal ability to be an educator. Being a homeschool educator isn’t practical for every parent, but for those who have the personality and time that is conducive to this process, homeschooling could unleash great potential in both the parent and child.