Should I Homeschool My Children? | EverythingSustainable.com
With more and more parents seeking alternative education solutions for their children, homeschooling is becoming a popular choice. Until the COVID-19 pandemic closed schools in the U.S. in early 2020, out of a national school population of over 57 million, an estimated 2 million children were homeschooled. Today, the situation is much different and millions of parents are currently homeschooling their children because of a variety of reasons.
While some parents oppose homeschooling, studies indicate that homeschooled children perform well on tests and excel academically. Therefore, if you are currently considering homeschooling, below are four steps to follow to ensure you develop a beneficial program that works for you and your children.
1. Connect with Other Families in the Homeschooling Community
There is no better way to find out if homeschooling is a good choice for your family than connecting with parents who are already teaching their children at home. Having an honest conversation can help you better understand the advantages, disadvantages and logistics involved with this educational option. There are many ways to connect with parents in this community. Find groups on social media or ask your friends if they know anyone know who is currently homeschooling. Attending an event hosted by the Home School Legal Defense Association is another great way to establish relationships.
2. Understand Your State’s Rules and Requirements
While every U.S. state permits homeschooling, each state is responsible for setting its own rules and regulations. The first step is contacting your state’s education department. Below are some important questions to ask your area’s homeschooling representative:
- What standardized tests are required?
- What is the process of notifying my local school district if I decide to homeschool?
- Must I turn in attendance records at the end of each school year?
- Can I form a homeschooling organization with other local parents to share the teaching responsibilities?
States like New York have many regulations parents must follow to legally homeschool their children. On the other hand, states such as Idaho, Texas and Michigan have more lenient laws.
3. Decide on a Homeschool Curriculum
It is not necessary to develop your own school curriculum. Sample curricula can be purchased inexpensively online and in catalogs. Some are traditional in scope and use workbooks that teach your children the same material they would learn in public school, while others can be personalized based on your child’s academic level and interests. Make sure to find out if your curriculum needs to be approved by your state school board before you can begin teaching.
4. Establish a Schedule
Creating a schedule is essential to achieving the educational goals you and your child have set. While some parents may crave the freedom that homeschooling brings, a plan is important, particularly during the first year. Purchase a planner and write down which subjects you will cover each day. Don’t forget to schedule time blocks for lunch, recess and physical activity. Consult with your children and get their input too. Keep in mind that you can always modify the plan as the needs of your family change.
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Creating a sustainable homeschooling environment for your child is difficult but it can be accomplished with proper planning and persistence. For more information on sustainability in education, make sure to read our other articles on the topic.