Finding yourself in a position where you feel you have to choose an alternative educational path for your child can be gut retching. It takes a lot of bravery to swim away from the mainstream. Take heart, more and more people are joining these ranks. I hope that this post helps you if you find yourself pondering the same question I did 3 years ago. Should I homeschool or not?
I cannot emphasize it enough, research! Do your research. In my case, I sought out a family member who was able to start us down a good solid path. But, I didn’t stop there… I also searched online for forums, groups, and parents who homeschool and I found so many helpful things. Just be prepared that there really is no one size fits all and that you’ll have to make your own path. One of my favorite sayings about homeschoolers, is that they are ultimate entrepreneur.
My personal favorite online site for help and research is Gifted Homeschoolers Forum http://giftedhomeschoolers.org/. They have great like links and insights into homeschooling.
Learn your state’s Homeschooling laws. There are different laws and regulations for Homeschooling your children throughout the country. You can research these laws at, http://projects.propublica.org/graphics/homeschool or visit HSLDA at http://www.hslda.org/
Time, what is realistic when you homeschool? I am a full time working mother who homeschools. You don’t hear that often. I have learned that to homeschool I had to master the clock. While it doesn’t take as long as a typical public school day, it still requires planning time ahead. I always sit down on Sunday and plan out our lesson plans for the week. Fortunately, because my husband works in the health care industry he works 3 days a week and is able to teach on the days where I work. On the days we both work our son stays with his grandparents. I am very blessed that this is how it plays out for us. But, be prepared that time and planning are essential into being successful as a homeschooler.
The socialization question.. I’m throwing this in here because it is such a big deal to so many people. How will your child learn to get along with others if they don’t go to school? For us, I can tell you it’s a non-issue. Your child learns how to navigate relationships through the people at home. But, having friends your same age can be important. We make sure he has plenty of opportunities to interact with other kids. You can do this through sports, church, etc.
Make sure you choose the path that fits best with your child. Whether it’s sending them to public school, private school, or homeschooling.