The very thought of homeschooling strikes terror in the hearts of some parents. Others eagerly await the time when they can begin. Who is right? Who is wrong? Well, both schools of thought are correct, as what works best for your family is what’s right. Forcing your family to fit into a mold that is not healthy for it is wrong.
How do you know if homeschooling is an option for you? Let’s start with what homeschooling is: educating your children at home as opposed to sending them to public or private schools. It means taking full responsibility that you’ll educate your child. Many homeschooled children attend classes and events specifically geared towards homeschool education, but are not educated in the traditional location of education, a school.
One of the first considerations in homeschooling is your local laws and regulations. Will you be able to satisfy them? Are you willing to take the legal risks of not meeting them?
Time is another factor. Do you have those hours in the day to devote to your child’s education?
Cost figures in as well. Purchasing materials and a curriculum costs money, money that you’re already paying in your taxes.
One homeschooling philosophy is called “unschooling”. Unschoolers don’t work with a particular curriculum and advocate that life learning is the best educational forum for the child. Reading is taught when the child is interested in reading. Math is worked into cooking sessions and everyday activities. Children are taught without being aware that they are “being schooled” and, because they are enjoying the process and it’s integrated into daily life, every activity becomes a learning experience.
A common fear among those who are not familiar with homeschooling is that the child will not be socialized, when in fact the opposite is quite true. Homeschooled children do not work in a vacuum, sitting at their desks at home never seeing other children. Many parents join a local home school group, or create their own with similarly-minded families and join forces to create sports events, museum trips, park days, and combined classes. One mom may be stronger in math and will trade off classes/lessons with another mom (or dad) for language lessons.
Is homeschooling right for you? It’s definitely worth considering and exploring. It’s nice to know the option is there.