Homeschooling is growing in popularity, with almost two million homeschooled students in North America alone. This is up from less than one million in 1999. But before jumping on board the ever-growing bandwagon, there are some practical steps to consider.
Know the regulations
Different jurisdictions have different rules about homeschooling. In some areas, there are detailed rules relating to curricula, classroom activities, textbooks and more. Your kids may be required to take standardized tests and you yourself may need professional teacher training, and you might have to stay in constant contact with your local school board. The rules vary, depending on your location. It’s very important to be crystal clear on the rules before you begin.
Be aware of the commitment
Homeschooling is a huge responsibility. Everything depends on you, and how well you do your job. Time, energy, money. It’s highly likely you will be pushed outside your comfort zone. An awful lot is riding on you, so make sure you’re up for it.
Connect with other homeschoolers
You might expect that homeschooling might be a dreadfully isolating experience; you might imagine yourself alone in your living room with your child, day after day. But chances are there are other homeschoolers in your community, and connecting with them can be a great way to share resources, not to mention skills and experiences. And there are many online communities where teachers and students connect.
You can’t do it alone
A great thing about our day and age is that it’s full of experts. Chances are you’ve got family, friends and neighbors who have tremendous knowledge, and that knowledge can really come in handy. And, of course, you can hire private tutors to provide expertise on every subject imaginable, as well as learning strategies, educational planning and college applications, as well as college admission exams like the ACT and SAT. Bringing in outside help will make sure you have all the tools needed to give your child the education he or she deserves.
Homeschooling can be highly rewarding, as well as highly challenging. But knowing what to expect and preparing for it will definitely make the experience unfold more smoothly.
For more information on how in-home tutoring can play a key role in homeschooling, click here.