Homeschooling is a progressive education movement where parents educate their children at home.
Homeschooling is a progressive education movement where parents educate their children at home.

Homeschooling is a progressive educational movement. For a range of reasons, parents choose not to send their children to school. They instead educate them at home. According to the U.S. government and researchers in the education sector, the number of students in homeschooling programs is increasing. 

You may decide to homeschool your child for various reasons, including:

  • To protect your child from a hostile school environment
  • To bridge the gap of being out of school during a family relocation
  • To support a child with learning challenges
  • To provide your child with higher quality education than is provided in some public schools.
  • To improve social interactions by creating more time for your child to interact with the community in outdoor activities.

If you have the resources, passion, temperament, and desire to homeschool your child, you may wonder where to get started. Here are some homeschooling-related parenting guidelines.

Check the homeschooling laws in your state

After you decide to homeschool your child, learn the legal requirements of homeschooling. You don't want to be caught on the wrong side of the law. Regulations vary from state to state, with some jurisdictions having stringent conditions that a homeschooling parent and student must meet. An excellent place to start researching the laws is on your state's Department of Education website. Keep checking throughout the year, as the rules often change.

Dedicate a designated place for learning

Homeschool is exciting, but it can also get messy. Learning in the same space you live can lead to chaos and disorganization. The resulting environment is not ideal for fostering happy children and parents or good learning.‌

To keep confusion at a minimum, consider providing a designated area for learning. School space should be the hub for supplies, books, and all study materials. Even if children study or work on projects in a different place, they know where to return their books after a learning session.

Choose a curriculum to use

Homeschooling programs provide various curricula to use, offering virtual schools, textbooks, and lapbooking. There are many different approaches. You can choose Christian homeschooling, unschooling, or road-schooling, among others.

Don’t be tempted to go out and buy multiple programs and curricula as soon as you decide to homeschool. You could waste money on things that won't work well for you and your child. Determine the kind of learner your child is and how they learn best, then choose a program that matches your child's needs.

Is your child a visual learner? Does your child have special needs? Only through observing them can you determine the technique they best respond to. Although this may take time, it is worth it in the long run.

Create a plan and follow a daily schedule

One of the advantages of homeschooling is the flexibility it brings. Children do well where there is a basic structure and routine. However, without a plan in place from the start, you may end up spending too much time on other things than teaching.

Your plan could include:

  • A simple daily routine, including snack and lunch and time spent outdoors 
  • Weekly goals
  • Quarterly goals shaped by the scope and sequence of the curriculum
  • An annual calendar.

Your plan should clearly outline the goal you hope to achieve. Your child is not tied down to a specific schedule.

Provide flexible goals: 

  • To be happy and feel accepted by the community
  • To shape inner passion for learning
  • To build a solid foundation in each curricular area
  • To build upon other pleasurable areas like mathematical concepts
  • To enhance the sense of being unique and valuable

Decide the subjects you will work on each day and how many lessons your child should complete. Most importantly, find out what works best for you and the rest of the family.

Collaborate with other homeschoolers

Parenting homeschooling students can sometimes become overwhelming. During times like these, when you feel like your efforts are not paying off, you need the support of other like-minded individuals. Several homeschooling communities can offer support. Connect with others to collaborate and share ideas and resources.‌

A homeschooling community will make the process easier for you. It will also enrich your child’s experience while expanding educational opportunities internally and externally.

Trust the process

Through the homeschooling setting, you will find many opportunities not present in a typical traditional school setting. While it may be a matter of trial and error in the beginning, it will soon get easier. As you discover what works for you and your child, the journey will become exciting, and the time spent with your child will be something to cherish.

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References
SOURCES:

Colorado Department of Education: "Homeschool Resources."

Department for Education: "Elective home education: departmental guidance for parents."

Home School Legal Defense Association: "7 Simple Steps to Start Homeschooling," "Homeschool Laws by State," "What's My Child Learning Preference?"

Kids Health: "What is Homeschooling?"

National Home Education Research Institute: "A STUDY OF HOMESCHOOLING: PARENTAL MOTIVATION AND GOALS."

National Home Education Research Institute: "Research Facts on Homeschooling."

The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology: "Research and Trends in the Studies of Homeschooling Practices: A Review on Selected Journals."

The University of San Francisco: "Multilingual families Homeschooling: Reasons, Goals, and Challenges."