About 2 months ago, Rick and I decided that keeping our kids enrolled in a structured homeschool environment would probably be best until each child has had the time to acclimate themselves to normal private school way of life. Now that the time has come to begin preparing, I’ve done a lot of research and soul-searching to make sure we are doing the right thing.
Home schooling your children is a major decision to make. For whatever reason you feel the need to begin teaching your children at home there are a number of things to consider. First consider exactly why you want to homeschool your children. Whatever that reason is sit down and think it though. If you feel it’s a 100% justified reason then consider possible alternatives such as private school, maybe transferring to a different district. This isn’t to discourage anyone from homeschooling but to avoid potential knee jerk reactions to what can be considered a minor issue a year to several years down the road. Additionally a takes a lot of effort and in some case money to have your children homeschooled instead of attending a public and/or private school. With that step out of the way lets break down what you need to do to start homeschooling your children.
One of the first steps towards homeschooling your children is to figuring out what you need to do prior to homeschooling them in your state. In some states this can be as simple as sending an official notice to the school district and keeping them informed of your children’s academic progress to having to hire certified tutors and getting your home classified as a location that the children can be schooled in. Finding out what your state requires will save you a lot of time and headache down the road.
- Getting a game plan
Once you meet all state requirements to begin homeschooling your children getting all of the materials and classwork in order is your next step. While this may not seem like much of a task, remember that like the requirements for homeschooling your children each state has its own academic requirements. A lot of this will be discovered when you start researching about homeschooling in your state. Many states require that the homeschooled children meet or exceed current grade academic standards. These typically range in subjects like:
- Social Studies
Additionally some states require that homeschooled children take state mandated tests along with their public/private school counterparts. As a homeschooler you will be responsible for ensuring that your children receive this education whether you are teaching them or someone else.
While most colleges will accept homeschool graduates they will often require more than just a high school diploma. While anyone can print your high school diploma including your parents most colleges will require a transcript and anything else that might be part of the general enrollment process. One of the issues to keep an eye out for is culture shock. While the majority of college bound graduates expect there to be a bit of a change from living and learning at home there are other potential things to be aware of.
While most people picture homeschooling as socially stunting in reality the culture shocks can come in a number of ways. From learning that a lot of your peers may not be at the same level as you are academically to the more extreme cases of learning that some of what you were taught was a flat out lie. While these extreme cases are not common sadly some people use homeschooling as a means to indoctrinate their children into a specific belief system or lifestyle. This of course goes back to the first point of making sure you have a legitimate reason to homeschool and not just because you disagree with evolution.
With all that being said, we do still plan to homeschool our kiddos, but will utilize our past vacation and travel experiences to bring something familiar to their learning agenda. With us luck as we go down this daunting but exciting road!