10 Things You Need to Know About Homeschooling
Homeschooling is life changing. It creates personal growth for both the parent and the child. You (the parent) get a second chance to re-discover your own special genius while you help your children discover theirs. Nothing you will ever do will have a more profound effect on your child and your family's future as homeschooling.
You are qualified to homeschool your children if you love to read to them, love to spend time with them, love to explore the world with them, love to see them learn new things and, most important, love them.
Children love to learn. It is as natural to them as breathing. They have an inborn hunger to explore the world and examine what is interesting. They learn by following their interests, with one interest leading to another. This is the way we all learned as younger children and how as adults we learn after we leave school. Homeschooling families learn together and know that learning is a life-long process.
Homeschooling is legal everywhere in the United States, but homeschooling laws vary from state to state. The three basic categories for homeschooling laws are: home education laws, private school laws, and equivalency laws. The best way to find out what your state laws are is to contact a local support group in your area. To contact a representative from your state, please visit our list of local homeschooling groups. They are well-versed in your state's particular laws and regulations and can assist you.
It does not take six to eight hours a day to homeschool your child. Most of the time children spend at school consists of waiting. Design a plan that works for your family and be prepared to scratch it several times and start over. Don't sacrifice your family's happiness to "school" your children. There are many ways families homeschool; find what works for you and your family.
Your child will not become a social misfit. Children do not need to be socialized in a large group of same-age children to become well-adjusted socially. Quite the opposite. Most parents want their children to learn their social graces from adults - not other children. Homeschoolers have healthy relationships with people of all ages, including the new mother next door, the retired couple who loves to garden, their friends at ballet, 4-H and karate and, most importantly, their parents.
You will not have to teach Algebra unless you really want to. It is not necessary to teach Pre-Algebra to ten-year-olds. When your teen decides to become a scientist or is ready to explore the requirements of college admission, together you will explore the ways to learn Algebra: in a community college class, with a tutor, or through textbooks. After years of using math in their daily lives, homeschooled teens are well-equipped to teach themselves higher math. Don't worry about it when they are ten.
You will question yourself a lot - maybe several times a day in the beginning. This is normal. Find a fellow homeschooling friend. Support each other. Tell each other that it's okay to sometimes feel that your children didn't seem to learn anything on a given day. They did, and so did you!
You do not have to starve or live in a tent to homeschool your children. Thousands of homeschooling families are able to make the money they need and homeschool their children at the same time. While you create a family business or dream job or restructure your current job, your children will learn the most important skill of all - how to create the life of their dreams.
Trust in your child. They learned how to love, smile, crawl, walk, talk, run, dress themselves, and understand their world before starting school, and they will continue to grow and learn without "school" in the traditional sense.