Homeschooling today has become a choice amongst many families. Some families have never sent their kids to a formal school setting, while others decided to take their children out of school and provide education at home. Reasons for homeschooling vary from religion to special needs children to being unhappy with the education public schools are providing. Regardless of the reasoning, when making the decision to homeschool, a family needs to consider many factors, including the most important, how will the children obtain their education? This can encompass many questions such as: will one parent stay home to teach, will both parents take turns teaching, will you use a tutor, will you join a homeschool co-op teaching community, will you create your own curriculum or purchase one and what are your state requirements for homeschooling?
The decision to homeschool requires a family to reexamine their lives in every aspect from budget to patience in order to prepare for the homeschooling journey. If one parent stays home, are they giving up their job, therefore lowering the family income? If so, will that affect the family lifestyle in any way? If planning to join a homeschool co-op teaching community, is the teaching parent equipped with a skill or expertise in a subject that can be taught, and if so, can that parent teach well to a group? Does your state require you to register with them and show your lessons and portfolios to the local school board for approval? Does your state offer a tax rebate because you are a homeschooler and pay for expenses or even better, does your state refund some taxes because you don’t attend public school? Homeschool families also have to prepare themselves for the scrutiny they may be put through. Friends, family members and aquaitances will want to know everything from why you chose to homeschool to what content you teach and who you have to answer to in order to prove you are doing a good job. And, be prepared for the big whopper of a question that everyone will ask you: what about socialization? Even though there are infinite articles published on why it is a stereotype that homeschoolers are unsocialized, people are convinced your kids sit home alone and are never exposed to the outside world.
Luckily, we live in the age of technology and there are infinite resources at our fingertips. Families are able to connect with other homeschoolers around the country, use the internet and apps as teaching tools, find teaching resources and find out information such as state laws and homeschooling rights. The more knowledge you have before taking the homeschool journey, the easier your path will be to follow.