Home Schooling, Is It For You?

Questions to ask your yourself if you are considering home schooling your child with some pros and cons of home schooling, and where to look for resources.

The first thing you need to do before you can answer this question is to define exactly what home-schooling means to you. The definition can be so varied, that unless you have a clear concept in mind, your decision can be near impossible to make. Some people choose to homeschool and will purchase a pre-prepared course or correspondence course from a third party. Others will follow no set course of action, no set curriculum, taking each day as it comes. Others will find some ground in between these two extremes. The majority of homeschoolers fall somewhere in this third choice. To help you make your decision, let us ask some questions:

Do you enjoy being with your children?

(You would be surprised how many people do not know how to answer this most basic question, saying immediately yes, I love my kids. While you may love them, do you enjoy spending time with them, around the clock, sometimes with no break in sight?)

Are both parents in agreement to the choice to homeschool?

How will it affect the day to day running of the household? Laundry, meals, vacuuming will still need to be done. If you are a stickler on things such as these, learning to let some things slide until later in the day, or on weekends may be necessary. Homeschooling affects the whole household, not just the kids.

What are the legal issues of homeschooling in your particular state? Most states have at least a set of guidelines that must be followed, some states are very strict, and others still have minimal or no law other than filing a form that you do intend to homeschool.

Can you afford to homeschool? If your children are young, you will most likely need one parent home full time. This can mean a loss of income.

If following a prepared curriculum course, what are the costs of that?

Where will you homeschool? It helps, but is not a necessity to have a "ňúspace' set aside just for school stuff. It will save on having to continually put away and take out things that the kids are in the middle of.



What about social accesses? Think of church, 4-H groups, dance class, and any other interests your child may have that could lead to a group of some kind. Socialization should be an important concern as dealing with other people is a fact. Other children in your neighborhood can also be a help, whether in a typical school or being homeschooled themselves. If there are several families in your area that homeschool, a group could be formed from these for interaction of both kids and giving the parents a chance to compare notes on a weekly or monthly basis at the same time.

Does your child have any special needs? Do not less this deter you, but make it an important part of your decision. If a child is in need of special tools or classes, but you would still like to homeschool, could you possibly make an arrangement with the local school district where the child attends the school on a part time basis, and homeschools for the remainder of the day?

Pros and cons of homeschooling

CONS

You are with your kids all day

You have to listen to them sing

You have to find a place to hang every single piece of artwork they do when going through their VanGogh stage

You have to clean up after science experiments, messy ones too

PROS

You are with your kids all day

You can teach them to sing

You get to see them create art

You will be able to see your child's eyes light up as she sees a butterfly hatch from his golden cocoon

You will be able to see your child learn and grow day by day

The pros and cons are about even. If you decide that homeschooling is right for your family, make a list of resources and get going. There are numerous books available on the subject. The library can be a useful resource in itself. Today, the Internet can be a nearly unlimited amount of help. Free curriculum can be found, tips on the legalities involved to interaction for yourself with other parents going through identical situations you are. Homeschooling can allow you and your child to develop a long lasting respect for each other also. They will learn that you want them to have the best thing you can give them, an education. You will at the same time see how much effort your child is putting into achieving that education. If you decide that homeschooling is not for you, then so be it. Not every parent can make the decision to homeschool. Whether it is a financial decision, or not feeling that you can get your children to do more than sleep the day away, or for whatever reason at all, at least you know that you considered it. Good luck in your decision!

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