The Beginner’s Guide to Homeschooling Your Child


You have decided that homeschooling is the way to educate your child and now you have to ready yourself and your kids for all the trials and tribulations that come with it. You know that the road ahead may be a bit bumpy, but the rewards more than makeup for it. Homeschooling affords you a chance to produce a well-rounded and well-adjusted personality in your child that is by no means an easy achievement.

Obviously, the first thing you have to check out are your state laws regarding homeschooling. You must do this to determine if you have to meet any kind of state requirement. Most states need an affidavit filed with the State’s education department that you are choosing to homeschool your child.

There are basically three categories of homeschooling laws. These are: private school laws, home education laws, and equivalency laws. Find out about your state’s laws and know what your obligations are to the state before you start homeschooling. For example, you may need to maintain a portfolio that keeps a record of your child’s educational progress or you may be required to have a minimum educational qualification as a homeschool teacher.

After you have all the state documentation and other matters taken care of you can proceed to the next step. A good next step would be to look for a home school support group. A support group is good because say, if you live in a friendly or curious type of neighborhood, you’re well-meaning friends may try to influence your decision to home school. At the very least, they may put a lot of questions in your mind that have you making second thoughts. A support group that consists of like-minded people will help support the decisions of your homeschool process and help downplay some of the criticisms, pressures, and questions you will get from regular school goers. Many support groups organize fun events like visits to the zoo, museum, tours to the ice cream shop, etc. If your children hit it off with other homeschooled kids in your group, they may be able to build lasting relationships with these kids that will not fade when their friends change schools. Home school support groups, therefore, provide an important avenue for your child’s socialization.

The third item you need to do is to select a homeschool curriculum. Depending on the method of homeschooling, you may choose various tools that aid you in the process. The internet offers a rich resource for homeschooling information. Do some research and look into the many homeschooling materials that are available.

When you homeschool, you should set certain ground rules. Homeschooling requires a lot of self-discipline and hard work to make it work effectively. Here is a list of some of the things to keep in perspective:

1. Eagerness to learn

2. Hard work and effort – work ethic

3. Discipline

4. Time and patience

5. Schedule flexibility

6. Enthusiasm

It really boils down to knowing why you opted for homeschooling in the first place. Your motives and your reasons to homeschool are important pillars on which the whole basis of your child’s lessons and personal development plan depends. Consulting with your children to get their thoughts about curriculum choices, etc. is often helpful as well. Once you have every factor considered, select a curriculum or custom make a curriculum that best suits your child’s educational and personal development needs.

Record keeping is an important part of homeschooling as it is your record-keeping that will be looked at or scrutinized later when your child transfers into another school or enters college. Look into all the various methods of record-keeping and set up a schedule to update your records every so often.

Your homeschool day does not need to be a long-drawn-out day. Allow your child to have a part in the daily classroom activities and to what extent of time is involved with each subject covered. Flexibility and fun are the cornerstones of homeschooling. Be careful not to overload too many skills into a single term or school year as you can experience burnout or end up skipping over details of over skills you really should not.

It is a good idea to prepare a skill list for your home school. Make the child learn the skills he is ready for as your child matures educationally.

Gentle parenting is the secret to successful homeschooling. Often homeschooled children make great advances in learning and show more enthusiasm than they would otherwise. Homeschool kids also turn out to be surprisingly well-balanced and well-informed when they are taught at home.

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