Homeschooling is one of many different options when it comes to getting your children’s education.
You can homeschool kids right up until the end of high school, but if you have never done it before, you might be wondering what it actually entails.
There is a lot of preparation that goes into homeschooling, and lots of beginners can find it very overwhelming.
Once you have a better understanding of the whole thing, though, you will be able to make some informed decisions on if it is right for you and your children.
We have put together a comprehensive guide to homeschooling for beginners, which will help you learn more about it and find a style of homeschooling that works best for you.
What Is Homeschooling?
Homeschooling is quite literally what it sounds like- teaching your children at home. But there is a bit more to it than just that.
Parents take on the role of teacher, and kids have their education outside of the traditional schooling avenues.
Most commonly, homeschooling takes place in the home, but it is not uncommon for the learning location to be somewhere else.
Alternatively, children can be homeschooled without the parents actually teaching them.
Virtual and online courses are now a popular way for kids to be homeschooled, and the tutors for these courses are usually qualified in what they are teaching.
Overall, homeschooling is an alternative to traditional education that involves being taught at home or outside of public or private schooling.
Different Types Of Homeschooling
There are quite a few different kinds of homeschooling to consider.
Each type works differently for different families, and it is important to have a better understanding of them before you choose which one to follow.
Below, you will find more details about some of the different types of homeschooling.
Distance Learning is one of the most popular kinds of homeschooling. When you choose this option, you will be teaching your children the same curriculum that the school district is following.
In a homeschooling setting, you will be using online applications and platforms to get instructions on what your children need to be learning at any given time.
You will also have access to the course modules, lesson plans, discussion boards, and all related resources you will need.
This is a great type of homeschooling for newer homeschool teachers or anyone who wants their kids to still follow the school district’s teachings.
Unschooling is more of an opposite approach to traditional-school learning. This option is student-led and is based on what your kids want to learn rather than what you want them to study.
This type of homeschooling also doesn’t follow a strict schedule, and every day is a bit different from the last. It’s more about activities and free thinking rather than structure and discipline.
Some people find that their kids really respond to the Unschooling method, but it is important to know that this style of homeschooling isn’t for everyone.
Virtual Learning is also known as Online Learning, and it involves streaming lectures and webinars and taking all of your courses online.
This option takes away most of the educational responsibilities from parents and hands them over to qualified professionals.
If you are very new to homeschooling and you are worried about your academic abilities, then this might be the best type of homeschooling for you.
You can find many different kinds of online classes that cover a variety of different topics and subjects.
This form of homeschooling focuses on all of the classic subjects and themes associated with education.
You will be teaching your children all of the core subjects, things like math, art, science, English, literature, and foreign languages.
This style of homeschooling also focuses on critical thinking and repetition/drill tactics to help students memorize and learn their subjects more efficiently.
This is a great style of homeschooling if you want your children to learn at home in a more traditional way.
Before you can dive into homeschooling, there are a few laws and regulations you need to check first. You cannot legally pull your children out of school without alerting the school district, and you need to make sure you are following your state’s homeschooling laws.
It is important to know that homeschooling laws change depending on what state you are in, so you will need to look into this before you start.
Some states just require you to have a high school diploma to homeschool your kids, but other states require teaching qualifications or even direct supervision.
You can easily find out the laws surrounding your state when it comes to homeschooling, so make sure that you do this before you do anything else.
Once you have worked out the right laws that apply to you, then you can inform your school district of your plans and proceed to the next steps.
Remember, it is illegal to just pull your children out of school, and if you do not follow the laws associated with your state, you can get in trouble, so be thorough in your planning.
Once you have sorted out the legal aspects of homeschooling and the style of learning you wish to use, you can then look into curriculum options.
There are a few different options you can choose from, and different curriculums suit different children, so don’t be discouraged if you have to try a couple out before you find the best one.
When choosing the right curriculum, it is very important to take into account your child’s preferred style of learning and subject-specific materials that meet your state’s educational standards.
If you are choosing the Virtual/Online Learning option of homeschooling, you can talk to the tutor about the curriculum to get a better outline of what your children will learn.
If you choose Distance Learning, your child will be following along with the school district’s curriculum, and you won’t need to plan what they are learning.
Curriculum options change depending on what type of homeschooling you opt for, so if you are very new to homeschooling, Distance Learning or Virtual Learning might be more beneficial to both you and your child.
Advantages & Disadvantages Of Homeschooling
Like everything else, there are advantages and disadvantages to homeschooling. If you are still on the fence about switching to homeschooling, then have a look at some of the pros and cons below first.
One of the biggest advantages when it comes to homeschooling your kids is the specialized attention they will get.
Public schools can have classes of more than 30 people, and often, students need to go unnoticed.
When you homeschool, you just have you and your children. If there is a problem, you can spend more time working on that problem and making sure all of your children’s needs are met. This can benefit their education more in the future.
Absence Of Bullying
In many public school settings, children are often subject to bullying and peer pressure, which can affect the way they study very negatively.
In a homeschooling environment, the concept of bullying is less likely to be a problem- especially if you only have one child to teach.
This means that your children can focus more on their studies and be more confident and enthusiastic in answering questions.
Freedom To Pursue Alternative Subjects
A big reason why people homeschool their children is because of the freedom it provides.
While you will need to follow a curriculum of some sort, you will have more freedom to teach your children specialized subjects or subjects that align with their passions.
Lack Of Extracurricular Activities
When you homeschool your children, this means that they won’t have access to extracurricular activities and may miss out on some of their passions or interests because of it.
You can enroll your kids in programs or activities such as sports or theatre clubs, but the advantage of having them on campus won’t be there.
It really depends on how social your child is and how much interest they show in after-hours activities as to whether this will be a disadvantage or not.
Social Skills Development
This one is up for debate, but lots of people think that because homeschooled children are not spending time with other kids their age, it will negatively impact their social skills development.
It doesn’t have to be expensive to homeschool your children, but you will notice a dent in your finances if you choose to go this route.
From equipment to finding out-of-school clubs for your kids to join, it can get costly homeschooling.
There is a lot to consider when it comes to homeschooling, especially if you are a beginner. But once you have a better understanding of all of the components involved, it should make transitioning to homeschooling much easier.
Use the tips and advice we have provided here in this comprehensive guide to start homeschooling your children today.
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