More and more families are choosing to go down the homeschooling route in the United States.
In a lot of cases, it works better for both the parents and the children, and it means that kids can focus on their education more.
There are so many different kinds of homeschooling too, and one type that families are looking into more is independent homeschooling.
This option is a little different from more traditional homeschooling, but what exactly is it and how does it differ?
We have put together a guide to help you understand more about independent homeschooling. So read on to find out everything you need to know.
Independent Homeschooling: What Exactly Is It?
Before you can decide if independent homeschooling is the right choice for you and your children, it is very important to understand what it actually is.
In the most basic of terms, independent homeschooling is where parents take on full responsibility for their children’s education.
This isn’t just teaching them and planning out their curriculum, but also full financial responsibility, educational planning, deciding on standardized testing and curriculum, and everything else associated with homeschooling.
Parents who choose to go for independent homeschooling do everything. They have no external help from the school district or online tutors, and they are responsible for everything associated with their children’s education.
Why Do Families Choose Independent Homeschooling?
While the concept of independent homeschooling might seem a bit overwhelming, lots of parents like the responsibility that comes with it.
Independent homeschooling gives parents full autonomy over their children’s education, and they don’t have to worry about someone else going above them.
Parents who take this avenue are in full control of how the curriculum works and what their kids need to do in order to pass classes, and because they have so much one-on-one time with their kids, they can work out a system that is best for all parties involved.
Some kids (and parents) do not do well in more traditional settings, and independent homeschooling gives these families a chance to try something different that could benefit them more.
See also: How many children are homeschooled each year?
Independent Homeschooling And Laws
Independent homeschooling is a lot more free in comparison to more traditional homeschooling, but when it comes to your state laws, you still have to abide by them.
Every state has different rules and regulations when it comes to homeschooling, and even if you choose to go independent, you still have to follow them.
Some states don’t require much, just the parents to have their high school diploma, while other states require a list of things before you start teaching your kids.
If you choose to homeschool your children, it is extremely important that you look into your state’s laws and regulations before you start homeschooling yourself.
You can still oversee everything and go the independent route as long as you follow the state laws first.
Independent Homeschooling Vs. Homeschooling With A Provider
If you are torn between independent homeschooling and homeschooling with a provider in a more traditional setting, then let’s go over some of the most important differences between the two.
Homeschooling with a provider means that you will usually have a set (or at least suggested) curriculum, whereas independent homeschooling means you have to create your own curriculum.
Having a set or suggested curriculum is not as flexible, but it helps if you don’t know how to outline a curriculum.
Homeschooling with a provider means your children will have a record of their courses, tests, and any other valuable information. Independent homeschooling doesn’t have any of this unless you do it yourself.
Another big difference is that a homeschooling provider usually means you have access to free homeschooling coaching and counseling, whereas independent homeschooling means you have to pay extra for these services.
There are other differences between these two styles of homeschooling, but the points we have addressed should give you a better idea of both types.
You may also like: How to start homeschooling mid-year.
Pros & Cons Of Independent Homeschooling
As with anything else, there are pros and cons when it comes to independent homeschooling.
Most of the cons of independent homeschooling can be turned into pros, but only if you are proactive enough to do something about them.
Independent homeschooling does require a lot more time and effort than more traditional homeschooling options, and it is important to keep that in mind before you choose to go down this route.
To give you a better idea of both the pros and cons, let’s break them down below.
Parents get a lot of freedom in every aspect of their children’s education.
Independent homeschooling is often regarded as being more relaxed and less stressful than more traditional homeschooling.
Though you don’t get any help financially, lots of families actually save money by going down this option.
You don’t have to buy specific textbooks or materials, and you can take a less expensive route if you are resourceful.
Your child’s education is more customizable. Independent homeschooling allows you to customize your child’s curriculum and tailor it to make sure it suits their needs and your teaching style.
This can be incredibly beneficial for your family and your kid’s education.
When you go down the independent homeschooling route, your children won’t have any records. If you do want them to have records, you will need to keep them yourself.
You have to spend more time and effort researching courses and curriculums. In more traditional homeschooling situations, you can get the curriculum from a provider or the school district.
You don’t really have any external help. Your kids and you won’t have access to homeschool coaches or counselors.
You are able to find one yourself in your own time, but it will cost money and take more time.
Independent homeschooling is a great option for some families, but it definitely isn’t for everyone.
Using the information we have provided for you here, you should be able to make a more informed decision about if it is the right choice for you.
Further reading: How does homeschooling work in the US?
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