Homeschooling: The Good and the Bad

If you’re considering homeschooling your children, you definitely want to go into it with your eyes wide open.  Even if you know without a doubt that God wants you to homeschool your children (we certainly do), you should still be aware that there are both good and bad aspects to homeschooling.  Just because it’s the right thing for your family, don’t expect it to necessarily be all sunshine and roses.  Will you allow me to share the good side and then to make you aware of the bad side of homeschooling as well?  When you’re aware of the not-so-good things you can much more easily make preparations to overcome them.

Homeschooling: The good and the bad  | from @mbream

The good:

* You make the decision about what your children learn.  You have total control over what subjects your children are learning.  You can protect their minds from things that are contrary to your worldview.  There is no concern over academics that may be less-than-stellar or expectations that may be unreasonable for a child with learning difficulties.

* You make the decisions about how your children learn. There is no way a school classroom can tailor its teaching style for each child. Yet each child differs. As a home schooling parent, you can teach your child in the style that best fits him or her, and you can tweak your teaching style as needed.

* You get to choose the curriculum. This ties in with the “what your children learn” note listed above. You can decide how many books, worksheets, crafts, and so forth that your student does. You can reject or accept aspects of various curricula and/or design your own.

* Your child gets one-on-one instruction. Time and again, studies have shown that children learn well with individual instruction.

 

The bad:

* Home schooling takes time. Not only do you have to commit to the actual teaching time; depending on the curriculum, you may have to research and prepare lessons, copy or print out worksheets, maps, exercises, etc., and keep careful track of your child’s progress. This all means less time to run errands, clean the house, cook meals, etc.

* Depending on the laws and regulations in your area, you will have to present a portfolio or submit your child to standardized testing. This means you have to keep careful records.

* Home schooling can cost money. Some curricula are very inexpensive or even free, but often the less expensive options take up a lot more time (searching for library books, printing your own materials, etc.)  Finding something that is less labor intensive or finding the right materials for your child can cost much more, sometimes as much as $1000 a year.

* Criticism and even contempt from others unfortunately comes with the territory of home schooling. Those who tend to doubt themselves or who are overly concerned with what other people think may find this aspect of home schooling stressful.

 

Does the fact that there are some bad aspects to homeschooling mean that you shouldn’t do it?  Not at all!  Sending your child to school will come with both good and bad aspects also.  You just need to be prepared for the not so pleasant parts so that you can prepare yourself properly.

 

Homeschooling through the good and the bad will take work, but it will be rewarding!

 

You might want to take a look at these other posts too:

Step by step help for beginning your homeschool journey from @mbream   6 Ways Homescholing Benefits Christian Families 10 Ways to Save Money on Homeschool Curriculum - good tips!  How to Choose the best Homeschool Curriculum How to Create a Homeschool Schedule that Works!Homemaking While Homeschooling: How to Get it All Done - great tips!

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Help! I’ve Decided to Homeschool. What Now?

Step by step help for beginning your homeschool journey from @mbream

It may seem like homeschooling is just too difficult or complicated, or takes too much time. It can also seem overwhelming – where do you start? If you want to home school but are not sure where to begin, here are some tips that may help.

1. Talk to other homeschooling families. Try to talk to a variety of homeschoolers, so that you can see how homeschooling works for different lifestyles and family groups.

2. Look online for tutorials and literature. There are even e-books that discuss the topic of getting started with homeschooling.  My Homeschool Helps Pinterest board is a great place to start!

3. Familiarize yourself with your local laws and requirements. Your local board of education should be able to help you in this regard. Most communities require a “letter of intent” or some sort of official statement declaring that your child will be homeschooled in the upcoming year.

You’ll need to find out at what age that occurs – it will usually be the age that kindergarten starts in your area. Often, the rules and regulations are county based, so make sure you find out on a local level what you need to do.

4. Join homeschooling organizations like co-ops and online communities. There is usually a “main” group to which most homeschoolers in your community will belong, and you can find out when you talk to them. There are also many homeschooling communities on Facebook where you can ask questions and find support.  Do a search on Facebook for “homeschool” and look through the groups to find a few to join.

5. Choose a curriculum that is right for your child. This is where many would-be homeschoolers get stressed out! But it does not have to be stressful. Think about what makes your child “tick” – if your child enjoys stories and reading, there are curricula that are based on children’s classic literature. There are also more “traditional” types of curricula that are fairly structured. Some curricula are based on social studies and geography; others on reading.  Take a look at this article on “How to Choose the Best Homeschool Curriculum.”

Do some research, talk to other homeschooling parents, and don’t worry if you don’t pick the “perfect” curriculum right off the bat. You can always change. It’s a good idea to start small and maybe avoid purchasing a big, expensive curriculum right away.

6. Keep good records of your child’s schooling. Get some kind of system set up – it does not have to be elaborate; even file folders in a box will do. Or you can get an entire system of computer software to track your child’s progress.

How you keep your records will be affected by your local laws, because different regions have different requirements for tracking a child’s progress. Some areas require a portfolio, which is a collection of your child’s work in various subjects, and others require standardized testing. Some regions give you a choice.

Here is a great post that will walk you through organizing all the paperwork in your homeschool.

7. Last but not least, set up an area where your schooling will take place. This can be the kitchen table, or a special chair, or an entire room. It’s just a good idea to have a set time and area in the house where you do your home schooling. It helps set the mood and enhance concentration when the time and place are somewhat scheduled.

 

Do you have more questions?  Please don’t hesitate to comment or email me and I’ll see what I can do help!  Best wishes on your homeschooling journey!

Be sure to check out all the other posts I’ve written about homeschooling.

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