First Steps in Homeschooling Your Child
Homeschooling is an education option that many families around the world are choosing instead of sending their children to traditional public or private schools. Families instead opt to educate their children at home.
The reasons so many families are homeschooling include dissatisfaction with traditional schools and wanting a direct role in their children’s education in accordance with their own values and goals.
Children can be homeschooled from kindergarten right through high school.
1. Getting Started
The legal requirements for homeschooling vary from country to country, and state to state. Some have few requirements, while others are more stringent, for example requiring standardized testing and even portfolio reviews. The first step is to understand the legal requirements where you live.
You can begin homeschooling at any time. One of the pros of homeschooling is the flexibility it offers. If your child has never been to school, you can simply start homeschooling based on your provinces’ guidelines when your child reaches school age.
If your child is already in a traditional school setting, you will need to formally withdraw your child and let the school system know you are switching to homeschooling.
The main thing you will need for homeschooling is the desire and the dedication to do it!
2. Join a Local Homeschool Organization
There are many groups with lots of homeschooling resources that you can tap into for very valuable information. These groups can answer questions and help you understand the world of homeschooling.
They provide social networking where families can have classes together, participate in social events, form small clubs, play sports and participate in a variety of age-appropriate events.
Meeting other homeschoolers in your area is bound to provide a wonderful source of homeschooling resources.
Here are some great resources:
3. Choosing Your Homeschool Curriculum
Although most of us are used to the educational philosophy popular in the traditional school setting, there are many other educational philosophies.
The homeschool curriculum you choose and your method of teaching should depend on the educational philosophy you embrace and even your child’s learning style.
This will influence whether you follow a more traditional structure, such as a traditional day with homework, or just allow your child’s talents and interests to be your guide, or maybe something in between.
Most homeschool curricula include some of the standard subject areas as well as other areas of personal interest. A quick search on the Internet will point you to a plethora of homeschool curricula that can be purchased through online stores or catalogues.
Some are traditional workbooks and textbooks while others are self-paced guides. And, of course, you can use programs such as Netmath to help you in a specific subject area, like math.
4. Set Your Homeschooling Goals and Schedule
Homeschoolers work at their own pace so it is important to set the goals you want to accomplish and make a schedule accordingly.
You may want to set small short-term goals, such as spending a certain amount of time each day writing numbers, or looking for opportunities for your child to recognize and use numbers in real world situations each day.
It is also important to set long-term goals, such as mastering addition facts by the end of the year.
Even though you make the schedule, remember that there are many ways to approach a task, and you can adjust and readjust schedules to meet your child’s changing needs.
This is one of the pros of homeschooling. And don’t forget that field trips and library visits should be a part of your schedule.
Overall, homeschool families spend more family time together and have more flexibility and educational freedom, while still achieving high academic standards.
A study from the National Home Education Research Institute showed homeschoolers with average standardized test scores in the 87th percentile, while children in public schools scored in the 50th percentile.
If you are interested in homeschooling your child, think about using a great homeschooling resource like Netmath to help your child on his or her homeschool journey!
We hope that you enjoyed this article and that it helped you with the first steps in homeschooling your child. Don’t hesitate to share this article with your friends and colleagues so that they too can learn more about homeschooling.
Would you like more homeschooling tips?
Check out our recent article on the factors you should consider when looking for supplemental math resources.
Make math fun and engaging for your children!
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