Making the Homeschooling Choice

It may seem like a scary leap to homeschool your children, but if you are spending time with your children at all then you are likely homeschooling them already.  Every day is an opportunity to teach your children – about life, about manners, about finances or about whatever may come up in conversation.
Creative Commons License photo credit: vanRijn

Homeschooling is really more about education at home than anything else.  You and your child have the opportunity to direct the educational focus towards events or activities that are of most interest.  You can also focus on subjects that need the most attention (instead of concentrating on preparing for a national test).

The reasons that families choose to homeschool their children are almost as diverse as the children that are being homeschooled.  If you are considering the homeschool alternative then there are few things you should consider before you take the plunge.

1.  Time – Although homeschool can consist of self-directed programs, it is still important that you have the time to invest in assisting the learning process, checking the work and the progress and also researching and reviewing future curriculum choices.

2.  Money – It is possible to homeschool for no money at all.  You can use the internet and the public library to create a curriculum for your child (but this will require a larger dedication of time than using a pre-formed curriculum).  You will still be paying out of pocket for extra-curricular activities and the government does not give any tax relief to families that choose to homeschool. Go here for more tips on how to homeschool on the cheap.

3.  Space – It is best to have a dedicated space for doing your school time and especially for storing the curriculum and even the completed work.  It is even better if you can also have a space for crafts, science experiments or other projects so that they can be left out for continuous work without concern of them being disturbed or disrupted. Of course, many homeschool families find that they do the bulk of their schooling on the couch, and there are plenty who have very little space and do just fine.

4.  Resources – Every community will be different when it comes to support groups, field trips and group activities that are available.  Do some research to see what kinds of resources are available in your area.  It might also help to find out the number of homeschool families (or individuals) in your area.  If there are no current activities then you might be able to start some up once you begin homeschooling.

5.  Temperament – Not everyone is cut out to homeschool.  If you have the patience to work with your children in the garden, in the workshop or in the kitchen then you will likely have the patience to work with them with a curriculum.

6.  Flexibility – While it is not a requirement to be flexible, it is likely to make your homeschool experience much more enjoyable for you and for the children.  Accept that things will not always go as planned and adjust your day accordingly.

Your homeschooling experience will be all about what you are willing to put into it.  If you are prepared to invest in homeschooling, then it is likely the best choice for you and for your child.

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