Is Homeschooling Right for Your Family?
I know that this topic can be a rather polarizing one, with some people feeling that public or private schools are the best thing for their children, and others want to teach their children themselves. No one can decide what is best for your children except for you!
For some families the choice to homeschool is severely limited by state law to the point that it is almost impossible to teach your children at home. Other families are dependent on two incomes to support their family, making it too difficult to even attempt homeschooling. There are also many children who love going to school.
If you are concerned about the legality of homeshooling in your state, I encourage you to visit the Homeschool Legal Defense Association for more information. They do not offer advice online, but they offer legal support for paying members.
Make sure you know what the rules and regulations are for your area and follow them to avoid headaches down the road.
Every family is different and has different dynamics, so there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to teaching your children. For families who live so far from the closest public school that they kids would spend hours on the bus each day, homeschooling may be the best answer. Other families have some children who will learn much better in the quiet environment of home while their siblings crave the hustle and bustle of a busy classroom.
You need to take time to consider what will benefit each of your children the most and roll with it. Maybe you love the idea of homeschooling all of your children, but one of them has special needs that require the majority of your time and energy. Will you be able to give all of your kids the attention they need to succeed? Only you can tell…and you may have to give it a try before you know how well the homeschooling life will fit each child.
Do your children want to homeschool? I have friends who homeschooled some of their children, but some went to school because that was what they really wanted. If they crave time with children outside the family, you may want to look for a homeschool group or co-op to join so that your social butterflies can flutter around their friends. Other kids are perfectly happy to spend all day with their books and siblings.
One of the comments from non-homeschoolers that bothered me the most was “But what about socialization? Your child needs other kids his own age around.” Our family did not homeschool until my son was in second grade. While he was in public school, he was too busy playing the class clown or being teased for wearing the ‘wrong kind of pants’ (they weren’t designer jeans) that I don’t think he was part of a positive social interaction. As homeschoolers, we joined a group that met once a week and also got together with friends on a regular basis too. I felt that his social life was of a much higher quality than he had in school. You may have to work a little to find families with similar ideals to your own, but it will be well worth the effort.
Do What’s Right For Your Family
You may very well meet up with resistance from your extended family, friends, or neighbors if you decide to homeschool. Don’t let that stop you from doing what’s right for your children! When we decided to homeschool, my husband’s family all understood and supported us 100%. His siblings were all public school teachers and had seen the problems caused by ‘No Child Left Behind.’ My family was more concerned about socialization and whether we would continue to homeschool through high school. They soon started to see how well our son was doing with the changes.
We continued to homeschool through high school and our son is in college now. He’s done very well with his grades and enjoys the control he has over what classes he takes. I’m so happy that we started down this path and found the wonderful friends we’ve met on our homeschooling journey. It’s been a positive experience for all of us.
Do you homeschool? Or are you considering homeschooling for your family? I love to hear from other homeschooling families!