Parents are asking how to start homeschooling because they want their teens to experience education that’s fun and effective in a stable environment. They want a home filled with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.
Instead, many parents have moved to online school yielding mixed results. The rules and requirements of public education can be overwhelming. In public or private school, parents lack the ability to control the process or change the outcome of their children’s education. They may see gaps in education becoming ever wider. Then they reach a tipping point, and can’t tolerate the situation any longer.
When any change would be an improvement, home education can seem like a straight-forward decision. Homeschool parents can create a uniquely tailored education plan that’s a perfect fit for each child. Homeschooling independently gives full educational responsibility to the parent. While it may sound terrifying at first, parents are not responsible for a full classroom, an entire school, or the multiple needs of a school district. They are only responsible for an individual child they know, understand, and genuinely love.
That is why parents are switching to homeschooling in record numbers. You can do it too!. There are other options besides recreating public school at home. Searching for hope in a changing situation, parents find there are so many options! Like everything in life, each choice offers plusses and minuses.
Parents can choose a different online school. However, if one online school doesn’t work, neither will another. Homeschooling completely online is never the most effective way. If online school doesn’t work, then online school is the problem, not the child. Pediatricians suggest limiting children’s screen time and online school may have unintended long-term consequences associated with excessive technology use. Whether the source of education is public, private, or virtual, the online format is the weakness.
There are other school options, of course. Private school is costly. Tax dollars pay for local schools and accredited programs are paid for by tax dollars. Accreditation is not equivalent to excellence and not all public schools are accredited. All schools progress at a steady rate intended to meet the needs of the median student in each subject. But students do not learn at a steady rate and are not at the same ability level in each subject. They need sick days and get distracted by life events like the rest of us do.
Overwhelmed by poor educational choices, parents want to know how to homeschool. Start with these simple step-by-step directions.
Homeschooling is legal in every state. Homeschool law is different from public school law. It often involves formally withdrawing the student from public education and declaring your intention to homeschool. The level of state intervention and direction varies, but in every case it’s the responsibility of the parent to educate their student. Find your state homeschool law here.
Plan to cover core classes but fill in electives with delight directed learning. Choose a curriculum intended for homeschoolers; it’s often more understandable because it assumes neither the student nor the parent is an expert on the subject. Read my book, Homeschool Curriculum That's Effective and Fun, check out reviews by Cathy Duffy as well as her book, 102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum. Before purchasing a curriculum, estimate the hours per day expected for each one, so you have reasonable expectations.
Arrange the curriculum with a simple daily checklist or general daily schedule. Decide which adult will supervise as the eyes and ears of the teacher. Sometimes this role can fall on older teens overseeing younger students. Discuss expectations with your student, show them how to use your schedule or assignment sheet, and where to locate the resources for each subject. Hold a morning meeting together to make sure your child is doing the work.
Maintain records required by your state homeschool law. For high school, prepare a high school transcript (a simple 1-page document). Keep a reading list that includes books read for school and for fun. Store assignments (tests, quizzes, lab reports) so you can create course descriptions.
The benefits of homeschooling increase over time. Children become better behaved as you shape and mold them instead of their age-mates. Your relationship with them also improves over time. Teens develop truer and deeper friendships with like-minded peers in meaningful activities instead of random kids they are stuck with in class. They will spend less time online and more time learning. As the teacher, your confidence will also grow as you experience success.
Homeschoolers receive an excellent education. Studies comparing public and private school students show that homeschool students have higher test scores, regardless of their race, parental education level, income, or the level of state regulation. Homeschool students get into college, earn scholarships, and get great jobs. For statistical information on homeschooling, take my free online class Homeschooling: How and Why it Works with Dr. Jay Wile.
There is only one requirement for homeschool success. Love. With your genuine love and a modicum of cooperation by your child, homeschooling can be successful. You can look back on this challenging time with no regrets. Do everything in your power to support your child’s education, knowing you did all you could do. Learn more about how to be a better home educator. Embrace this new and exciting role as a homeschool parent.
After all, you aren’t just a teacher, you are a love-giver. And love covers a multitude of missteps.
Learn how to identify and avoid the big blunders repeated by countless homeschool parents!
The First Mistake may cripple your plans if your child ever changes their mind (and what teenager doesn't!) The Second Mistake may leave your child unprepared for college! The Third Mistake may result in the loss of thousands of dollars in financial aid! The Fourth Mistake may cause your child to be lost in the crowd during college admission. The Fifth Mistake may render your kid unable to gain admission to the college of their dreams!
Learn why "old-fashioned" homeschooling is still your best bet for growing passionate learners! Homeschool independently and take your life back! Instead of a "one-size-fits-all" assembly-line education, choose the freedom to teach your children at their pace and consistent with your values. Pursue happiness while homeschooling, instead of pursuing the busyness so common in our society.
Be a fearless leader! Declare your independence from the public system and rigid classroom structure, so your child’s education can be a perfect fit.
If you are a beginner at homeschooling high school, consider the High School Solution, which provides detailed training on homeschooling, from middle school through senior year. The resources included give specific help for all stages, from getting started and planning high school courses, to understanding high school testing and college admission and scholarships.
Get complete instruction for choosing curriculum, encouraging delight directed learning, and teaching advanced subjects through training classes for parents, all with handouts or workbooks plus articles and templates.