Homeschooling is becoming an increasingly popular choice for American families. According for the Department of Education, almost two million school-aged Americans are now educated at home. This number covers a range of ethnic backgrounds and cultures.
There are a number of reasons why you may be considering homeschooling for your child. Perhaps they are being bullied. Sadly, as the National Center for Education Statistics reveals, this remains a common issue.
Alternatively, your child may struggle with mainstream education. Your religious or cultural beliefs may not tally that with government-mandated education In addition, career requirements may involve you moving home regularly. In any of these instances, homeschooling can bring a degree of stability to your child’s education.
If you are considering homeschooling, you’ll need to ensure that you legally compliant. Check the legal requirements of your state to confirm that you will not fall foul of your local education board.
Once you’re comfortable that you are acting within your legal rights as a parent or guardian, you are ready to begin your homeschooling journey.
Is Home Schooling Right for Your Family?
Home schooling is not the ideal solution for everybody. Before committing to this path, conduct research into whether it will benefit your child.
- The Department of State will be your first port of call. You’ll find answers to most logistical questions here.
- Education Corner discusses the pros and cons of home schooling in detail. Great Schools and Calvert Education provide further insights.
- Responsible Homeschooling details the requirements expected of parents that plan to educate their children themselves.
- She Knows profiles the US states which are considered the most homeschool-friendly, and which have a lot of catching up to do.
- If you’re still on the fence about homeschooling, Finding Joy in the Journey lists a number of factors to take into consideration before making your decision.
- Time4Learning soothes fears about academic underperformance is homeschooled students. Bright Hub Education offers similarly positive statistics.
If you’re appropriately reassured that homeschooling is the best path for you and your children, you’ll next need to investigate what and how to teach.
Curriculum Resources for Homeschooling
When it comes to a homeschooling curriculum, you’ll be spoiled for choice. There is no single, set resource that the US government mandates all homeschooled students follow.
- Homeschooling educators will first need to choose a teaching style to follow. Well Trained Mind adopts the model adopted by mainstream schools. If you’d rather encourage a more freethinking approach, consider Thomas Jefferson Education. For an education that combines mind, body and spirit, investigate Rudolf Steiner’s Waldorf model.
- Khan Academy is considered one of the finest online educational resources, and is a great place to start.
- Purchasing appropriate books and resources for a homeschooled child can be expensive. Project Gutenberg can ease this burden with a range of free eBooks.
- TED-Ed takes the ever-popular format of the TED Talk and allows educators to build classes and lessons around these videos.
- Reading Eggs is a British site, but its appeal is universal. This site is perfect for anybody homeschooling young children, helping them learn to read.
- Online College has fifty suggestions for field trips that you can take your child on outside the classroom.
It may still be advisable to check in with your local education board to ensure you are meeting educational expectations of your state. These resources are ideal for getting your homeschool off the ground, though.
Homeschooling Children with Special Needs
One of the reasons you are choosing to homeschool could be due to special needs that mainstream education is failing to meet.
These could revolve around physical disability, complex emotional or psychological conditions, or special educational needs.
- Understood offers advice and guidance for parenting children with attention deficiencies. The same site also discusses homeschooling disabled students.
- Home Educator discusses how you can guide a disabled student from homeschooling.
- Power Homeschool has a range of services tailored to students with special needs.
- The Homeschool Legal Defense Association offers advice on identifying special needs in homeschooled children, and how to find professional assistance.
Always seek as much support and advice as you can for your child in these circumstances. These years are pivotal to their future. If the education system has failed to meet your child’s needs, they’ll be relying on your to step up.
Help and Advice for Homeschooled Children and Their Families
Homeschooling can be lonely and overwhelming, both for students and parents. Thankfully, there is a wide array of support available online.
- The simply named com is an essential resource for lesson plans and general information. Simple Homeschool is a similar resource, and equally reputable.
- K12 is welcoming online community for all involved with homeschooling, blending advice and support with important resources.
- The Department of Education has resources for finding homeschool networks and communities in your area.
- The Homeschool World Forum has thousands of members that interact daily, sharing tips and advice.
- The Homeschool Mom offers advice on how to build your network of like-minded parents and students offline.
- Familiarize yourself with the role of a High School Guidance Counselor. Your child will not have access to this service, so you’ll need to provide it yourself.
Bookmark each and every one of these sights, and take the time to pore over all the information and support they offer. Each resource will become invaluable throughout your homeschooling adventure.
Summary of Useful Links
We covered a lot of information in this guide. See below for a handy list of all the resources we have linked to, enabling easy bookmarking and future research.
- Bright Hub Education – brighthubeducation.com
- Calvert Education – calverteducation.com
- Education Corner – educationcorner.com
- Finding Joy in the Journey – findingjoyinthejourney.net
- Great Schools – greatschools.org
- Home Educator – homeeducator.com
- Homeschool – homeschool.com
- Homeschool Legal Defense Association – hslda.org
- The Homeschool Mom – thehomeschoolmom.com
- Homeschool World – home-school.com
- K12 – k12.com
- Khan Academy – khanacademy.org
- National Center for Education Statistics – nces.ed.gov
- Online College – onlinecollege.org
- Power Homeschool – powerhomeschool.org
- Project Gutenberg – gutenberg.org
- Reading Eggs – readingeggs.co.uk
- Responsible Homeschooling – responsiblehomeschooling.org
- School Counselor – school-counselor.org
- Simple Homeschool – simplehomeschool.net
- TED-Ed – ed.ted.com
- Thomas Jefferson Education – tjed.org
- Time4Learning – time4learning.com
- Understood – understood.org
- US Department of Education – hslda.org
- US Department of State – state.gov
- Well Trained Mind – welltrainedmind.com
- Why Waldorf Education Works – whywaldorfeducationworks.org