Making the Decision to Homeschool
Thursday, November 6, 2014
Are you thinking about homeschooling your child? If so, I know that making the decision to homeschool can feel overwhelming and even alarming. I asked a group of homeschooling parents what they, in hindsight, would have liked to know when making this decision, and now I'm going to share with you what we all wish we'd have known from the beginning.
The first and most important step is to find homeschooling families near you. You will need their knowledge and support in the decision-making as well as in your homeschooling journey. I live in a small, rural town, and I assumed that I'd be doing this alone, and that was a frightening thought. I was shocked to find at least 4 local homeschooling groups in my area. Reach out via social media, look on your library bulletins, and talk with friends to locate a group near you.
Each state has it's own set of homeschooling laws. You'll need to look up the laws in the state you live in and familiarize yourself with them. Don't let this intimidate you, however. Often, the legal jargon makes it sound much more complicated than it really is. The best way to understand your state's laws is to talk with parents who are homeschooling in your state.
When researching homeschooling, you'll come across a lot of philosophies you may not be familiar with, such as the Charlotte Mason method or the classical education method. You will also discover a plethora of curricula options, and all of this new information can feel overwhelming. It's a good idea to do an overview of the philosophies and styles to discover what might be a good fit for your child, but you don't have to stick with one certain method, and as you educate your children, you'll naturally discover what they need. In regard to curricula, if you can visit a homeschool convention, this would be of great help to you. There, you can look through various curricula as well as attend lectures and classes for new homeschoolers. If you can't get to a convention, ask other homeschoolers what their choices are. There are also curriculum review websites that offer an abundance of information.
If you're concerned about socialization, don't be.