Updated: Sep 9
Homeschooling is a personal choice and decision. If you are reading this, perhaps you are considering homeschooling your child and are looking for guidance to help you make that decision. Here are some things to think about regarding homeschooling your child.
Benefits of homeschooling
Time. You can let your child work at their own pace, stay behind and spend more time in areas in which they struggle, and zoom ahead in their areas of strength. Your child can work above and below grade level according to their ability, not their age.
Accommodations. Does your child struggle to handwrite answers? They can use the keyboard. Do they need instructions read to them before they can do a problem? You will be right there to provide these accommodations. Classrooms have too many students for a teacher to always give accommodations like these in a timely fashion.
Attention. One-on-one attention means your child will not slip through the cracks. They will be engaged the whole time you talk to them, not daydreaming in the back of the classroom while the teacher lectures.
Self-esteem. Many students with dyslexia are victims of bullying by other students and, unfortunately, even teachers and staff.
Flexibility. Are you having a horrible rotten day? Head to the park for some outdoor exploring. Draw animals at the zoo. Are you really into dinosaurs right now? Explore them until you can't take it anymore! There are no tests to teach to, no deadlines to make in homeschooling. You can follow your child's interests to the very edge of their imaginations. Instead of "I don't know," you can say "let's find out" and keep your child engaged for hours in active learning. Schedule family vacations in the "off" season and enjoy less crowding and better pricing.
There are many support groups for homeschooling on Facebook and other sites. I recommend joining one before deciding to see what the community is like and ask any questions you may have from people who have "been there." Homeschooling does not have to cost a lot of money. There are many articles and blogs on using your local library and free online sources, like Khan Academy to homeschool. There are many ways to socialize in your community without going to school: group classes, sports, clubs, scouts, church, and co-ops. If you live in California, public charter schools have homeschooling programs that work as a "supervised" homeschool program. You get assigned a certified teacher to guide you and funds to purchase state-approved curricula and tutoring for your student.
Homeschooling is not for everyone. Parents and caregivers often must arrange their work schedules to accommodate homeschooling, and not everyone feels confident and comfortable homeschooling. Some people don't want to do it. Maybe they did not like school and do not want to relive it. It is a challenging path to follow, especially without support, and often requires a financial sacrifice. You will find yourself planning and researching and learning or re-learning a whole lot of things. I don't think any veteran homeschoolers would dare describe it as "easy." But I believe "worth it" would be a prevalent description. It is a decision only you can make for yourself and your family.
Are you considering homeschooling? Do you homeschool and have some benefits to add to the list? Please comment below.