Here Are Some Things To Consider if You Are Thinking About Home Schooling

If you've been thinking about home schooling your children, there are a few things you need to know before you embark on this adventure. First, you must decide if this is something you and your children can handle. You must all be disciplined enough to keep a good work schedule so your children don't miss out on what they should be learning. Realize that this takes time and commitment on everyone's part. As a parent you will be sacrificing your own personal time to your children's education. There will be financial considerations to make as well. The home schooling parent will not be able to work outside the home and do an effective job of teaching. Course materials may also cost you money, if you do not live in a school district which is willing to work with home schooling families. You will also need to learn what your State's laws are regarding home schooling, as well as your school district's. Take into consideration that your household chores may suffer unless you can set up a schedule to take care of those. And your children will miss out on the social aspects of regular school. This article offers sources and ideas to explore as you undertake home schooling.

Start Out Right

It's a lot easier if you and your home are organized. Getting rid of unneeded items, keeping all of your school materials together--these will help you be successful at home schooling. Most of us don't have a spare room we can devote to home schooling, so we work around the kitchen or dining room table. You can keep your supplies in tubs that can be put away when the day's work is done, and brought out again the next day. Make sure that your work area has good lighting, that your students have an adequate supply of paper, pencils and pens, and whatever supplies you need as you teach them. Have a specific place for your reference books, art supplies, and other items where they can be easily found when it's time to do a particular project. Keeping good records of what they learn will be of importance, especially if the laws in your area require making an accounting to the school district.

Online sources

There are plenty of online sources for help and advice if you are seriously considering home schooling your children. We don't have room for them all, but here are some of our favorites:

  • homeschooling.about.com is our favorite site about home schooling. Here you'll find answers to all your home schooling questions, links and articles about courses, books, the home schooling laws by state, and many other topics of interest to the home schooling family.
  • If you live in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania or Wisconsin, check out Connections Acadamy. It's free to residents of the above-named states.
  • Get Home School information, Education information, Education - General information at homelearners.com, including related links and much much more.
  • The Calvert School is a well-known source for curriculum for Kindergarten through 8th grade.

More On Curriculum

One of the most important aspects of home shcooling is the curriculum your children will be studying. How do you come up with that? If you don't want, or can't afford, to enroll in one of the home schooling schools, there are other possible sources for your curriculum. Many school districts throughout the country work with home schoolers and will provide them with books and other materials. And on the Homeschooling.about.com page, there are links to courses of study by grade level and printable worksheets as well. You may also be fortunate enough to have home schooling supply stores in your area. And if there are home schooling support groups in your area, these members may also be able to help you with curriculum sources.

Socialization and Support

One thing that most anti-home schooling people critize is the lack of socialization for home schooled students. Given the scary situations in our schools these days, I'd say that my children could do without that kind of socialization. But it is important that they interact with other kids, so there are many ways to do that. If you are active in your church, there may be some kind of activities there for children. They can also enroll in Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts, and the Campfire Girl organizations. Your community probably has classes and activities through your local parks department which you can enroll your children in, and they will get socialization and some extra learning or participation in sports. Look for home schooling support groups in your area. Here you'll find others who are home schooling children of all ages. They will often organize field trips and social events for their children, as well as getting together to compare notes and share information amongst the parents. Check the homeschooling.about.com site for Support group information.

There is more information than we can hope to cover in this article. Be sure to check the sources we've given you, and do your own searches online. Talk to others who home school. You should be able to find email lists for home schoolers, for even more information. We hope you enjoy your experience.

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