With America’s educational future in a state of dubiety, many parents have assumed responsibility for their children’s education. While there are other alternatives to traditional brick and mortar public schools, these are not always affordable or satisfying to some parents for various reasons. Though I won’t get into the pros and cons of each of these alternatives, (you can check out this article if you’re interested: Pros & Cons of Various Types of K-12 Schooling) in this article, I would like to discuss the option of homeschool.
Maybe you have thought about homeschooling your child before, or perhaps you’re contemplating the idea now. Either way, if homeschool is a possibility for your child, we will delve into what it takes to get started.
What is homeschooling?
A homeschooled student is one who is educated at home for at least part of their education and enrollment in public or private school is less than 25 hours per week.
- Nearly 6% of the U.S. population homeschool their children.
- The most common reasons for homeschooling, as reported by parents are safety, religious freedom and better academic instruction, respectively.
- The National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI) reports that children who are educated at home typically score 15-30% higher on academic achievement tests and above average on college entrance exams, such as ACT and SAT.
- According to a study conducted at the University of St. Thomas, homeschool students graduate college at a rate of almost 10% higher than public school students.
Where to Begin:
- First, locate your state homeschool group here. HSLDA (Homeschool Legal Defense Association) is a great resource for information on homeschooling (you will join this organization later).
- Locate your local group. Oftentimes you will find this information on the same site as your state group. If not, call your state group and ask for this information.
- Connect with other homeschoolers through local meetups, co-ops and social media to learn as much as you can about homeschooling from other parents.
- If you have the time, it couldn’t hurt to invest in a couple of books by some homeschool experts. Here are a couple of our recommendations:
If money is tight, try your local public library for these or other books.
- Select a curriculum (you can check out this article for more information). You should seek advice from other parents within your social media groups, co-ops, etc., especially if your child has special needs, so that you can locate the best curriculum to fit your needs.
- Research and purchase supplemental materials. Amazon, Half-Price Books, and teacher supply stores are great places to look. You can also subscribe to a website, such as Edhelper.com, which has tons of resources on just about every subject for about $20 per year.
- Select a curriculum. You can purchase one online or if you want an up-close look at each one first hand, plan a visit to a curriculum convention in your local area. Try visiting homeschoolconventions.com for a listing.
- Join HSLDA. For around $100 per year. They offer great legal protection for you and your family.
Obviously this is list does not include everything that you may want to know about starting to homeschool your child, but if you thoroughly research each of the suggested sites and follow all of the steps above, you will be well on your way to a successful homeschool year.