What is Homeschooling?
One of the most dramatic shifts in education, in American history, has occurred during the Covid19 Pandemic. According to numerous sources the number of children being homeschooled in the US has doubled or even tripled in less than 2 years. Homeschooling as a movement was already the fastest growing option in K12 education and this shift has put that growth into overdrive.
This increase has also created a lot of confusion about what homeschooling is and what it isn’t.
- Led or directed by parents or guardians.
- Customized to a greater or lesser degree for each individual student.
- Usually occurs at home but can also include a wide variety of field studies.
- Is not limited to “traditional” subjects. Instead homeschooling is driven by student interest and parental priorities.
- Is subject to state homeschooling laws.
- Is legal in all 50 US States.
Homeschooling IS NOT:
- Private School.
- Charter School.
- Virtual School.
- Online School.
- Or even school at home that is directed and driven by a third party.
If you have to “enroll” your child in a broad curriculum that essentially replaces the public school system, it is probably NOT homeschooling.
Can You Actually Homeschool Your Child?
The short answer is, probably. A lot of time and effort is invested by the public school system and supporters of the public school system drawing a narrative that implies parents, lacking a four year degree in education ca not possibly education their children to the same level that the public school system can.
Test scores consistently show nothing could be further from the truth. Homeschoolers tend to school much higher on standardized tests than public school children. They also outperform private school children.
You might say, “Sure, but I am not very good at math or history, etc.” “How can I do better than a trained teacher?”
The answer is surprisingly simple. Nobody cares more for you child than you do. Nobody has more invested in the success of your child than you have.
This isn’t to say teachers don’t care. Most of them do. But they start everyday facing between 15 and 30 children. Even if they care as much as you, they can’t give the same attention to each child when they are divided 30 different ways. That means they have to find the middle and teach every kid to that level, at that speed. If your kid isn’t average, performs poorly when confined to a desk or has unique gifts or challenges, they will likely struggle in the traditional public school setting.
On the question of teaching, think about what you have already taught your child. How to walk, brush their teeth, ride a bike, how to dress themselves, probably the alphabet, maybe reading fundamentals. You probably haven’t had formal training in any of these subjects yet you managed to do it, because you cared.
The good news, when you combine that with the resources available you can, like the majority of homeschooling families, do an excellent job homeschooling your child.
What Kind Of Resources Are Available To Help You Homeschool?
- Local Homeschooling Groups.
Essentially, parents helping parents. AND kids have an opportunity to build a group of friends.
- Commercial and FREE Curricula.
There are a wide variety of electronic, video and print materials.
- Online Resources.
They can function as free tutoring services.
One example, YouTube has numerous people offering tutoring on virtually any subject. When you are unsure, you can find help.
- Legal Assistance.
A great example is the Homeschool Legal Defense Association. HSLDA can help you know you are abiding by state homeschooling laws and if needed they represent members who find themselves at odds with the education system.