Deciding to educate your children at home is a huge decision. And whether you’re considering it for the first time or are just beginning homeschooling, you’ve probably got a lot of questions and a lot of uncertainties. I hope you’ll find a few answers and some direction. In addition to these links and resources, feel free to contact me at any time. I’d love to share this journey with you and help you with your decisions.
Homeschooling is no small task.
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Beginning Homeschooling FAQ
What is homeschooling?
Homeschooling is not transforming your home into a classroom but rather weaving learning into the fabric of your everyday life. It’s not a rigid teacher-student relationship during certain hours and parent-child the rest of the day. Instead, homeschooling is you as the parent doing what you’ve always done. We teach our children from their earliest moments: when to eat and sleep, how to feed and dress themselves, how to use a toilet, how to shower and brush their teeth, how to memorize Scripture, etc. When you decide to homeschool, you are merely extending the teaching influence you already have from personal hygiene and spiritual growth to language, math, reading, history, and science.
Your role as a parent is to teach your children. This doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone has to homeschool, but it does mean that you are already equipped by God to be your child’s teacher. Parenting is teaching; homeschooling is embracing that role to its fullest.
How long? How much? How often?
Some of these questions will be answered by the laws of your state. If you are not familiar with what your state requires, that is your first step. Beyond that, find what is right for your child and your family. You don’t have to maintain the same schedule as a brick-and-mortar school. For one, you don’t have to occupy children until their parents come home from work, and you don’t have 20+ kids to educate (well, most of us don’t, anyway). For younger ones, an hour will probably do it. Take us much time as you need to help your child learn and then call it a day. Rome wasn’t built in a day; and no child is educated in a week. Give yourself the time it takes to do the job—about 12 years!
What books do I use?
This is a huge question, one that many experienced homeschoolers ask themselves at the end of every year. Fortunately and unfortunately, there is a tremendous selection of resources available. If you are absolutely terrified at the thought of homeschooling your kids, I’d recommend either a video-program where an instructor does the teaching or a boxed curriculum that provides all you need plus detailed daily teacher guides. Here are a few suggestions to research:
If you are wanting a little more of a custom-fit for your family than what these programs offer, the next step is to learn about homeschooling methods. Once you have an idea of what you might like to use, you can read reviews and opinions from other homeschoolers online, or search for a homeschool book fair or homeschool consignment shop in your area.
How do I find other homeschoolers in my area?
Start by finding your state homeschool support group. Your state website should have links to local homeschool groups within your area. You can also search “homeschool” and your city to find local resources.
Still have some doubts and fears? I don’t blame you. It is a decision that will very literally change your life. For a little added encouragement, check out my series of posts about fighting our homeschool fears.
- What if I fail?
- What if I miss something?
- What if I get into legal trouble?
- What if I ruin my kid’s life? Part 1
- What if I ruin my kid’s life? Part 2
Don’t forget, you are not alone. If you are beginning homeschooling or just need a little more direction, feel free to contact me through my blog or sign up below for access to free homeschool coaching and support.