So you have decided to homeschool your children this year for the first time. It can be a scary decision but equipping yourself with the right information and tools can help ensure a successful adventure into the world of homeschooling.
1. Learn the Local Homeschooling Laws
Although homeschooling is legal everywhere in the United States, each state regulates its own homeschooling laws. Regardless of where you live, always educate yourself on your state laws including home education laws, private school laws, and equivalency laws before jumping into homeschooling your children. If you are unsure what the laws and regulations are in your jurisdiction, contact a local homeschool support group or the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA).
2. Explore Different Approaches and Find What Fits You Best
One of the advantages of homeschooling is the freedom to choose what and how your children learn. Based on your children’s learning style and interests, you can determine the learning environment, methods, curriculum, and schedule. Having so many options can be daunting at times, but keep in mind that you can always turn to other homeschoolers and learn from their experience.
3. Don't Believe the Myth About Socialization
People often expect homeschooled children to be unsocialized misfits, but don’t let the unfounded myth get in the way of the infinite possibilities your children have for socialization. Socialization is not confined to schools but occurs in a variety of settings. Homeschoolers have healthy, meaningful relationships with people of all ages through local clubs, community activities, and sports leagues. You can also connect with other homeschoolers by joining local homeschool support groups and meetups.
4. Connect With Your Local Homeschool Community
With the growing popularity of homeschooling, many local institutions like libraries and museums are hosting events designed specifically for homeschool families, where you can not only extend learning beyond classroom but also connect with other homeschoolers and exchange useful resources and tips. Homeschool co-ops are also a good way to get more support for your homeschool journey.
5. Be Patient & Flexible
Homeschooling is a journey that creates personal growth for both the parent and the child. You don’t have to be an expert in every subject or have all the answers to every question to homeschool your children, but you should be prepared to learn, explore, and experiment with them to help them become lifelong learners. Set a good example for your children by being a patient, enabling teacher as well as an active, engaged learner.