You’ve watched the news and seen the school shootings, the bullying, and suicide cases. It didn’t take much to convince you that homeschool is the safest place for your child. Right?
So what do you do? You’ve never homeschooled a child before.
Well, if you’re anything like me, you probably went straight to Google and looked for as much information as you could.
Did you leave Google feeling overwhelmed by all of the information? I know I did. There is just so much scattered information and differing opinions that it can be hard to know who to trust.
I’m here to tell you that I’m not about to feed you a lie. I will always be honest on here because honesty is the only policy.
Rest assured knowing that I’m about to give you the facts. By the end of this article, you will know everything you need to know about homeschooling so you can make an informed decision.
Shall we start? Let’s take it from the top!
Introduction to Homeschooling
Why We Decided to Homeschool
My parents and I decided to homeschool my little brother because the teachers at the local kindergarten he was attending ignored a doctor’s note and instructions to not take him outside for recess due to a serious illness he had.
This was very careless on the teachers part and it put his life in jeopardy because he did suffer serious consequences as a result of their ignoring instructions.
After this, we just were not willing to put his life at risk by allowing him to continue at this school.
It didn’t take long for us to realize that homeschooling was the way to go.
My little brother was thriving and he was making wonderful progress in his homeschool curriculum.
We eventually switched to an online public school which I will discuss in another article.
Ultimately, we decided to homeschool my little brother because a lot of the teachers were not doing their job.
School is one place where a child should be safe and secure. Never should a parent have to worry that their child might be in some sort of danger at school.
There is never an excuse for anyone in the school system to ignore a doctor’s instructions.
I must say that the lack of concern and the nonchalant attitudes of many teachers turned us away.
We lost all trust in our local school district.
What a Typical Homeschool Day Looks Like
When you start homeschooling, not every day is going to look the same. In fact, every day will bring its own problems and you’ll have to learn how to adjust.
Don’t worry! You’ll learn to adapt in no time. It’s not as hard as you may think it is.
A typical homeschool day looks like this:
- Drag the children out of bed (not literally!)
- Everyone sits down to eat breakfast
- The school day begins by gathering the children’s supplies (if they are old enough, let them get their own supplies out each day.)
- Provide instructions on the school work.
- Assist them as needed (younger children should always be supervised)
- Break for lunch
- After lunch, finish up school work
- School is dismissed! You did it!
See, that wasn’t too bad, now was it?
Don’t get me wrong, every day won’t go this smoothly but in the end, it will be worth it. I promise.
I have been a homeschool teacher to my little brother for almost 8 years and I have seen and been through it all.
Being his teacher has taught me a lot and I wouldn’t change one thing about it.
Making it Legal
So, you decide to homeschool your child and you do this by simply not sending them back to school. This is okay, right? Wrong!
There are steps you must take to make sure you are legally homeschooling your child.
One of the first things you should do is fill out an Intent to Homeschool form.
I found this out the hard way.
When my parents and I decided that I would spend my last two years of high school in homeschool we had no idea where to start.
Despite all the information that I had researched I never saw mention of an Intent to Homeschool form so I never filled one out.
Well, to make a long story short, the local truancy officer came to my house looking for me and asking my parents why I wasn’t in school.
We obviously explained to him that I was now being homeschooled and that’s how we found out that we needed to fill out an Intent to Homeschool form.
The Intent to Homeschool form is basically a document that tells the school administrators these things:
- What day your homeschool will start
- What your curriculum will look like
- How many days your child will be in school in total
- What days you plan to homeschool
You should read this form carefully, fill it out to the best of your knowledge, don’t leave anything blank and contact the Department of Education for your state if you have any questions or need any help.
There are so many curriculum resources that you can easily find online.
The homeschool curriculum that I highly recommend is:
Pearson Homeschool Curriculums – This company has curriculums for preschool as well as K-12. When I was in school, the public schools that I attended actually used curriculum resources from this company for years so I know and trust this company. The curriculums are reasonably priced as well.
There are so many other homeschool curriculum sources on the web that may be more fitting for you and your family. I suggest doing a google search on homeschool curriculums. You may be surprised at what you find!
Organizing Your School Calendar
Having a school calendar is a very important homeschooling tool.
I have a hard time sticking to schedules but I have found that by having a school calendar I can better plan my day and this prevents me from becoming so frustrated.
I highly recommend the Trello calendar. It is an online calendar that you can use to plan out your school day and activities. You can even create a team and invite your children to join the team so they can also add their own activities, chores, and set reminders for school assignments.
If you prefer, you can use a planner to organize your school year. This may be a better option for you. I do recommend the Teachers Pay Teachers Homeschool Planner (it is a digital download, not a physical planner). This planner comes in really pretty colors and designs.
Best Tips for Encouraging Learning
If you take your child out of public school and place them in homeschool they are going to go through a certain phase.
I call this phase, “Relaxation” and this means that they are going to become very relaxed.
I mean, who wouldn’t? You get to stay at home and go to school in your pajamas, eat when you feel like it, and even take a nap if you so choose. These are all the things you can’t do in public school.
Your child may become tempted to relax a little too much and become unmotivated when it comes to learning.
Homeschooling takes a lot of self-discipline.
Here are 5 tips on how to encourage learning in your child who is being homeschooled:
- Get rid of all distractions
- Let him see you taking his education seriously
- Allow for several breaks throughout the day
- Acknowledge when they’ve done a good job
- Provide rewards as you see fit
The list goes on and on.
5 Common Homeschool Questions
1. Can you start homeschooling at any time?
Yes. It is recommended that you start homeschooling at the beginning of the school year or in the middle during the semester break. However, you are allowed to pull your child out at any time, for whatever reason.
Make sure you are aware of the homeschool laws and requirements in your state.
2. How many hours a day do you have to homeschool?
This is really up to you. We tend to do 6 hours a day but you can do much less than that or way more. It all depends on your child and what kind of learner they are.
3. Are the parents the only ones that can homeschool a child?
Some states will allow a designated person that you choose to homeschool your child. Be sure to check the laws in your state because this can vary from state-to-state.
4. Do I need a degree to homeschool?
No, you are not required to have a teaching certificate or college degree to homeschool your child. Some states do require you to have at least a high school diploma or equivalent (GED).
5. Can you get paid to homeschool your child?
Professional homeschool teachers do get paid to homeschool children. Parents who choose to homeschool their children at home do not get paid. However, some states offer tax credits or charter school stipends to homeschooling families.
There you have it! All of this information will help you make a great decision for your child. Deciding to homeschool can be a very big decision but it doesn’t have to be hard!
Over to you! Do you think homeschool or public school is the best option for children? Let me know in the comments!
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