Part One: Are You Thinking About Homeschooling?
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We are introducing a four-part series on the considerations and benefits of homeschooling. The first two posts will address things to consider and the last two will address the benefits of homeschooling. Please share this information with friends and family that are thinking about whether or not to homeschool their children. Please make comments and share your experiences with us.

Part One: Are You Thinking About Homeschooling?

There are many considerations for you to make as a family. You will be making changes in several areas of your lives, and the decision requires wisdom, prayer, and a good plan. In thinking through your options and finding our more about homeschooling, you need a few places to start. Let’s talk about state requirements, family and time. In our next blog post we will address materials, co-ops, and socialization.

State Requirements

Our HomeWorks Consultants and many homeschooling groups recommend that you start by checking your state laws. Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is an excellent resource for helping you find your state requirements. Here are a few questions to ponder as you find the information that applies to your state.

• How do you legally register to homeschool?
• Are you transferring from a school to homeschool or starting from the very beginning of your child’s education?
• Does your state require a cover school to homeschool?
• Do you need to register with your state or county?
• How will you keep your records- on your own or through a cover school?

Family

Once you understand your state requirements, you will want to consider how homeschooling will affect your family dynamic. For example, who will be responsible for family income, one or both parents? Will a career or work shift change need to be made? Who will prepare, facilitate, and assess lessons? Will you share responsibilities? Will you work around shifts/days of the week? Will other family members be involved? And if so, how?

Additionally, how will homeschooling affect your current family goals? You will want to consider the cost to homeschool, including budgeting for possible income change as well as the materials you will need to homeschool. Will you need to add or convert a room in your house? Will you need to purchase electronic equipment in addition to books, etc.?

Time

Counting the cost also includes your time. How much time will you need for lesson planning, grading papers, preparing materials, and keeping up on homeschooling for your own personal benefit? Homeschooling parents need time to plan, attend workshops, stay up to date, and get support for homeschooling. You can make your time count by dividing your time between children by consolidating some classes when possible, such as Bible, science, or history. You might be able to teach a writing unit to two different grade levels by expanding or lessening the requirements for one of your children.

Will you be teaching all parent-led classes? Could you use some video classes so you can spend your time with children for certain periods of time? This is a great way to make your time count. Your junior high or high school children may be able to do more independent work online while you spend time helping your elementary aged child with math or reading. In this scenario, you can feel confident that both students have what they need to learn and you are not prepping and teaching double the lessons.

Will you homeschool year-round with breaks for holidays and vacation or keep a traditional school year schedule? Will you keep a 4 or 5 day-a-week school schedule? Whatever you decide, be sure to follow your state requirements. By the way, you have flexibility there. You might try a certain schedule and then realize it isn’t working for you. You have lots of room to make changes so that you can make this lifestyle work for your family. And speaking of lifestyle, don’t forget to consider how you will include family time, as well as time for sports, music, family ministry, hands-on learning, experiments, and whatever you want to include into your overall plans.

We will discuss the considerations of materials, co-ops and socialization in part two of our blog series. What considerations are most significant for your family?

Download our worksheet that reviews considerations and benefits of homeschooling and has space for you to fill in your own thoughts and information.

Meet the Author


Sharon Fisher | Manager | Curriculum Specialist, Speaker Coordinator, Social Media
HomeWorks by Precept


 

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