What Does Homeschooling Mean?
Homeschooling, also known as home education, is the education of children at home or a similar place. Parents have a lot of freedom to choose how they want their children to be raised and educated. The central idea behind homeschooling is that parents are in charge of what their child learns instead of teachers who aren’t allowed to teach outside an official curriculum.
Homeschoolers can learn anything from anywhere, which means a parent doesn’t necessarily need any formal qualifications in order to teach his/her own children. There is no standard method when it comes to homeschooling and it’s up to families themselves how they define this type of learning environment for themselves. Some parents prefer relatively structured lessons with lots of teaching materials while others don’t plan anything in advance.
While many parents combine homeschooling with unschooling (although the two shouldn’t be confused), others are strict about enforcing a daily schedule and lots of homework. Generally speaking, homeschoolers take part in most activities their peers do such as sports, play dates, trips to museums, etc., but they can also learn independently without needing any other person’s help or supervision which is why this concept of education is so appealing for some people.
What Is a Homeschool Diploma?
Homeschooled students usually receive diplomas for completing high school or passing the exams which are equivalent to the 12th grade.
While some states require them to take these exams at public school, other states allow homeschooled students to use their own curriculum and submit portfolios of their work instead (a portfolio consists of all assignments your child completed during his/her time in high school).
While receiving a homeschool diploma is optional for homeschoolers, many parents think it’s important because it proves that their child managed to complete the curriculum required by their state.
How Do I Start Homeschooling My Child?
The first thing you need to do is to inform your child’s school that he/she will be homeschooled from now on.
Don’t forget to take a copy of your child’s health records and other legal documents such as birth certificates with you. You should also have some supplies ready in advance.
It might be useful if you bought a special notebook or diary where you can write down the topics which your child has already covered so that they won’t forget anything by the end of the day.
The same goes for math – it’s advisable to buy an abacus (or a calculator) and make notes or charts where you’ll solve simpler problems every day so that when it comes to more complicated ones, they’ll already know how to do them.
How Long Should I Homeschool My Child?
That depends on your child and his/her needs – you should only continue with homeschooling until he/she starts struggling or feels that they’ve learned all they need to know.
Also, keep in mind that every school district has different requirements regarding how long you have to teach your child so be sure to check them before making any decisions.
If none of these leave you satisfied then don’t hesitate to contact your local Homeschool Association – they’re usually very helpful when it comes to advice, information, and new resources.
Do I Need to Have Any Special Qualifications to Homeschool My Child?
There is no general requirement when it comes to homeschooling qualifications but, in some countries, you must prove that you know the basics of teaching before starting the home-schooling process. The reason for this is that parents don’t necessarily have formal education and since they can teach their kids using an entirely different approach, many people are concerned about children’s safety and progress.
This might not be necessary if your child has a learning disability that requires you to follow a certain method of teaching. Also, if your child doesn’t do well at school because he/she isn’t interested in subjects such as math or geography, homeschooling might work better for him/her, so there shouldn’t be too much stress about having to pass a certain test before starting the lessons.
What Do I Need to Teach My Child?
A homeschooling parent can choose any curriculum he/she wants, as long as they comply with all state laws regarding education in that country. Most parents buy curricula such as textbooks or workbooks but it’s also possible to make your own which will be based on your child’s interests and abilities.
Sometimes, children are lagging behind their peers because they don’t have enough help at school so you might want to focus on some subjects more than others, especially if your child has problems learning them for whatever reason (for example, reading). This doesn’t mean that you have to give up teaching history or math altogether – you just have to adjust these subjects to your homeschooler’s needs.
Does My Child Need to Take Any Exams?
If you live in the US, then yes – your child will probably need some kind of assessment before graduating from homeschooling. The most common way is to contact a local school/district and ask for information about their testing requirements as well as requirements regarding high school graduation.
Other countries might not impose an exam on homeschoolers but there are many different tests available that can be used as proof that your child is eligible to graduate (either by passing a certain score on standardized national assessment or by earning enough credits). Homeschooling should be seen as an alternative to traditional schooling, but since it’s still considered education, you’ll probably be required to verify that your child is making progress and can enter college or university without any problems.
How Do I Grade My Child?
Simple – by using a grading scale. You don’t need to use numbers unless you want to but it’s a good idea when it comes to showing that your child isn’t progressing as well as he/she should (you can always mention the actual number in the report card). Whatever grading system you choose, make sure that it has clear descriptions so you won’t have any troubles explaining what exactly needs to be improved.
Even if you’re going with traditional grades, make sure they’re still understandable – for example, A means “excellent”, not “perfect”. As long as your grading scale is simple and easy to comprehend, it doesn’t matter whether you follow the traditional system or create your own.
What’s the Best Way for Me to Teach My Child?
That will depend on your teaching style – are you more of a hands-on teacher or do you prefer telling stories? Do you like learning by doing, or would it work better for both of you if there were practical examples included in every lesson?
It might take some time before you find out how to teach your homeschooler in the most effective way, but all good teachers experiment with different methods (with their students and while they’re at school) until they discover what works best. If something isn’t working as well as it should, don’t give up right away – you might just need some time to adjust and try again.
If your child is having trouble keeping up with his/her peers, or if they’re making the same mistakes over and over again, ask for more information about this particular subject (especially in math) – there’s probably a reason why he/she isn’t understanding it properly which will make life a lot easier once you know what it is.
What Do I Need to Teach My Homeschooler?
You don’t have to worry about teaching your child anything specific as long as you meet all state requirements regarding education. The most important thing when teaching any subject is to be patient because learning takes time and effort.
Even older children won’t comprehend everything immediately but if they’re truly interested in the subject, they’ll be more than happy to invest time and effort into learning. Remember that even though learning might be a struggle for your homeschooler at first, it should get easier with time and practice.
What Subjects Should I Teach My Homeschooler?
You don’t have to stick to a strict curriculum – that decision is entirely up to you. If your child has an interest in, say, art, you can spend some time learning about it together. The same goes for their other interests and hobbies – if they like science fiction movies and books, why not include lessons on the subject in your lesson plan? There are no strict rules regarding what can/can’t be included so feel free to experiment until you find out how much of something they need before moving onto a new topic.
There’s one thing which needs mentioning when it comes to teaching any subject – never use physical or emotional punishment because education is supposed to improve your child as a person, not damage them or make them feel bad.
What Are the Best Homeschool Teaching Materials?
This will depend on your child’s interests and preferences – if they’re doing well with traditional textbooks, go ahead and use them but don’t hesitate to try something different. Think about what you used when you were studying in school – did you enjoy listening to lectures?
Then, maybe find a teacher who can come over for (online) tutoring sessions. Would you like to learn by reading books instead of attending classes? Ask your local library if they have a weekly storytime where children can go and listen to stories while parents either join or stay at home.
You get the idea – there is no one-size-fits-all solution so be creative and always try new things until you find out what works best for your homeschooler.
What About Special Needs Students?
There are no special requirements regarding education when it comes to students who have special or additional needs. As long as they’re able to understand the subjects you want them to study and there’s a possibility that they’ll be able to make something useful out of their knowledge in the future, you don’t have to worry about anything else.
The only exception is an IEP (Individualized Education Program) – this will usually state how your child is expected to learn throughout their school years so before you start teaching, make sure you’ve read through every document carefully and think about what it means for your homeschooler.
How Many Hours a Day Should You Spend Homeschooling?
This depends on your child’s age, interests and goals. If they’re younger, they probably won’t need more than 4 hours of study time per day (although that will vary depending on the subject). The amount of time spent homeschooling doesn’t really matter as long as it isn’t less than whatever state requirement is – if you want to teach your child for 8 hours every day (for example), make sure that you include breaks in between so he/she can recharge their batteries.
How Much Does It Cost to Homeschool Your Child?
The only thing you might have to invest your money in is new books or learning materials – but the keyword here is “might”. You can be as creative and resourceful as possible, using almost everything around you as a teaching tool. The Internet is a great source of information for homeschoolers (homeschooling websites provide free lesson plans which are usually quite good) and all you really need is enough space where your child can work with no distractions (and maybe some educational toys like puzzles and games).
Take a look at our tuition plans and Tuition Calculator
Are Homeschooled Students Happier?
It’s hard to say because happiness is subjective and can’t be measured. However, homeschoolers are a lot more involved in what goes on around them than traditional students – they’re always curious about the world which can be a bit overwhelming at times but it also makes their days more interesting.
Some people worry that homeschooled students will feel left out or won’t have any friends outside of their family (homeschoolers usually socialize together) but that shouldn’t be a problem as long as they meet their schoolmates during summer breaks or after class (when many families organize playdates).
How Does Homeschooling Affect Mental Health?
There are no studies that would suggest that homeschooled children have lower self-esteem than traditional students. Teens who learn at home usually do better academically, but that might not be because they’re more intelligent – it can be simply the result of personal preference; if they’d rather spend their days learning instead of playing in the park with their schoolmates, chances are they will do well. They also tend to socialize more and participate in various activities together with other homeschoolers or people from their neighborhood.
What Are Advantages of Being Homeschooled?
There are many advantages to homeschooling – one of the biggest is the flexibility it offers. Since you can skip any lessons you like and focus on subjects your child needs more work with, he/she doesn’t have to spend hours behind their desk struggling with a subject they don’t understand.
Homeschooled children usually enjoy learning new things (and they always love being praised for their efforts) so this should be an enjoyable experience for them.
Are There Any Disadvantages?
Homeschooling isn’t right for everyone, and while most homeschoolers would never go back to traditional schooling, some do prefer it because it’s too strict or time-consuming – for example, parents might not have enough time to teach every subject since they’re working and that’s where a tutor comes in.
Also, homeschoolers usually have to memorize quite a few facts (which can be quite boring) so if your child needs more practical lessons, he/she might not enjoy homeschooling very much.
Is Homeschooling More Effective Than Public School?
Homeschooling is different for every family, so it’s really hard to measure its effectiveness. Some homeschooled children do much better than their public-school peers while others struggle to keep up, so it all comes down to your child and how you choose to teach him/her.
In general, studies show that homeschoolers have a lot more fun learning new things and are more likely to develop into well-adjusted adults who know what they want from life (and are willing to work for it).
Can My Child Still Attend College After Homeschooling?
Your child can definitely go on to complete his/her higher education if s/he has successfully completed high school – the best option would be community college since this type of institution doesn’t have as many requirements but you can also find homeschool-friendly universities and ask them what your student’s situation is. Keep in mind that when it comes to college, homeschoolers have a lot more freedom than traditional students – they don’t have to meet any attendance requirements or pass entrance exams which means they can take time off whenever school becomes too much for them.
Homeschooling isn’t always easy (no type of schooling is), but if done right, it can be a great experience for both you and your child. Keep in touch with local homeschool associations and support groups which are usually made up of parents who want to share their experiences with other parents like you.
If you have more questions about homeschooling, feel free to contact High School of America and we’ll try to answer as many as we can.