So, you’re thinking about homeschool for your kids, eh?
Do you know what questions you should ask before you get started? And do you know where to find the answers to those questions? We’re here to help!
Who Is Homeschooling?
Homeschooling is on the rise in America. There are 2.2 million home-educated students in the United States, and the number of students grows by 7% to 15% every year.
Homeschooling is on the rise among a demographically diverse group of individuals. You will find conservatives, liberals, and libertarians who homeschool. Low-, middle, and high-income families who homeschool. And homeschooling is growing at an increasingly faster rate among minorities. Approximately 15% of homeschoolers are non-white/non-Hispanic.
Why are so many parents opting out of public school and choosing to educate their kids at home? The reasons for homeschooling are as diverse as are the people who homeschool.
Many parents are concerned about the school environment. Other parents are deeply dissatisfied with the quality of academic instruction. Many enjoy the religious instruction and character training homeschooling affords them. Other parents love the flexibility of homeschooling and the quality time with their children.
13 Important Questions to ask about Homeschooling…
Despite all the benefits of homeschool (and there are many), making the shift to homeschooling can be a major transition.
We’re beginning a series of articles about the common questions homeschool newbies have (or should have). Stay tuned for articles on these subjects…
1. How can I convince my spouse that homeschooling is the best option? Including the following questions:
- Will homeschooling prepare my kids academically? Will they be ready for college?
- Is my wife really qualified as an educator? Can she really teach our child every subject?
- I don’t want my child growing up without good social experiences. Will they become a social weirdo?
- If my wife stays home to homeschool, we’ll lose our second source of income.
2. How do I begin homeschooling my Kindergartener?
3. How do I help my elementary school student make the transition from public or private school to homeschool?
4. How do I keep my kids focused on their school-work at home?
5. What resources are available for homeschooling a child with special needs?
6. What educational philosophy or approach to homeschooling is best for my family?
7. How should I plan my homeschool day when life is so busy?
8. How can I homeschool my older kids while also taking care of my young children?
9. How can you successfully plan a homeschool day when you are busy?
10. How can I buy homeschool curriculum on a tight budget?
11. How can I keep my homeschool supplies organized?
12. How can I give my my homeschooled kids the opportunity to socialize with others?
13. Should I teach every subject personally or is there a benefit to using some video curriculum?
Leave a comment below with your questions about homeschooling. We may include your homeschool question in our series.
You can find unit studies, homeschool printables, curriculum advice, subject tips, and more in our Homeschool Section of our website.
Still Playing School
Looking forward to it!
Margaret Anne @ Natural Chow
We are using an online based program right now but I think it is a good option for parents for transitioning to full homeschooling. I would have been overwhelmed trying to home school all six kids with out it. Hopefully next year we will be doing our own program!
Online resources have really become a help for our family as well. It has never been easier to homeschool since so many resources are available.
Im really excited about this and looking forward to it!
Great! Hope you find it helpful!
Hi there, I have some things I’ve been mulling over for a few months, that I would love some input on. I have a 12 year old son in 6th grade. We did independent homeschool for a semester in 3rd grade (when we first started school at home) Then for 4th, 5th, & now 6th grade, we have used an online charter – they provide the curriculum, & I teach. He has to participate in state testing, but as far as daily lessons, we have a lot of leeway. We don’t have to send anything in, etc. I have liked it until this year because the curriculum we get for free would be quite expensive otherwise. But now… common core has struck & it’s terrible! I really dislike some of these textbooks & so ever since we got our 6th grade books, I have been thinking that maybe we should leave the charter & go it on our own. What worries me is his age… I mean he’s middle school now and I want him to go to college! I know it’d doable, I know other moms do it & succeed, but how? How do you homeschool in middle school & beyond & then send them to college?
Thanks for your question, Marci. That question deserves its own article (and we’ll look into writing it soon), but for now just know that there is a lot of great curricula out there for middle school ages that are engaging and will more than prepare your son for college. In fact, I know a lot of homeschool families who “go it alone” and prepare their children for college far better than public education does.
As for finding support in this decision, have you considered finding a homeschool co-op in your area? Many times a good co-op will provide guidance to families looking for curriculum and ideas that are college-prep.
Thank you for posting this series! I’m looking forward to it!!!!
Thanks, April! Stay tuned…
I’d like to know the best, yet most frugal, way to keep grade transcripts. I’d also love a free report card template for various grades.
Good question. We’ll add this to our list of ideas.
We are currently trying to decide if we should pull our first grade daughter out of school. Her teacher seems less than onset rested in managing the class or being actively engaged in teacher them. It’s sad and hard right now.
Her concern with not being in school is, of course, the lack of being around other kids. I’d love to hear about ideas for this issue when a family has a papa who lost his job and the mama working from home.
Great question, Shay. This is one I run into a lot. We’ll add this idea to our list of possible topics. I think there are a lot of families who are asking this question right now.
First, don’t let socialization be what keeps you from pulling her out of school. There are lots of opportunities for homeschool kids and the pieces will fall into place over time. Here’s some ideas for getting started with finding friends:
Check out HSLDA.org for info about homeschooling in your state as well as links for groups that may be in your area. Google “homeschooling+your city” to find social groups, co-ops, and opportunities in your locale. Also, check Facebook and yahoo groups with the same criteria. See if there are any homeschool conventions nearby. Check with your local providers of expertise: museums, zoos, community sports, private sports clubs (swim, gymnastics, karate, etc). More businesses and community resources are adding homeschool classes as demand for it increases.
This looks like a good series. I could use help with points 2,3,7 and following. Thankfully, my husband and I agreed on homeschooling before we married. =)
Great. Thanks for sharing!
how do I homeschool a kindergartener with a 2 year old and newborn at home?
is there a such thing as having too much computer based teaching (like readingeggs or abcmouse) in a day?
How much hands on time should I plan to commit to per day or week?
All great questions. I know a lot of moms with these questions, so we’ll add them to our list of ideas for articles.
Stacey Johnson Brate
you don’t, she’s 2 yo. just cook with her, count together, read with her. maybe have fun quizes with her. sign her up wih abcmouse.com there is no reason to sit down and teach a 2yo.
This is a godsend! I have MANY of the questions you listed. With a newly 4 and almost 2 year old, and a hubby who is worried about socialization, I’m not sure where to even start! Really looking forward to this. Another question would be, How do I get started? Thank you!
Stacey Johnson Brate
first of all, i have a 13, 11 and 7 yo. socialization doesn’t exist. my kids were unschooled till my oldest was in grade 6, she decided to go back to school. remember, they were ‘unschooled’ no textbooks, just life. they played fine with neighborhood kids, we attended coops (you can find one in your area: http://www.homeschoolclassifieds.com but we didn’t do that often as most parents in our area seem to be made of money..it was a turn off. anyways, they get along fine with the kids. school only lasted 1 year for my younger two when they decided to attend, my oldest wants to go back next year, though. what state are you in? many states have trouble minding their own business. you will also want to get involved with a private school that understand you’re in charge NOT them. we use http://www.freedomschoolers.com i’m not sure if they do outside florida, but they provide transcripts and diploma on graduation . the school is free, and the college your child is attending will only see a diploma/transcript from a private school. they will have no idea you unschooled/homeschooled. the school my oldest will go to next year will see she attended a private school last year. she wasn’t homeschooled. in florida all you do is wite your superintendant and say you’re having your child homeschooled/ or you can just call the school and say you’re transfering to a private schoool..pretty easy. but all states are different.
Stacey, I tried the http://www.freedomschoolers.com link but it didn’t work. Can you check on the address again and repost? Appreciate your comments in this thread.
I think she meant http://www.freedomhomeschoolers.com However, you might want to double check with her. That’s the only site that comes up when you google it, but she speaks about it being only in Florida and this one is not based in Florida.
Thank you. I’m looking into this for next year.
Thank you for this. I am new this year to homeschooling.After raising 3 children who are now in their 40’s, we now have 4 & 5 yr old daughters that we have adopted and are going full swing in the homeschooling. However, many questions still abide. I am looking forward to this series.
Great, Helen. Thanks for reading!
I like the questions that you listed. I personally have had many of these questions and needed guidance to answer them. I think that answering those questions will help those seeking help in their home schooling journey.
That’s our hope!
Thank you! Can’t wait for the answers to so many questions. A question, how do you homeschool high school and elementary at the same time?
Wonderful question. Many families are deal with wide age-spreads, so this would be a good question to add to our list.
Thank you for this! I know this may sound like a dumb questions, but when are you addressing these questions? Should I follow this blog? I have been researching homeschooling for about a month now so I would love to get regular communication about these types of things.
We plan on addressing these questions about once a week over the next several months. Subscribe to our blog and get updates!
Is it a problem to start homeschooling during a child’s junior year of high school? Who do I talk to at the high school she attends about the process of taking her out and staritng homeschool? Do I have to contact the State Department of Education? Is there some website that reviews different curriculums for quality, what fits best for a child’s personality/learning style or what you want to accomplish?
All good questions, Susan. Thanks for sharing these.
Stacey Johnson Brate
NEVER ask questions at the schools, they rarely know what they are talking about. many don’t. go to your school districts websites and see what the rules are. it’s often very easy..but some states are very ignorant.
Exactly. I have been asking many of these questions since we have decided to start homeschooling our middle child. I began really digging and researching over Christmas break. Planning to begin homeschooling later this summer. But I have so many unanswered questions. I have been very overwhelmed at all of the options for curricula, methods, and so on. It is so hard to know what is right for our family and for my son. I have some elementary education background that I am gleaning from in this process, but it is NOT easy. Thank you for this particular topic. I look forward to seeing the upcoming posts.
Thanks for sharing, Laura. I hope we can address as many questions as possible!
Stacey Johnson Brate
There is no reason to make it more difficicult that it really is. that is your elementary background speaking. my advice? delete it, erase it from your mind and do not use it. every child is different. have you tried deschooling? that is not doing anything at all, and allowing your child to be who they are. some states very anal toward this idea, but many allow unschooling. does your child read a lot? then go to the library and get a lot of books. Abeka has a lot of ‘readers’ that can easily be used for history. does your child do a lot of hands on? then you might want to have fun and use http://www.sciencetools.com the idea that you need to cover all subjects is just something that has been brainwashed into our heads. find your childs interests, once you find that then have fun:) [email protected] or my blog is: http://www.unhomeschooling.blogspot.com i will admit i don’t add to it much, but it gives you an idea on how to build a unit study just based on holidays. but if you have any questions, let me know. you can also build unit studies around disney movies! Example: Disney’s Frozen explore ice (science) Arctic (geography) you can also looks at history of arctic, the animals that live there, build a big map and label it with all the animals you find there. write out the words. these words you learn will become spelling words (www.spellingcity.com ) and the other words will becom vocb. words. my kids didnt’ do well with spelling city for vocab. words. put those words/geography ande capitols on index cards, take out the ‘ol candy land game/chutes and ladders/sorry and play! use the words. if the words are a little challenging, use an m n m when they get them right to motivate them to try. read a lot. writing is something they learn through reading, really, but i like abeka books for teaching grammar. you can alos have them create their own blog or a diary. good luck!:)
Tangi Wheet (The Caver's Wife)
Hi! I found you guys through the Growing Homemakers Link-up. I’m really looking forward to this series and am subscribing! The Lord has recently laid it on my heart to homeschool and I really don’t know where to begin. My daughter will be going into the 7th grade and my son will be in the 3rd. I haven’t discussed it with my husband yet, so I look forward to the first one that you listed. I am really just praying that God will touch my husband’s heart the way he has touched mine. Looking forward to this. Thank you!
Hi Tangi Wheet. I hope the next post encourages you and gives you some idea about how to talk to your husband.
Thanks for these great questions. Thank you for linking up to Good Tips Tuesday.
Sounds like a great series! I’m looking forward to reading it!
One important thing about homeschooling is that you have charge over how history is taught. I don’t know about Canada but leftist socialists and communists have worked their way into the educational system in the United States and you can see the results on the streets. It does matter what the children learn day-after-day. I recommend Rush Revere books and Hillsdale College, as well as Liberty University.