I usually tell people I've been homeschooling our daughter since birth. Officially though, accorging to our county, I've homeschooled her since she was six. But I think the first curriculum I purchased was when she was three...so we can go with that. She turns 14 next month so I've been at it for about 11 YEARS!! Ekk!
That's 11 years of homeschool groups, individual curriculum, boxed curriculum sets, co-ops, playgroups, activities, programs, testing, evaluations, sports, online classes, and more.
Some years we joined outside groups and some years we didn't. Some years we tested and some years we had her portfolio evaluated. That's the wonderful thing about homeschooling...YOU decide what is best for your children. Every year is a surprise.
So, here are some frequently asked questions that I have received over the years about homeschooling.
What about socialization?
This is honestly the most absurd question I get and probably the most frequently asked over the years. The mainstream thinking is that if you don't send your child to a brick and mortar school with 30 other kids in each class, all day long, they are not socialized. I was especially asked this question since I have an only child. Of course those who know her personally, know she is very well rounded. Homeschool children have an abundance of opportunities to interact with, not only children their same age, but children of all ages, as well as adults. There are so many opportunities for homeschool families now, it can be overwhelming choosing the right one. So, yeah, she's pretty socialized. ;)
I don't have the patience to homeschool, how do you do it?
Honestly, some days I feel like I don't have the patience either. A child who is in 2nd grade math and one in 8th grade math may have different struggles, but the struggles are still there. The technique I used last week no longer works this week. She got it and then she didn't. Bad attitude yesterday and lovely smiles today. Sometimes I just need to take a deep breath, walk away, and pray. But it's so worth it for the times she finally gets it! The days she doesn't get any wrong or the special times we are just sitting and learning together. The days, weeks, and years are flying by and I've enjoyed every moment of them!
Is homeschooling legal?
Yes! Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states BUT you must follow the homeschooling guidelines in your state. Click for current homeschool laws in your state.
Do I need a teaching degree to homeschool?
No, you don't need any special degree to homeschool and you do not need a college education. However, depending on the state where you live, you may need some sort of education qualification, like a high school diploma or GED, to homeschool. Our state currently has no parent qualification requirements. You can find more information on your state here.
How can I teach a subject I know nothing about?
I have felt this way on more than one occasion, especially since our daughter has been in Jr High. Latin? Algebra? Chemistry? Logic? Did I say Latin? Well thankfully, many of the curriculum packages out there are easy to use and come with teacher's guides, lesson plans, and DVDs to help the parent. You can also find online groups and forums with other families using the same curriculum and ask questions.
How do I choose a curriculum, there are so many?
At first it's going to be research, lots of research, and quite possibly trial and error. Join a local homeschool group or a group online and ask what others are using. If you can, go to a homeschool convention. If you have never been, check out my article on homeschool conventions and how to navigate them. Here is a list of our favorite curriculum over the years.
Is homeschooling expensive?
Can my kids play sports while being homeschooled?
Yes, but the rules vary state to state, and more likely, county to county. Because it's different for each state and county, check with a homeschool advocate, like HSLDA. You will most likely need to call the school in your district as well.
I hope these questions and answers have been helpful to anyone thinking about homeschooling but not quite sure where to start. Or maybe you have thought about it but don't think you can do it. Believe me, you can, and it is very rewarding, for both you and your children.
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