Who could have predicted that a global pandemic would dramatically increase the broader adoption of homeschooling in society? Yet, right now many families are asking themselves the question: Should we homeschool?
If you’re one of them, whatever has led you to this point, homeschool is an option worth considering. Here are some questions to ponder as you think this significant decision through.
1. What Do You Know About Homeschooling?
You may have some ideas about what you think homeschooling is. Some of those ideas may be rooted in fact and some may be notions or stereotypes that don’t actually hold true.
Dive into some research to discover what homeschooling really looks like in 2020. There are so many homeschooling parents on Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest sharing their experiences and ideas. Take a look at how widely those experiences vary, how vast the possibilities are, and get a real-world picture of what homeschooling actually is. If you know any homeschooling families personally, talk to them. Ask them about their experiences and how they came to become homeschoolers themselves.
2. What Do You Know About Teaching?
Many parents are hesitant to attempt homeschooling because they lack confidence in their ability to teach. Homeschooling doesn’t call for the same type of teaching that traditional school does, however. What’s more, if you consider all that your child learned before going off to school (walking, talking, eating, playing, maybe even recognizing letters and numbers and early writing, and the names of every dinosaur ever discovered), you’ll see that you’ve got what it takes to educate your child.
It may be helpful to see yourself as a facilitator of learning rather than a teacher. Much of a teacher’s training is focused on strategies for classroom management. In homeschool, you’re providing an environment in which your particular child can best learn. If you’re supportive, resourceful, and dedicated to the task, you have everything you need.
So, before you judge your ability to teach your child, toss aside the picture of a traditional teacher in front of a classroom and dig into what teaching might look like in your home.
3. Do You Know What Your Children Are Being Taught in School?
The current circumstances may have given you a glimpse at what was being covered in school this year. While academic mediocrity may not be too surprising, many parents who’ve done their research have been shocked to discover some of the content in science, history or social studies, and especially the health curriculum.
While you’re considering other options, look into what’s being taught to your children in school. It may be hard to find (or decipher) on your school district’s website, which may be telling in and of itself.
4. Can You Give Homeschooling a Try for a Year?
Once you consider homeschool an option for your family, you’ll be faced with a renewed sense of freedom and actual choice when it comes to your children’s education. If you decide later that homeschool is not for you, you can always enroll your child back into public school.
So why not give it a try? To do so you need at least one year. The transition from traditional school to homeschool takes some getting used to. Most of us don’t realize how ingrained the model of traditional school is in our minds. You likely are a product of a traditional school system yourself and it takes some time for a paradigm shift to take place.
Can you struggle through some adjustment and tweak your lifestyle until you find a rhythm and routine that works for you and your family? Can you give it your all for the span of a year and then review your experience at the end?
Rather than taking on the task of providing your child’s entire education, why not just commit to one year? Has there ever been a better year to give this a go?