Parents who are seeking better academic opportunities for their children are growing ever-weary of waiting for the states to clean up and repair the broken public school system. The recent addition of Common Core and all the dumbing down of curriculum has added mountains of concern. So it is no doubt that home education is a rapidly growing movement in the United States.
There are three main points to understand in order to get started with homeschooling.
1. The Laws
Home education laws are regulated differently from state to state, so it is best to check a reliable source for updated information on what your state’s requirements are. The local superintendent’s office or county school district should have your local regulations as well as any applicable forms available online. The local school principals are generally misinformed, and their goal is to keep your child in school. They are not a reliable source for legal information. Additionally, if you are going to be utilizing a publicly funded online virtual school, you are not legally homeschooling and your child is technically considered a public school student. So homeschool laws are not applicable to you in that case. But you will be required to comply with all of the public school laws in your state.
2. The How-To
Once a parent understands the laws regulating homeschooling in their state, it’s time to set up a curriculum plan, or a goal for the child’s education. There are many methods and techniques and it can make your head spin to review all of them. The best advice that we can offer at HECOA, is not to buy anything until you have had a chance to visit a couple of homeschool conferences, and meet with other home educators. And generally we advise not spending a big chunk of money the first year. There are plenty of resources you can grab online for free. Local home education support groups are a great resource to ask questions, but for the best diversity of information nearly any time of day or night, online groups are invaluable. HECOA offers community forums for our members and a Facebook group, so you can ask questions any time. We also invite our members to email us with private questions or situations they need help with.
3. The Social Part
We consider this one of the three main points, because it is the one thing that trumps people up. The first question many people from friends and family when they have decided to homeschool is: How will your child socialize? How will they get along in the real world? We have some excellent posts about this here and here. But the key point is that the parent is now solely responsible for their child’s socialization. The first step is to let go of what society believes socialization should be, and go with what you want it to be. Attend group activities, go outside the home, do P.E. at a park, and your child will get plenty of socialization. Ditch the status quo and your child will soar socially.
Remember – home education is not difficult. But it does take dedication of time and effort. It’s a family investment in the future of your children. Grandparents, fathers, extended family, can all take part in the education of the child. You can do better than the public schools. Home education is not about test scores, it’s about so much more!
Want more information on getting started? Looking for leadership education models? Or new philosophies in education? Join HECOA under our free membership today to get started!