Here are some thoughts to help you answer, “Is homeschool the right choice?” Many parents consider the option of home-school at one time or another. The reasons are many, and the implications carry heavy consequences. How do you know if home-school is the right choice for you? Before I even get to this I think we need to establish the some givens.
First, Remember the Givens:
- Education is important at every level, every age. No one year is more important than any other. The years build on top of one another from year to year. No year of education should be neglected.
- Educating children or young adults is not easy. All ages and stages have their unique challenges.
- Given the complexity of factors that can effect the success of educational choice, no one is in a better position than parent, to make that decision.
- In the long run, no one will live with the consequences of educational route, longer than student and parents.
- Most things of value, take hard work to accomplish (whether you go home-school or public school.)
Is Homeschool the Right Choice? Consider…
My suggestions to help you answer this question of whether to home-school or not would be to also consider:
1. Is there a clear choice in my family for WHO will be responsible for teaching, or curriculum implementation?
Someone needs to accept the responsibility, and roles in homeschooling need to be understood between concerned parents. Knowing who will do this is critical to answering if homeschool is the right choice.
2. Does that person who would be teaching, have a good relationship with the child(ren) ?
Students tend to preform better and learn more if they have positive to neutral feelings towards their teacher. Some parents do not have this. Don’t homeschool, to the detriment of the parent child relationship.
3.Does this person WANT to home-school?
Desire for success at homeschooling can fuel determination when the going gets tough. This is a big factor to consider when answering this important question.
4.Is this person enthusiastic about the challenges and opportunities in home-schooling?
Enthusiasm will drive teacher and student to new heights of learning despite challenges and obstacles. The opportunities with in homeschool are limitless due to the autonomy and freedom!
Enthusiasm about the potential that is with-in the freedoms to homeschool, would definitely be worth a few votes. Piano, art, science experiments, life-skills, and more can be taught in your homeschool. Don’t try homeschool with out enthusiasm or determination to be successful.
5. Do finances permit homeschooling?
Is the person to be in charge of the homeschool, to be available for home-schooling purposes? Financial strain can be painfully burdensome, and anyone considering homeschooling naturally needs to account for how time will be divided among those monumental responsibilities of earning money, versus raising and teaching children.
6. Are there SPECIAL REASONS to consider?
Are there special reasons why homeschooling is desirable in your circumstance, or why public or private school would be desirable? Write down any special reasons that homeschool may be best for your family or why it may not work.
7. Will extended support be available?
Responsibilities, pressures, scenarios that may come up with homeschooling can be hard and heavy. Help only a call or text away, when the situation calls for it can be quite a comfort! Do you have it, or will you find it?
8. Will connections to home-school groups be utilized for problem-solving, project planning, and resource pooling?
It is not a MUST, but many homeschoolers have enjoyed such. Connecting with others for social support can be fun and helpful. Many cities, or counties have active co-ops through which homeschool families encourage and help one another. Likewise, they bring different strengths and talents to the table to help build up young people in their circle. Consider whether you would like to be a part of this or not. Search out local options. Some links to get you started USA Homeschoolers Support and Resource Group Blessed Homeschool Moms Homeschooling 101 Community
9. Will everyday chores and functions seem over-whelming on top of home-school responsibilities?
Chores for home, ranch, farm, family business, (whatever it is) life upkeep can take a tremendous pull or drain on energy, time, and finances. Consider all of this realistically before taking the plunge to homeschool.
10. Would my child benefit from someone-else who is specially trained to meet his or her special needs?
Obviously we would expect/hope that the parent is the BEST caretaker for the child, any child, but some parents will admit that they appreciate a break, or help with their child(ren), perhaps all the more if the child has special needs. Sometimes parent and child benefit from a break from one another. This is something to think about but not get stuck on. Where there is a will, there is a way…
11. Would the family unit would benefit from outside support for any reason?
Any family who has dealt with a special needs child understands that the special needs of one child can and does effect the entire family. Sometimes meeting the needs of a special needs child makes it difficult to give proper attention to other children. Consider carefully if this is a factor for your family, to answer the question, “Is homeschool the right choice for us?”
12. Remember that what you do this semester, or this month or this year, does not have to be what you do the next.
You can chose to homeschool one year or one semester and not the next. You can choose to homeschool for a number of years but not all the years. As circumstances and needs change, so may your plan change.
Be honest and careful when trying to determine, “Is homeschool the right choice?”
If you are trying to decide if homeschool is the right choice, I suggest that you write out your answers and thoughts on the 12 points above. Discuss these points with your primary support system, especially the other parent in the situation. Be sure that each parent is being fully open and honest in reflection and discussion until agreement is made.
Under no circumstances should anyone be coerced into home-schooling when he/she feels overwhelmed and does not wish to. (I am remembering a case in Texas, years ago, where a mother was homeschooling, married to a NASA employee who wanted her to home-school, and she flipped out …. and is in prison now.)
Courage and Prayer, lead the way…
My last suggestion is that you handle this decision with courage and prayer. If you feel that home-school is the route that you want to go now, do it with courage, and prayer. If you feel that public school or private school is the route that you want to go, do it with courage and prayer.
Raising children is not easy. Educating them is not easy.
The rewards are beyond what money can buy!
If you went the home-school route, EVER, I am very interested to hear about your reasons, your inspiration, and your advice. Let’s build a discussion for other mothers and interested parties to join. Your insights and experiences can be helpful to parents who are trying to decide, “Is homeschool the right choice,” for them or not.
Enjoy stories from these mothers >>>(interviews in the works!)
Happy reading, and hug your kiddos!
(whether you home-school or not!)