Homeschool: The Challenges and Benefits
Homeschooling mom Beverly Hernandez makes it clear that educating children in the home is not easy. It can become intimidating at times, and it comes with many demands on your schedule, family, patience, and detail to meeting home education laws. So, sure – schooling your kids at home has its challenges; and while it isn’t fit for everyone, families, like Beverly’s, who choose to homeschool, will attest that every challenge is met with reward.
Every state has its own laws regulating education – and home education is no different; it‘s regulated too, you just have to be the one that keeps up to date on the laws. You will also need to keep records of your child‘s homeschooling progress. Some states have high levels of regulation, while others aren’t regulated at all.
Those that are highly regulated have various requirements, such as teaching an approved curriculum, regular evaluations of students’ progress, etc. To find out exactly what your state requires, go to www.hslda.org. You will be able to see your state’s requirements. No matter what your state requires, always keep updated records on your child’s education.
The seeming lack of socialization tends to be amongst many common misconceptions about homeschooling. It is obvious that public school students spend the majority of the day surrounded and interacting with other students and teachers, but social interaction is not limited to public school attendees; homeschoolers receive a fair amount of quality socialization too.
In fact, homeschoolers’ social interactions can be directly tied to their curriculum. For instance, an assignment could require them to interview a military veteran, a museum curator, or even volunteer time at a homeless shelter. With field trips to experience, real life errands to run, athletic teams to be a part of, theater groups to perform with, 4-H skills to master, church activities to attend, and home schooling groups to learn with, homeschooled children do not lack the opportunity to become well socialized.
Not everything has to or can be learned from a book; and while some students thrive in a traditional school, others struggle to learn while sitting behind a desk. Fortunately, the rise of technology has swung the doors of homeschooling wide open, giving parents an abundance of curriculum, teaching methods, and approaches to home education. From unconventional methods that take a more natural approach, to learning like Unschooling, Montessori, and Eclectic, to those of a more traditional way, a curriculum that fits your child’s learning style can be easily found over the Internet.
Many families are homeschooling children of different grades. At a traditional school, this matter would be taken care of, by each child attending a different class. Homeschoolers share the same teacher. There are times when it’s possible for parents to work with a child individually while the others work independently; and other times, parents may get creative and involve all of their children in the lesson. For example, when learning about outer space, the children could do grade-appropriate research on different aspects of the subject, teach what they learned to each other, and then together, construct a diorama based on everyone’s new knowledge.
Homeschooling coops, Internet resources, and support groups can all help spark new ideas and motivation in executing home education. With homeschooling, there are many challenges to be faced with, but you face them as a family – and in meeting challenges, you find growth and learning.