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Is Homeschooling Right for Your Family?

by Rhonda Robinson

When I answered the phone, I immediately recognized my neighbor’s voice. “Rhonda, are you really going to homeschool your kids?” Before I could answer she snapped, “You are going to ruin your children.”

That was 1987.

Her opinion of homeschooling was not uncommon. I later had a high school principal tell me that homeschoolers were either hippies or drunks. I assured him, I was neither.

Homeschooling has shed most of its stigma over the years. Thanks, largely in part, to the outstanding accomplishments of many homeschooled graduates.

We began our homeschooling journey because the small town schools failed my hearing impaired son. After repeating the second grade, he still could not read or do simple math. So, I took matters into my own hands. It was considered an insult to our local school. There was little, if any, support. Curriculum companies were skeptical about selling school books (teacher’s books in particular) to parents.

Times have certainly changed.

When the pandemic hit, families who were once used to going their own ways were tossed together – day in and day out. For some, it began a new era of family togetherness – literally and figuratively.

As the winter of uncertainly melts into summer activities, you may be wondering if homeschooling is a better option for you than you realized before. But before you decide to take on homeschooling without the public school orchestrating the curriculum, here’s just a few points you might want to consider before you take the plunge.

  • Homeschooling is expensive. Especially the first year. Although there are plenty of resources, you will need to invest time and money over the summer finding curriculum that fits not only your child’s needs but your teaching style. Your homeschooling will be a much better experience for everyone involved if you love teaching the material.
  • Homeschooling is time consuming. It is a full time job. It’s true, children can complete their work in much less time than they would spend in a school setting. However, parental time spent in planning, instruction, and activities increases dramatically. Home education is a lifestyle change.
  • Homeschooling is not the same as doing school at home. Helping your children at home with their assigned schoolwork requires you to help when needed and ensure the work is complete. Homeschooling is looking at the entire education process. You must decide what are the priorities for their education. As well as your educational philosophy. Is it faith based? College bound? Montessori? Classical? Traditional? What ever you choose, always keep in mind that school is an integral part of childhood.

Homeschooling offers more freedom and flexibility for families to be together and create memories. But it also packs more responsibility. Laws governing homeschooling vary by state. Homeschool Legal Defense is a good place to start researching what your state requires. Many states require only minimum oversight, such as keeping records of the curriculum you use, grades, and the amount of days or hours spent in school, while others are more stringent.

You can choose from a plethora of home education materials. This allows you to cater to, not only your child’s needs, but also to the convictions of your family.

Investing in our children is always worth the effort.

For our family, homeschooling began as a need. My oldest son simply needed more time with one-on-one instruction than our small town was able to provide. However, as the years went on, it became a lifestyle of family and faith. We saw it not only as a way to give our children a custom tailored education, but also to instill our values.

In spite of the dire warnings of neighbors, our children thrived in our homeschool. Perhaps one of the most unexpected bonus of our years together was the fact that our children were never age-segregated. They learned to play together and become each other’s best friends. The relationships they made during those years, both inside and outside of our family, have endured into adulthood.

Homeschooling is not for the faint of heart. However, to borrow a phrase, it is the toughest job you will ever love.

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Rhonda Robinson is a speaker and the author of Freefall: Holding Onto Faith When the Unthinkable Strikesoffering women spiritual wisdom to transform the darkness into a season of profound change and emerge with vision and purpose. Learn more at RhondaRobinson.tv

 

 

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