The decision to home school your child can be a very difficult decision to make. With the high rate of two-income families today, many parents wonder if they can make the financial and time sacrifice, even it is the right thing to do. Many more wonder if their children can get the same level of quality education if they choose homeschooling. However, despite these concerns, the rate at which parents are choosing to home school their kids continue to rise.
There are a huge number of reasons why parents choose to home school their kids. For many parent, it is because they want to be able to add religious content to their children’s learning experience. For others, they see the decline in the public education system today and want to choose something that is better for their kids.
According to a recent an August 2006 ABC 20/20 special, many kids today are not being taught even the needed fundamentals for them to graduate. For example, one student was interviewed who was in high school but was only able to read properly at a fourth grade level. Another student interviewed mentioned that cheating was actually encouraged by his teacher – goodness!.
Although the public education system is not as good as it should be and expected today, the decision to homeschooling as an alternative is one that should not be taken too lightly. When choosing to home school your kids, you must first consider these 7 things:
1. Time commitment
Homeschooling has a tendency to take up a lot of time of the parent. The process involves more than just sitting down with books for a couple of hours. There are experiments and projects that have to be done, lessons to prepare, papers to grade, field trips, park days, music lessons, and the list just keeps on going and going. Fortunately, you can go online and search for some homeschool sample schedules that will help to give you an idea of a typical day.
2. Personal sacrifice
The homeschooling parent sacrifice much and has very little personal time or time alone and away from their children. If a lot of care is not taken to set aside time for yourself, it is easy for the parent to feel overwhelmed and stress. It is not unusual for the parent and child to be together 24 hours a day, which can eventually lead to frustration on both sides.
3. Financial problems can arise
Though homeschooling can be accomplished with very little cost to you; however, it usually requires that the teaching parent not work, either out of the home or not. Some sacrifices will need to be made if the family is used to depend on two incomes. Of course, if you are a single parent, this could be an even bigger problem.
4. Time for socialization
More attention will need to be given to getting your children to spend time together with his/her peers. The best part of homeschooling is being able to have more control of the potential social contacts your child makes. However, the downside is that you must personally prepare your child yourself on how to socialize with other kids. Homeschooling can have a tendency to make your child feel quite isolated.
5. Household organization is harder
Housework, laundry and other chores will still have to be done, but it probably will get done first thing in the morning. If you are a neat freak, you might be in for a big big surprise. Not only does housework need to be let go at times, but also homeschooling does creates messes and clutter on its own. You will have to get really organized so that you can keep your home together.
6. Both parents must agree to it
It is important that both parents agree to the idea of homeschooling. It is very difficult for this to work if one of the parents is against it right from the start. If your spouse is against it at this time, try doing more research and talking to more people so that you can be absolutely certain it is something that both of you can agree upon and pursue. Otherwise, the chances for success are very much smaller.
7. Your child has to be willing
A willing student is crucial to the success of homeschooling. Ultimately, the decision is the parents to make, but if your child is dead set against it, you might have a very difficult time in teaching and convincing them. The fact of the matter is that an unwilling child can sabotage his/her own education progress efforts.
There is a lot more to homeschooling than is often seen at first sight. As a parent, you must know that your child’s education is the most important factor in their future. You need to be thoroughly prepared for all of the time and commitment that is going to be involved. If you are thinking of choosing homeschooling for your children, it will be very important to network with other like-minded parents in your local area. Not only will this help with the program planning process, but will also provide a place to share ideas and concerns with others who are probably experiencing the same thing.