How To Start Homeschooling
Our nation and much of our world was recently thrown into a shutdown, including most schools and many faced the question on how to start homeschooling. Suddenly this wasn’t an optional choice but a requirement to keep education going for millions of students. In this episode Alison Morrow gives us some great pointers on not only what to do but what not to do.
Alison and her husband created a platform that helps people understand what to do first, types of curriculum, legal requirements, and even working with disabilities. In this article, we will answer some of the most-asked questions on how to start homeschooling and you can see many more extensive articles on Goodschooling.net. Make sure to also join the Facebook Group-it’s free!
One thing I want to emphasize is that this article is not just for parents. It’s for grandparents, aunts and uncles and anyone having the privilege of helping a child learn. I realize there are many grandparents now homeschooling as parents need to work! Read this article and share it with someone you care about! We answer 7 questions below.
1- Can people homeschool even if they weren't good students themselves?
Definitely yes. You can learn right along with your child. You may know more than you think you know! Keep an open mind and develop your own lifelong learning attitude.
Realize there are coaches and assistants for hire who are willing and able to help you. It is a huge market. Look for groups to connect with on social media—they are there!
2- Can people homeschool their grandkids, nieces & nephews? Is it legal?
Definitely yes. In fact, much of this is going on this year with the Pandemic. Parents need to keep working to hold on to their homes and provide for their families, so they have relied on extended family members and even others.
As far as legality, this varies state to state, but in most states, it is legal. There are ways around it if needed, such as naming a legal guardian or tutor. The most important principle is to keep some sort of education going. It is nearly impossible for children, or even adults for that matter, to sit in front of a computer for hours to learn virtually. They need personal interaction, real conversations and guidance.
3- What is the most important first step when one wants to start homeschooling?
The biggest obstacle in how to start homeschooling, according to Alison, is ridding your mindset of assumptions and myths. The media and here-say says one thing and the truth gets buried in preconceived ideas.
Conventional methods include a lot of book-learning, classroom-sitting and busywork created to include all levels of learning. The reality is that most students learn very quickly and a customized approach is ideal to create a lifelong learner. Social interaction is not an issue as there are multitudes of playgroups, organizations and activities readily available for all ages in all areas. See Article: Homeschooling and Music Education
4- What type of curriculum should homeschoolers look for, especially the basics?
There are different methodologies of learning, eight of them according to Alison, and it is important to choose your curriculum according the method in which you align. She and her husband made the mistake of purchasing quite a bit of expensive curriculum during their first couple years that was not necessary. By studying the method you choose, you can decide what not to do first, which will save you time and money.
There is a huge market for used curriculum with gently used guides and programs. Some states and counties have support groups through the public education that will provide books, but I found after accessing one of those groups years ago, the resources I chose were much better received and our boys learned quicker and more thoroughly, especially in the area of phonics and reading. You can also add curriculum for art or music. (see: Homeschool Music) I am a big believer in providing music right along with other curriculum to create a well-rounded education. There are so many advantages to this. I mention many in Music for Kids. Your child doesn’t have to be a musician to benefit!
5- Can homeschooled kids go to college and still get sport and academic scholarships? And how should they prepare?
Definitely yes! In fact, in today’s world, many colleges actively recruit homeschooled students. Most are self-motivated, know what they want, are lifelong learners and usually perform better as they’ve developed sharpened study skills.
To prepare for college takes studying for the college entrance exams and any area that a student is lacking can be quickly made up when revealed on practice tests. The amount of resources and material available as well as preparatory materials for entrance exam voids the argument that a student won’t be prepared for college unless they attend their public school for twelve years. Many who attend those twelve years are nowhere near ready!
6- Can I homeschool if I'm not a teacher?
Most have all the skills they need to homeschool. The main challenge then becomes taking the time to do so. With the amount of support groups available nationwide, and even world-wide, possibilities abound for sharing the load with another family or group. If you are good at English and writing, you may offer to teach English a couple hours on one day.
If another is good in math or science, they may offer to teach that subject. Still, don’t discount the fact that you have all the skills necessary with the right type of curriculum that will guide you. A good local tutor could be all you need for areas you are really stuck, such as advanced math or history. If you start looking on social media for one in your area, you will most likely find a tutor or support group fairly easily.
7- Can I homeschool even if my kids have learning challenges or learning disabilities?
This is more of a challenge for a parent than a child. Homeschooling is one of the best places for a child who is challenged because they will get the one-on-one interaction. However, certain school districts will have the funds to provide that individual interaction. I would pretty much guarantee though that in the near future, those funds may disappear with states struggling to recover from the pandemic financial strain. They will be looking to cut costs.
The most important principle here is to focus on the child’s strengths. There are many inspiring stories of those with disabilities who have made remarkable inroads in discovery and research, such as Temple Grandin, having Autism. (see her book: Thinking in Pictures) For any parent with a special-needs child, get some help so you can have a break. Even other children can help that child learn. They may be more patient than you are! You don’t want to burn yourself out, so make sure you take some time for you!
GoodSchooling.net has many extra resources and a terrific blog.
The Confident Homeschooler is the membership available to help you not only get started, but keep you going in your homeschooling journey!
Conventions: Do a search in your state for local conventions that will also now be online. Great Homeschool Conventions is one of the largest organizations and they currently have seven conferences yearly, all in different parts of the U.S. and one specifically online.
If you are interested in growing and learning, check out our online courses here: Online Learning