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Home School Support Group Article

Home Schooling: 7 Things to Consider First
Kathy Burns-Millyard

The decision to home school your child can be a difficult one to make. Many parents wonder if it is the right thing to do. Many wonder if their children can get the same "grade" of education if they are homeschooled.

There are many reasons why parents choose to homeschool their kids. For many it is because they want to add religious content to their children's learning experience.

Making the decision to home school is usually very difficult and it shouldn't be taken lightly. It is a personal decision that no one can make for you, but maybe I can help in the thought process by providing you with a comprehensive guide to making the choice to homeschool your kids a successful one.

When making the homeschool decision, you must first consider these things:

1. Time commitment that is involved. Homeschooling has a tendency to take up a lot of time in your day. It 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. You can go online and search for some sample schedules that will help to give you an idea of a typical day.

2. Personal sacrifice. The homeschooling parent 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. Basically, the parent and child are together 24 hours a day and this can get frustrating on both sides.

3. Financial problems can arise. Homeschooling can be accomplished with very little cost to you; however, it usually requires that the teaching parent will not be working out of the home. Some sacrifices will need to be made if the family is used to two incomes. Of course, if you are a single parent, this could pose an even bigger problem.

4. Time for socialization. More attention will need to be given to getting your children together with his/her peers. The best part of homeschooling is being able to have more control of the social contacts your child makes. However, the downside is that you must prepare your child yourself on how to socialize with other kids. Homeschooling has a tendency to make your child feel isolated.

5. Household organization is harder. Housework and laundry and other house work will still have to be done, but it probably won't get done first thing in the morning. If you are a neat freak, you might be in for a big surprise. Not only does housework need to be let go at times, but homeschooling creates messes and clutter on its own. You will have to get organized so that you can keep your home together.

6. Both parents must agree to it. It is important that both parents agree to homeschooling. It is very difficult for this to work if one of the parents is against it. 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. Otherwise, the chances for success are 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 against it, you might have a very difficult time in teaching them. The fact of the matter is that an unwilling child can sabotage his/her own school efforts.

8. Know that it works one year at a time. It isn't a lifetime commitment and doesn't have to become one. If you find that homeschooling just isn't worth it, you can choose to go the regular route.

There is a lot more to homeschooling than to just do it. As a parent, you must know that your child's education is the most important factor in his/her future. You need to be thoroughly prepared for all of the time and commitment that is involved. If you are thinking of choosing homeschooling for your child (ren), this guide will help to make it a successful transition. So let's get started.
About the Author

Excerpt from "The Parent's Guide to Successful Home Schooling", a free online EBook.


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