Home-Schooling Your Children – 5 Things Every Parent Should Know

The choice whether to home-school your children or send them to public school is completely yours to make. However, there are a few considerations that you should know and be aware of before you choose whether or not it is right for your family. Taking advantage of this opportunity to spend more time with your children, and to be actively involved in their education, is a wonderful and incredibly rewarding decision. If you’re thinking about home-schooling, here is a short list of the top five that you need before you go any farther.

  • Know your state laws! Each state has their own specific laws that govern home-school and those that participate. It is imperative that you know and understand these laws thoroughly before beginning home-school. Some states require very little information, while others are quite strict in their stipulations.
  • Make sure you have the time to put into it. Home-school really isn’t difficult, but it is time consuming. You will want to make sure that you have the time (and energy) to put into all the different aspects.
  • Know your options. There are many options available to home-school families. Some of the really great options include: being able to design or buy your curriculum, joining in supportive groups in your area, and even an opportunity to allow your children to attend public school online.
  • Make sure you are ready. This may seem pretty obvious, but in truth you will need to be ready for a lot of unexpected things. Some of the really difficult ones are: non-understanding people; a lot of people simply do not understand the concept of home-schooling, and may even give you a hard time over it. Also be aware, that while that does entail friends and family, there are also a lot of officials that should know better, but do not. These people can really give you trouble sometimes. That isn’t to say that they will, but be prepared in case they do.
  • Understand that you will need to keep some records. This does not usually have to be a very sophisticated scheme for the most part, but you will want to keep a couple of folders worth of recordings. These should include, at minimum: samples of your children’s best work, a form of attendance, (to prove that you are in compliance with your state’s laws), test scores if required, and a copy of your curriculum.

As an added note, you should also be aware that, in most cases, public school and other officials have no right to come into your home and inspect your home-school. Be sure that they have proper reasons, and show cause before ever allowing them in. If they require you to show them your work, it is usually best to offer a meeting outside the home, preferably in a public place, where you can show them all that they need to see.

In some cases, and certainly not all or even most, officials may try to overstep their bounds, whether because they aren’t well educated on the rules that apply to home-school, or because they believe that you aren’t. This is why this list of the top important aspects of home-school is a must for anyone considering this rewarding path.

If you have the passion and drive to teach your children at home, then you should. This list is not intended to be a deterrent, just a helpful guide to give you a leg up. There is a vast amount of knowledge to be had, and it is important that you know start out with at least the basics.