What? Me, Homeschool?!
Updated: Feb 10, 2021
You’ve come to the right place!
There are so many questions that parents have before they consider homeschooling such as:
Is it legal?
What about college?
What do I tell my parents/in-laws/neighbors/friends?
What about prom?
I failed <insert subject> in school. How do I teach that?
Is it expensive?
Can I get tax money?
How do I, you know, actually DO it?
How do I manage homeschooling children of several ages?
How do I homeschool if I get sick/am put on bedrest?
I only have a high school diploma or GED myself. Can I do this?
I’m not a very organized person. Can I do this?
What about socialization?
And probably a lot more (send in any that we might have missed and we will try to address them asap!).
Let’s get some of the easy ones out of the way first, ok?
Question 1: Is it legal? Yes in all 50 states, though all states have slightly different rules. Some states don’t require ANY documentation, some require documentation, some require testing (but, at writing, it is simply to see where the child is. They don’t come down on you if the child is having a hard time in a subject).
Question 3: What about college? More and more colleges are realizing that homeschoolers tend to be personally invested in their own education and many actively recruit homeschoolers! The key to college is writing a decent transcript (which sounds scary but is really easy—there are a bunch of free templates out there) and taking the ACT or the SAT.
PLUS, many colleges offer dual enrollment for high schoolers where they can get credit for high school and college for the same class. It really isn’t difficult for a homeschooled child to get into college.
Question 6: What about prom? Homeschooling has become such a huge thing that most areas organize proms for homeschooled children. Some areas allow homeschooled children to attend a local prom (especially as a guest). Plus, that is something that a local homeschool group (which we encourage you to get in contact with) can be encouraged to hold if there is not another group doing it.
Question 7: I failed <insert subject> in school. How do I teach that? A few different ways! First, you might find it much easier to understand the subject in your 20’s and 30’s than when you were 14.
Also, there are incredible free classes and online videos that teach every subject, so you can use that as a “borrowed teacher” to help teach your child.
You could hire a tutor or ask a friend or family member who is good at the subject.
You could learn with your student, working on the same subject together.
Lots of homeschooling teachers have bad grades tucked here and there in decades-old report cards. The key is not whether you know something off the top of your head (even public and private school teachers don’t know everything off the top of their heads!), but rather if you have the drive and basic understanding of how to find answers. 😊
Question 8: Is it expensive? Only as expensive as you want it to be. You can honestly get by with a library card, a notebook, and access to a computer now and then.
Question 9: Can I get tax money/tax break? At the time of this writing, not that we know of.
Question 13: I only have a high school diploma or GED myself. Can I do this? YES! In fact, a very large study showed that there was no real difference in the success of homeschooled students regardless of their parents’ level of education. What matters is the drive of the parent to give their child an education.
Question 14: I’m not a very organized person. Can I do this? YES! In fact, we are going to let you in on a secret: almost no homeschooling mom is really organized. Oh, there are a few! But most of us are just regular moms with piles of papers and laundry that needs to be folded and a carefully curated stash of chicken nuggets in the shape of dinosaurs on the off chance that we don’t get around to cooking that 5 course gourmet meal for supper we found on Pinterest (HA!).
(We’ll even throw one of our own under the bus for you: One of our writers, and we won’t mention who, is actually nicknamed “The Bringer of Chaos”. So don’t worry. Your organization skills will probably get better, and if they don’t, we can help you with that 😊 )
Ok those were the easier questions! We are going to walk through the rest of the questions in individual posts.
But let us leave you with this: You can do this. In fact, if you have children, you are already homeschooling! If you ever taught your child to say a word or tie their shoes or draw a face or that the sun is actually a star or to get you 3 apples for lunch, you already have taught English, life skills, art, science, and math (and if you ever taught health by answering where babies come from, you get extra points for that :D ).
Teaching is serious business, but it is also accessible and something parents and grandparents naturally do. There is no magical change that happens when a child starts kindergarten that makes parents suddenly inept. The key to success in homeschooling will simply be your earnestness and desire to help your child learn. You can do this!