So, you’re thinking about homeschooling? Or, maybe you’ve already taken the plunge but are still so new to it all that you feel like you’re just stumbling along and always searching for answers?
It’s natural to have many questions about homeschooling and when you’re new to the process, finding those answers can be overwhelming. Here’s a list of questions and answers that will help you get starting on your homeschool journey.
5 Questions (and Answers!) for New Homeschoolers
Is homeschooling legal?
Yep! Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states.
However — in the scheme of things — it wasn’t that long ago when homeschooling was illegal. (So hard to believe, I know!) The last state to make homeschooling legal just happened in 1993! But, you don’t have to worry. Now, it’s legal in the United States. But, the regulations vary from state to state, so be sure to check out the laws for your state before you begin homeschooling.
Is homeschooling right for me?
People have many different reasons for homeschooling — some parents homeschool for religious reasons, some homeschool because their child has a special need, and some homeschool just to have better control over their child’s education (just to name a few reasons).
If you’re just starting your research and trying to determine if homeschooling is right for you, start out by making a list. Why do you want to homeschool? What are the pros for your family (as well as the cons)? Homeschooling may be right for you if you want more control over what your child is learning, how they are learning it, and with whom they learn.
Is it hard to homeschool your child?
Oh? You need more?
I’m going to be honest here: homeschooling is not for the faint of heart. However, that doesn’t mean you cannot do it. You are taking the responsibility of directing your child’s learning and shaping their life on a daily basis. (If you haven’t already, take a moment to let the enormity of that responsibility sink in…)
It can be hard to homeschool your child, especially in the beginning when you’re just figuring things out. However, it is also incredibly rewarding (and fun and interesting). So, the pros of homeschooling can definitely outweigh the cons. But don’t just jump in without giving it serious thought. It’s not easy, but you can definitely do it.
Is homeschooling harder than public schooling?
I guess the answer to this question depends on what you mean by “harder.”
Homeschooling isn’t just about sitting around in your pajamas and watching television (which is a common misperception). And, many homeschoolers are advanced in their studies beyond what they would be in public school. This means that some homeschoolers are studying more difficult topics than they would be in their public school classes.
From a parent time commitment perspective, it can be more difficult because homeschooling takes a lot of time — not just the schooling part, but the research, planning, and preparing part. It’s not like when your kids are in public school and you drop them off in the morning and then don’t see them until afternoon.
How much does homeschooling cost?
Budgeting and saving is a concern for most families. If you look up research on homeschooling, you will probably see quotes that homeschooling can cost between $600 to $900 per child each year. However, that amount will vary greatly per family and state.
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When you start to homeschool, take into consideration two of the biggest cost factors:
1. What curriculum will you use?
Curriculum costs will vary and some can be costly. However, if you have more than one child, curricula can be passed down and re-used, so you will pay for it once, but not have those costs the following years. There are also plenty of free learning resources to help you piece-meal lesson plans if you don’t want to use a particular curriculum.
Your child may also participate in online courses that have costs associated with them.
2. What will your child be involved in outside the home?
If you have a child who will be very active in outside activities or lessons, or even if you have large family where each child is only involved in one or two activities, then your costs can climb quickly, so take that into consideration for your budget.
There are also organizations that work with homeschoolers to give discounts the same way they give discounts to public school educators. So, there are definitely creative ways to save money.
What other questions do you have about homeschooling? Leave it in the comments and our homeschoolers will help out! (We would also love to hear from seasoned homeschoolers on how you handled your biggest concerns when starting out.)