Homeschool 101 – Should You Homeschool?

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Deciding to homeschool your son or daughter might be among the most crucial decisions you ever make as a parent, and it’s going take a great deal of consideration, communication, and soul-searching.

Common Methods of Homeschooling

Traditional homeschooling with workbooks, lesson plans and schedules may work for you and your child if they prefer direct instruction, but it might not be the ideal fit for a little one or an older, more self-directed student. Some parents adopt an ‘unschooling‘ style which operates without a program and parents don’t guide children any one direction. Parents act as a resource for their children, not a teacher, or director. Homeschooling, above all, is flexible and can be tailored to fulfill the educational need of your child.

Traditional Model of Homeschooling

Parents often explore purchasing homeschool curriculums online, and some even produce their own homeschool curriculum. If you’re brand new to homeschooling, the former may be the better option. Additionally setting aside a “classroom” space that is organized with all of the needed supplies can be helpful. The traditional model of schooling at home is not a simple alternative, and this model is hard work for the majority of parents, particularly in the early days. The very first year is going to be the hardest, but if you get yourself structured and organized the rest of the years will fall into place. However, this system is structured and works for some kids, because of this the rewards for both kids and parents can be worth the attempt.

Unschooling Model of Homeschooling

Homeschooling that is structured around child-driven and self-selected activities, without a curriculum, is considered unschooling. In this method the parents take a back seat and education is self-directed. Parents act as a resource to their children and facilitate activities when asked, but they do not “teach,” and students don’t need to stick to a particular curriculum. They simply follow the child’s lead, let them learn in their own time and make resources available. Unschooled children often choose to participate in activities with friends and learn the typical subjects like math, through baking, making monetary transactions and other everyday activities.

Should I Homeschool or Unschool My Children?

With either model, it’s a good idea to stop and have a conversation with your child. An age-appropriate discussion with your child about homeschooling can be beneficial in deciding if not only you but they are interested in pursuing homeschooling and also what method will work best. Parents play an essential role in homeschooling. Their role is either active, as in the traditional model, or passive, with the unschooling model but necessary in both. Regardless of which model you choose parents are an integral part of the homeschooling or unschooling process. If you do not feel that you would enjoy having your kids with you to for the better portion of the day, then homeschooling may not be for you.

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