What do you think of when you hear the word, “Homeschool”?
Homeschooling is about having choices and taking responsibility.
For many people, the word conjures up images of families that are isolated, awkward and odd. For a long time, that may have been the norm. Most families that chose to not send their children to public school did so out of beliefs that were out of the norm.
Times change, though. What was once an oddity has now become accepted and commonplace.
The new definition of the word “Homeschool”
In fact, the term “Homeschooling” has come to encompass a wide variety of educational options, all of which share one common theme: they do not require your student to leave the house to gain their education.
What started out as a parent cracking the books and becoming “teacher” to their children has grown into a wide variety of options and choices for the parents and the students.
Sure, if a parent wants to design their own curriculum, purchase the books (or check them out from the local library) and be the teacher, principal, coach, cheerleader and parent, they are still welcome to do just that.
However, most parents just don’t have the time and energy to research what subjects are suggested or required for each grade, what materials meet those needs, where to get those materials and how to best utilize them to educate their students. Most parents still have to work to support their families.
Fortunately even the busiest of parents have options other than public school. These range from complete book-based curriculum with all the appropriate materials for each grade level all the way to online academies with licensed teachers readily available to help the students, to live-streamed classes taught just as if the students were in the classroom and everything in between.
Freedom in Scheduling
Many of the options give the parents and the students the freedom to choose when to “do school”. They just require that the work is completed by the due dates. This allows the families to work at the time and pace that best fits their schedules. Need time for a doctor’s visit? No problem. Want to take a vacation in the middle of the semester? Take your work with you, or get it done when you get back. No big deal.
There are book-based options, online options, prerecorded video options for those that want some interaction, but don’t have a high-speed internet connection. With today’s technology there is very little that cannot be done to bring a quality education into the home.
Most of these options don’t require an expensive computer either. A good used computer can be purchased on eBay for around $100 that will more that work for online school. For many options a used “Chromebook” laptop will work that can be picked up for less than $60. Of course the book-based curriculum don’t require a computer at all!
The one thing that they all do require is that the parents and the students begin to take ownership of their education. But they don’t have to do it alone. There are a number of online and local resources for homeschooling families.
So, exercise your ability to choose. If public school is no longer the answer for you and your family, find out what your options are and begin your journey.