While homeschooling became well-known during the pandemic, it is still the least common way for a child to be educated. Least common does not mean least effective. In many cases, homeschooling can the best form of education for a child. Homeschooling can be a lot of fun and provide amazing educational freedom for your family. 

what is homeschooling?

The term ‘homeschooling’ simply refers to the process in which one or more children of not more than 2 families are instructed by parents or legal guardians, or a member of either household. Laws that define homeschooling vary from state to state; it is a legal education option in all 50 states. It is important to note that legally, homeschooling is different than using a online private school or partnering with a publicly funded charter school that allows you to use curriculum under their guidance at home. Many of families in those situations do self-identify as homeschool families, just be aware of the legal distinction.

For most children, the actual process of learning begins much before school. Many children already know the alphabet, the names of animals, colors and other more complicated topics well before they reach official compulsory school age. This is commonly due to the child becoming interested in a skill or topic and an observant member of the family who has taken the time to help the child follow their interests and present resources to help them learn and explore the topic. Homeschooling is a natural progression from here and parenting in general. Instead of sending their children to a public school, homeschool parents select or make their own curriculum and teach their children in ways that best suit the child. This is homeschooling, in its most simplistic form.

Some families start their child in public or private school then find that the traditional school approach is not helping their child maximize their potential and turn to homeschooling as an alternative way of giving their child the materials and methods that help them thrive.

In either case, here are five things to explore before you decide to go all-in on homeschooling.

5 Things to Consider when Thinking about Homeschooling

#1 connect with local homeschool groups and meet with parents of other homeschoolers

This may help you unearth some pros and cons of homeschooling that you may not have considered. If you do decide to homeschool your child, making these in-person connections will pay valuable dividends over the years. In my two decades of working with parents, this has been my #1 recommendation for new homeschool parents. Online homeschool forums are wonderful resources, but be sure to have in-person connections as well. You will want to brainstorm on a situation that you do not want to (or maybe should not) write about in a public forum. On that note: keep in mind your child’s privacy when posting stories or asking for help about specific situations. Is the post something your child would appreciate seeing online in 10 or 20 years?

#2 find the education methods are a good fit for your family

Notice methods is plural! Most homeschool families end up using a hodgepodge of education methods. Maybe Montessori mixed with classical and Charlotte Mason (yes, that is possible!) The mode of education also needs to be a fit for the family – not just the student nor just the educator. The needs of the homeschool student are best prioritized, but if you detest the method and don’t use it because of that, it is not going to do anyone any good. There are tons of books and resources for parents interested in homeschooling. Explore the various methods of homeschooling and choose what is most suited to you. Also keep in mind the learning style(s) used by the approach and if that fits how your child learns.
homeschool parents supporting each other

#3 join a few online homeschooling forums

There are still some Yahoo groups out there, but most homeschool groups have migrated to Facebook and other social media platforms. Search for homeschool groups in your town, your county, and your state. Then look for groups associated with your child’s age or your preferred method(s) of education, for example, Montessori homeschooling, classical homeschooling, Charlotte Mason homeschooling, eclectic homeschooling, Christian homeschooling. I recommend only a handful to get started. You’ll add more as you see which online homeschool groups fill your needs. The online groups may also be a way to make in person connections through groups in your area.

#4 know the homeschool regulations in your state

Every state has its own laws regarding home education. Researching and understanding the requirements Your state homeschool organization is a great place to start. If budget allows, I recommend becoming a member of your state homeschool organization. These nonprofits are excellent resources for understanding the laws in your state, often host homeschool events and homeschool conventions, and are important to the homeschool community in responding to proposed changes in the homeschool laws for your state. Homeschooling is now legal in all 50 states, but that was not always the case.


#5 consider the expenses of homeschooling

Depending on the method and homeschool curriculum It may cost anywhere between a hundred to a few thousand dollars every year. You can make homeschooling a great experience anywhere in that range of budgets. Designate a homeschool budget that does not stress the family budget and stick to it. Homeschooling may also impact a parent’s earning potential, though many homeschool parents work full-or-part-time outside of the home, in a remote position, or run a home-based business (also a great homeschool tool!). Homeschooling is certainly added responsibility and hard work. But, when successful, it will forge strong bonds of love, respect, and shared experience between parent and child, while providing your child with a personalized education. Exploring the 5 things above will help set your homeschool up for success. Subscribe to 3 Moms Blog below for more homeschool help and fabulous homeschool freebies!


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