Choosing To Home School Your Child

Most parents do not take the decision to homeschool their children lightly. A lot of time, effort and research is put into this important decision, as well as discussions with other family members and often the child themselves. Even after you have decided that homeschooling is for you and your family, you may find yourself now asking “What now?”

The first thing you need to do is find out what community resources you already have at your disposal. What you find already locally established may even surprise you. Knowing your available resources will make your task as homeschool teacher, all the more easy and all the more exciting. The resources may include, but are not limited to, your local library and associated activities, activity groups, support groups, classes (art, drama), clubs (girl guides, scouts, etc), sports (team, individual), gardens, planetariums, museums, and more!

Homeschooling has been a very important and valid educational alternative for families for centuries, with the modern movement thought to have begun in the 60’s. As time has passed, and society has changed, homeschooling is gaining popularity and being hailed as a better choice for many parents and children.

Educating your child is not, however, always an easy task. Some of the challenges that may face you and your family as homeschoolers may not be known until you are deeply committed, but it is a rewarding journey that can be very advantageous for your children and your family as a whole. And, let’s face it, our families are worth the effort and challenge.

Many critics of homeschooling claim that children who are homeschooled lack the socialization opportunities of their public schooled peers. Parents of homeschoolers argue, however, that homeschooled children actually have a socialization advantage over their counterparts because unnatural age segregation enforced on public schooled children does not provide the best environment for socialization. Homeschooled children tend to naturally interact with children of varied ages, as well as with adults, quite comfortably. Homeschooled children are also spared the peer pressure and bullying that can accompany a public school education.

Parents of homeschoolers tend to take advantage of social situations, and many homeschoolers get together with each other in social homeschool groups, where homeschoolers can join together for a class, lecture, activity, or just plain fun.

Of course there are many other extracurricular activities that will enable your homeschooled child to interact with other children on a regular basis.

Homeschooling need not be such a scary or stressful transition if you do your research. Getting started can be facilitated with the assistance of quality books, advice from other homeschoolers, and general research over, for instance, the internet.

Like all great plans, homeschooling your children may have a planned duration and an exit strategy. For instance, some families only homeschool for the primary years, then their children join their peers at public or private schooling. It is important to research the requirements and areas of study that it is expected that your child learn, dependent on where you live. You can homeschool for as long as you feel qualified to meet these requirements, all the way to college if it suits. Alternatively, you may only decide to homeschool for a couple of years when your family is mobile due to work requirements. Homeschooling is all about the flexibility so enjoy this key feature to its fullest.


Melissa Murdoch has a passion for life span development and education, and believes wholeheartedly that a healthy society begins at home.  For further information on how to get started in homeschooling, please visit YourHomeschoolCommunity.com.

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