To Home School or Not to Home School

If you're considering home schooling, you're not alone. More and more parents are considering home schooling because they're not crazy about over-crowded classrooms, testing and homework. Many are also home schooling so they can teach values that are important to them while teaching the three "r's."

Before jumping in to home schooling, you might want to check into the resources. A lot of school districts are coming up with online curriculum to help you with schooling. Sometimes they even offer half day workshops taught by teachers to give kids a chance to socialize and experience a classroom setting.

There are some great books you can pick up at the library as well. These can give you some ideas about what home schooling is like. There's even a "Home Schooling for Dummies" book! And there are home schooling conferences. It can save you a lot of time and trouble if you find one, attend, ask lots of questions and see if home schooling is right for your family before jumping in feet first.

There are a lot of schools of thought on home schooling. Some parents prefer setting up a structured classroom in the house, others use the whole world as a classroom. Some parents teach the three "r's" while others prefer to allow the child to direct the learning.

Whatever you decide to do, know there are a lot of resources available. Check them out before you get started so you understand the complexities and go in prepared.

There are a number of books you can probably find at the library that may help you get a good start:

  • The Ultimate Book of Home Schooling Ideas, by Linda Dobson
  • The First Year of Home Schooling Your Child, by Linda Dobson
  • The Homeschooling Handbook, by Mary Griffith
  • Homeschooling for Dummies, by Jennifer Kaufeld

You may also want to check out:

  • homeschoolcentral.com
  • Homeschooling.about.com
  • home-school.com

Home schooling can be an enjoyable experience for both parents and kids, but there are challenges. Knowing about them, preparing for them and having resources at your fingertips can make all the difference.


Aricia LaFrance has worked with families as a psychotherapist, mentor, coach and instructor for over 20 years. Her work has been featured in USA Today, Family Circle, Mothering magazine and on NPR. She runs a supportive online parenting community providing resources, ideas and encouragement for moms. Stop by her website for a monthly column on education written by a home schooling mom.

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One Response to “To Home School or Not to Home School”

  1. It is important to note that when starting to homeschool, your child (and probably you!) will need a period of “de-institutionalizing.” If you have decided to homeschool for any reason, you have a better chance of success if you allow for a transition period of rest and fun activities before jumping right into curriculum. There is no set calendar; school doesn’t have to be Monday through Friday from 8 to 3. Allow your household to find the pace that fits!