While public school is the most traditional option for your child's education, it's not right for everyone. Whether your child seems bored in school, deals with social difficulties or simply isn't blossoming in a traditional school environment, home schooling can be a viable alternative. If you think your child would do better in a home environment, you have some serious decisions to make and steps to take before you're ready to take on the responsibility of your child's education.
Evaluate your reasoning behind the decision to home-school your child. You'll need to take into consideration the time, cost and social aspects of removing your child from traditional education, notes the Scholastic website. You'll also need to evaluate whether an issue with public school could be resolved without removing your child completely. For instance, if he's bored by the work, perhaps your child could be moved into a higher grade level. Choosing to home-school is a highly personal decision, and you should consider all aspects before making the choice.
Research the laws on home education in your state, as they vary by location. In most cases, you'll need to notify the state or school board in writing that your child is being removed from public schooling and that you'll oversee his education. You may need to submit to testing and other requirements as you teach your child at home, according to state law. You'll also need to consider the timing, as it might be difficult to remove your child from public school in the middle of term as opposed to the start of a new year.
Select the curriculum by which you'll teach your child at home. There are several options for home schooling curriculum, from workbook-based learning to correspondence courses and even online options. For some families, one type of curriculum might work best, but you might also find that a combination of methods works well for you and your child. Based on your state's law, you may have to gain approval of your curriculum choice from the state or your local school board.
Get involved in a home schooling group in your area. If you're worried about a lack of social opportunities, home schooling groups are an excellent opportunity for your child to meet kids just like him. Home schooling group coordinators plan outings and events where the kids can socialize and you can swap ideas and experiences with similar parents. If you don't have a home schooling group in your area, try online forums and groups or signing your child up for various community teams and groups so he gets the social aspects of public school without the experience.
Create a space dedicated to your child's education. By making a place in your home just for home schooling, you can better delineate between school and leisure time. It's also smart to create a regular schedule. This helps you stay on track and sends the message to your child that home schooling doesn't mean 24/7 playtime, but actual learning time.
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