So How Does Homeschooling Work, Really?
This is the question I get from people who haven’t had any experience with families who homeschool. While homeschooling can be a great mystery to many people, there are four basic principles that explain what it is and how it is accomplished.
Homeschooling Is Different than School at Home
How are children schooled at home? After all, a home is not a school. Well, homeschooling has less to do with school and more to do with education. It is not bringing the classroom to the home, but using your home as a classroom.
There is no need to try to replicate school at home. First of all, it takes much less time to teach one child than 18-30 children of varying abilities. And while homeschools do have their own practices, they don’t need many of the routines and systems a traditional school does. Lastly, learning is not confined to schoolhouse walls, it can happen anywhere. Homeschooling often happens around the kitchen table, in the living room, or sometimes, even in the car!
Homeschooling Is Individualized Education
There are many curriculum companies that supply everything a family would need to complete an entire grade level. However, no two families will complete it in the exact same way. Homeschool students are not locked into a set pattern of progress so, grade levels and rankings are relative. A student may be in 4th grade mathematics, 6th grade language arts, 3rd grade science, and 8th grade history all at the same time.
Being the only student in your “class” provides flexibility that traditional schools never could. In addition, homeschool students more often work until mastery before going on, instead of progressing at an arbitrary rate.
Homeschooling Is Not Always at Home
People think that homeschooling is boring, since children are “stuck at home all day, every day,” In fact, many homeschoolers have an opposite problem. “We homeschool but, we are never home” syndrome is actually more common.
There are endless activities, co-ops, sports, specialized classes, clubs, and more available to homeschooled children. Many states even allow participation in public school sports, music programs, and clubs. Private schools also offer varying participation options to non-students.
Homeschool Children Are Just Like Everyone Else
There is this misconception out there that homeschool children are either ultra shy and socially inept or geniuses that put Albert Einstein to shame. In reality, they are kids just like the kids everywhere else. Sure, there are homeschool children who are completing high school at age 6. There are also those who take until they are 19. And of course there are shy and awkward children who would rather devour a book than speak to another human being, but there are plenty of gregarious children who can carry on conversations with people of all ages and walks of life.
Homeschooling does not change the makeup of the general populous. As in all groups there is good and bad. There are athletic and artistic kids. Genius and struggling learners can both be homeschooled. Some are shy and others outgoing. Homeschooling is a lifestyle, not a life sentence!
What burning questions do you have about homeschooling? What things could you use some help with as you consider homeschooling?
Linking up with Kelly and hoping she is feeling better!