Practical home schooling can be quite a long way from the theory and, before you commit yourself to teaching your children at home, here are a few things you should think about.
- Time. home schooling can eat into your day considerably and involves a great deal more than just the time spent teaching your children, but also involves time spent in research, preparation, grading and much more.
- Loss of personal time. Time devoted to home schooling has to come from somewhere and invariably that will mean eating into your own personal time. This will restrict your own freedom and time that you enjoy spending alone and pursuing your own hobbies and interests.
- Cost. home schooling itself is not necessarily expensive, however, it does require the parent concerned to stay at home. If you are a family that is used to having two incomes this is something that you will need to look at carefully.
- Household Routine. Most households have a clearly defined routine which will clearly be upset by the introduction of home schooling and things like shopping, cleaning, laundry etc. may well need to be re-organized.
- Isolation. Children can become isolated if they are educated at home and arrangements will need to be made to see that they have adequate social contact with other children. This does not have to be a major hurdle and many parents see it as an advantage because it gives them greater control over the social contacts which their children have.
- Parental agreement. For home schooling to work it is vitally important that both parents are in agreement not simply with the principal of home schooling but also with just how it is to be achieved.
- Willingness on the part of the children. Although the decision to teach children at home ultimately rests with the parents, you will certainly have an uphill struggle if the children are unhappy with the idea of not being schooled alongside their friends.
- Your ability to teach. Many teachers would not agree, but teaching is not as difficult as you might think and, if you can read and write, then you will probably be able to cope with teaching your own children. Remember too that nowadays there is a mass of teaching material readily available and support is better than it has ever been. Additionally, most parents find it surprisingly easy to find tutors to fill the gaps they cannot cope with, and tutors don’t have to cost you an arm and a leg.
These are of course just some of the things that you have to think about but, in doing so, you should also bear in mind two things:
- A decision to school your children at home is not a decision to take on their entire education. home schooling is very much a case of taking it one year at a time and, should you decide at a later date that your children would benefit from going into the public school system, then putting them into school is a simple enough matter.
- Your decision to home school your children will invariably be made for strong personal reasons and the considerably benefits of home schooling need to be weighed against what is often felt to be a small sacrifice. Indeed, many of the parents who are currently schooling over one million children find that the benefits derived as a family from home schooling mean that it is no sacrifice at all.