One of the many benefits to homeschooling is the flexibility and freedom it provides for not only students but parents as well. As a parent, you can select your student’s schedule, classes, and pace of learning. Although this freedom probably feels liberating, you may be wondering where to start with home school. We have some tips for parents who are transitioning their children to home school from more traditional schooling methods.
Do Your Research
Before transferring to home school, you will need to research your state’s homeschool laws as well as various methods and curriculum options. The more research you do before making the switch, the more confident you will feel in your decision to move your child from a traditional public or private school to homeschooling.
Study State Homeschooling Laws
Homeschooling laws and regulations vary by state. Some states require families to notify a government agency when they decide to take their children out of public school. Other states require parents to receive a certification while some have minimum education requirements for parents. These laws are typically available on your local government’s website. You must familiarize yourself with your state’s homeschooling laws before making any official decisions.
Research Homeschooling Curriculum and Methods
There is a long list of reasons why parents choose homeschooling for their children instead of the traditional classroom setting. Your reasoning is important because it will likely influence the homeschooling methods you implement for your student.
The amount of different methods and curriculum programs available for homeschooling continues to grow. Historically, parents would purchase textbooks and structure lessons based on these resources. However, since homeschooling has become more popular in recent years, there are many more options when it comes to homeschooling methods. These include textbooks, workbooks, or online curriculum options, which may consist of interactive course work and interesting video lessons.
Before committing to a specific homeschooling curriculum, you should investigate different providers and weigh the pros and cons of each one. Blogs, online forums, and Facebook groups are wonderful tools for getting more information about various providers as well as the perspective of parents who are currently using them, or have in the past.
Our Power Homeschool curriculum equips parents with course materials and resources for students from kindergarten through high school. The curriculum involves lessons with engaging video content and stimulating schoolwork. Power Homeschool’s online program gives parents the flexibility to decide the courses for their students and implement a schedule that works best for them.
Decide on a Homeschooling Method
Once you complete enough research to make an informed decision, you will need to select a homeschooling method for you and your student. Many resources are now available online, such as course materials, videos, and digital books. The availability of resources has attributed to the increase in families moving to home school from traditional schooling options.
Before deciding on a homeschooling method, you should ask your child for their input, especially if they are coming from a conventional classroom. Depending on your student’s grade level, they may have a good understanding of how they learn best or their preferred learning techniques.
Another important thing to consider is why you are switching to home school. We have found that parents and students switch for a plethora of reasons. For example, if you are beginning home school for more flexibility, you probably want to implement a more lenient schedule and use a curriculum that allows you to do so. On the other hand, a more structured method of homeschooling may work best for students who are transitioning to home school because they need personalized help.
Luckily, most homeschooling curriculum programs allow parents to decide whether their child’s schooling is structured, laid back, or somewhere in between. When you first start homeschooling, it is important to be flexible and willing to try a new way of doing things if your original plan is not working.
Begin Homeschooling Your Child
If you have determined you and your student want to begin homeschooling, you are probably wondering when to start. Often it is easiest to begin in August when your child would normally start a new school year after a summer break. However, another benefit of homeschooling is that you can transition whenever you would like.
As a parent, you will need to withdraw your student from the public or private school they are currently attending. For some states, this is all you need to do while others require you to notify a government agency. Once these necessary steps are completed, your child can begin homeschooling. Some veteran parents will recommend having a period of deschooling. During this time, your student will unlearn the practices they picked up in the classroom and become comfortable “attending” school from the comfort of your family’s home.
Surround Yourself with a Support System
When transitioning to home school, a support system is essential for both the parent and the student. Having both parents fully on board before starting home school will give the student a much higher chance of being successful. Additionally, having the support of family members, such as grandparents, will make the process go much smoother.
The encouragement and reassurance from people in your inner circle are important; however, many homeschooling groups, as well as forums and Facebook groups, are incredible resources for families just beginning a home school curriculum. These parents experience homeschooling firsthand, so their advice is invaluable. Power Homeschool has created a Parent Support Group on Facebook that allows parents who are new to the curriculum, and new homeschooling in general, to communicate and get feedback from other parents.
Remember that the most imperative part of getting started with home school is patience with yourself and your student. Nothing new comes without small bumps in the road. Finding what method works best for you will ensure your homeschooling experience is a success.
Power Homeschool is an online homeschool program for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. We offer a variety of extracurriculars, like coding, with more options available as students grow older. For more information about our homeschooling curriculum, contact us today!