This is Homeschool not Public School!

Pulling children out of public school to homeschool has become more and more common around the country. But then what? Parents proceed to educate their children at home in the best way they know how. Some rely on the public school system for their curriculum and resources. Others find their own tools and curriculum. Using whatever resource is available is great. Even if the choices are limited because you are home with your children there are better ways if parents take the time to think about what is the best way to homeschool.

1. Remember, you are home: Homeschooling does take time to adjust to but don’t require your children to school as if they were in public school. Scheduling is much different. It’s much more relaxed and calm. There is no need for strict, inflexible rules. Encouragement and love are necessary. Find the curriculum and activities which are best for your family.

2. Restore the love of learning: Depending on the student and their emotional state, sometimes it’s good to take a break from studies and just make fun reading or work on projects the child wants to learn to restore the love of learning. A few weeks off after coming home from public school can do wonders to reset a child’s lack of motivation to do any school at all. A teacher’s pressure and student frustration can take a toll on your child so consider what your child needs when at home.

3. Testing is not required: There are many opinions from parent to parent on whether it is required to test children every year or even at all. This is a personal decision, but know that while elementary students do take tests which measure what they learn it is not necessary for every family if you are opposed. Some parents see it as a comparison to other children, but that is not always the case. Testing can help parents know what their child remembers from what they have learned. Some children do better in a non-testing environment. However, high school is a different story. If your child wants to attend a higher education school like college, then know
that testing will be done. It is wise to let your teens learn how to test by practicing online or at home through curriculum tests. There are wonderful online resources which students can practice, testing which will also give tips on how to be a good test taker.

4. Joining Public School Sports Teams has its drawbacks: Sports teams are fun and helpful in many ways. They teach unity, physical fitness and encourage discipline. Some families that choose to home educate do not always want to join in public school sports. There are private leagues in many areas but that depends on the county. But know if your child does end up on a public school team, some requirements of the Board of Education might be required.

5. It’s no use pushing public school ideas on homeschoolers: If you are a new homeschooler fresh out of public school, then you are a babe in the woods in the homeschooling world. There have been homeschoolers around now for over 20 years and they know what they are doing. Reports from other parents say that new homeschoolers pulling their children out of public school are pushing to change homeschool programs to be more like public school programs. This is a waste of time and energy. There should be no strict regulations other than what each state has in place already.

The ideals of homeschooling are different and so is the lifestyle. Go with the flow of the homeschooling routine which is whatever parents can arrange for their children and what children want to learn. A routine can also be whatever your own children want in accomplishing their school work. It should be easy going and not stressful. Remember you are homeschooling at home not bringing public school to your home. It is a lifestyle change that parents must adapt to but is very family friendly. Families are first in many cases of homeschooling attitudes. This is actually a refreshing change because there are many outside influences which distract parents in truly teaching their children what they need to know to be educated. Homeschooling is being educated at home. Homeschooling is not public education at home. Let’s learn the difference.

Valerie J. Steimle
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