Homeschooling is a way of teaching your child without sending your child to school. There are many homeschooling philosophies, methods, and resources. Some families choose to homeschool their children due to religious beliefs, while others choose to do so because of dissatisfaction with other educational options. Many parents of children with disabilities choose to homeschool because they feel more prepared to meet the needs of their child. Regardless of the reason, homeschooling has become popular in many countries, especially the United States. ED Anywhere serves hundreds of homeschool families each day with a variety of resources and solutions for their academic needs.
Making the leap into home schooling can be a difficult decision surrounded by many questions. The following list of frequently asked question will help you make that decision.
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Where I can find my local homeschooling group?
ED Anywhere encourages you to join a homeschooling group in your area. Please select your state from the right navigation (Locate my Homeschool!) menu bar or simply click here
for the complete listing across the nation.
How do you homeschool?
There are many different ways, depending on the family. Homeschoolers can:
- School at home, using a prepared set of curriculum and educational activities, purchased from an educational company or designed by qualified personnel.
- Unschooling", which places importance on the childâ€™s hobbies and interests as the learning mode, avoiding traditional instiTuitional methods; or
- Schooling through distance-learning, correspondence courses which are self-paced and enriched through community activities.
Many families use several of these options simultaneously, choosing to enroll in distance courses for those subjects which they find difficult to teach at home, while supporting the base curriculum with interest-based community or work activities, preferred topics of interest, and/or supplementing with a vast array of materials.
What about laws regarding homeschooling?
As homeschooling has become more popular, educational instituitions have been forced to keep up. State law has been forced to address homeschooling. Laws vary from state to state, even by community. Please visit HSLDA
to find information about your state's homeschooling regulations, and contact your local school district for policies and procedures regarding homeschooling options. Families are often required to submit proof of educational curriculum and yearly progress (requirements of which will be located in the policy). There are also many resource support groups on the Internet, which may help you understand your local policies.
Please CLICK HERE
to view the summary of Home School Laws in the Fifty States.
What about social skills and isolation?
This may have been a valid concern several years ago, as communities were isolated from each other and communication was limited. Today, however, the Internet provides pathways to communication among the children of the world. It is possible for your child to have friends in England, Africa, and India. Communities across the country have adapted to the popularity of homeschooling, and now offer many opportunities for such groups. The local skating rink, for example, often offers discounts and special times specifically for children learning in a homeschool program. The art gallery downtown might offer a hands-on session weekly to the children. There are also many homeschooling groups who offer activities for children.
There are still many concerns voiced about the lack of socialization. For the most part, families who fear lack of socialization opportunities are poorly informed about options in their communities. Through the many resources now available, families may identify the vast array of options available in their communities, themselves becoming a resource to other under-informed families interested in a homeschooling program.
Do I need to withdraw completely from public school in order to homeschool?
No. Many high schools allow co-enrollment with either homeschooling or distance-learning families. This allows homeschooling families to benefit from music (choir, band), sports, etc. This varies from district to district, so check with your local school district. Students may also be enrolled in school full-time and choose to add distance learning courses in order to make-up classes, graduate early, or to challenge themselves academically.
What about college?
Because homeschooling is becoming so popular, academic instituitions have been forced to recognize the legitimacy of homeschooling. Many colleges now accept homeschooling children based on admissions essays and entrance exams. Due to our program's accreditation, your child will receive a diploma that is as credible as one from the public school system. We even offer an Advanced Diploma, for students who are eager to gain college entrance.
Do I need a degree in order to homeschool my child?
Not if your child is enrolled in our program. ED Anywhere instructors are state licensed teachers with endorsements in their core subject area. Otherwise, the answer depends upon your local educational policy. You must contact the superintendent's office at your local school district to inquire about the homeschooling policy. The district may require that one of the parents have a degree, or they may not. Many families homeschool only in the area in which the supervising adult does not have a college degree. Utilize resources around you to help you learn teaching methods, learning styles, and resources. Join a support group to help you become comfortable with your strengths and to support areas in which you struggle. Do not be afraid to learn along with your child or study those subjects with your child which are unfamiliar to you. This will benefit both you and your child.
How do I select a curriculum?
There are many, many choices of curriculum out there. All our curriculum is offered online, which is graded and supported by credentialed teachers. Other companies offer curriculum that you might send back in to be graded, or grade yourself. You might choose to go with one company for your literature, but prefer a different publisher for your mathematics. It is a confusing process when you first start, but there are many people out there who can help you through the process. A good place to start is to attend a curriculum/homeschool convention. These are usually held throughout the spring and summer. Contact your local homeschool group to locate these conventions. This gives you a chance to look over different styles of books and work, before purchasing. There are also used curriculum resources.
How do I respond to negative responses from family and friends?
Ask around and you will realize that EVERY homeschooling family has experienced this. The best way to prepare is to be knowledgeable. Have a few facts ready, such as how many years running has the National Spelling Bee champion been a homeschooler? When they ask you about socialization, be ready to demonstrate how you are meeting this need. Remember that many children attending public school have socialization problems. Just because you surround a child with other children doesn't necessitate them gaining appropriate and functional social skills. Do we expect the same from adults? Do we throw adults out on a playground with little direction, little supervision, few boundaries and then expect them to all get along? Of course not! Be knowledgeable about the benefits of homeschooling. Be ready to kindly, patiently defend your choice. And realize that many, many people are ready to support and defend you in your choice.
How much time does it take to homeschool?
This all depends on the curriculum and method chosen by the family. One of the benefits of homeschooling is the freedom to fill the day with enriching activities. Many families will agree that homeschooling academics take much less time that the public school day, so they have more time to devote to projects, museum trips, reading, etc. This shouldn't mean extra time for video games and TV.
Can I homeschool all of my children? Can I only homeschool one of my children?
Yes, Most families who choose to homeschool do so with all of their children, or you can homeschool only one of your children. Some families feel one of their children benefits from homeschooling, while the others are doing just fine in the traditional school.
Can I homeschool my child who has special needs?
Of course. ED Anywhere has licensed Special Education Instructors with endorsements in LD, ED and MR. ED Anywhere also has a Psychologist, Social Worker, and Nurse available to assist you with any questions. We are also able to assist you with your special needs.
When addressing special needs, the severity and type of disability should be taken into account. You must also decide if you are willing to invest the time, as it will mean special efforts to familiarize yourself with the latest teaching methods. Families who are ready to work diligently with their children will accomplish far more than families who take a more laid-back approach. Homeschooling children with special needs is a more specialized arena, so be prepared to show your child's educational progress, gather resources to help you, and become knowledgeable about specific ways to help your child learn.
The fact is, given the limited time that teachers have to work individually with students, especially students with special needs, even the best teachers cannot do what you can do. Homeschooling a child with special needs can be a fantastic experience because you are reducing the peer pressure, the predetermined pace of instruction, and the distractions of group learning. Homeschooling may be the ideal for some children, when thoughtfully and actively created. It is not the ideal for families who are unwilling to actively pursue remediation of the disability. This can occur when the family is still in denial of the disability or is having difficulty coping with a diagnosis.
An example of this might be a family whose child has a severe speech and language delay. A speech therapist might tell the family to make the child attempt to say a word before being given the item. The family might not follow through on this, given the necessary time, patience, and effort or the child might cry or become frustrated. Thus, the family continue as usual. The end result is that the child suffers, through lack of opportunity to remediate the disability. A homeschool situation would not be in the best interest of this child, unless the family made a concerted effort to provide the best possible learning environment. Many families of children with disabilities are not like this example, but some are. Before deciding either way, thoughtfully ask yourself,? Am I willing to invest myself in this? Do not feel guilty about your answer. Homeschooling is not for every family, just as public education is not for every family. Pursue all of your options.
There are many support groups available to help with ideas and resources. Here are just a few:
What about graduation?
Those students attending traditional school are rewarded with proms, activities, and the grand culmination of learning, graduation. The students send out invitations to relatives and friends, eagerly awaiting the congratulations. Some students have special rings or jackets. The graduation day is marked by festivities and ceremony. Those children who have chosen homeschool should be awarded recognition, too. Many groups of homeschooling families organize a celebration for their children. Some families hold a more private affair. Our school (when enrolled full-time) offers an accredited diploma. This allows the family the flexibility of arranging a special ceremony, perhaps one in which you, the parent, hand the diploma to your child, in front of family and friends. Listed below are several companies that offer announcements, class rings, party ideas, and even caps and gowns specifically geared for homeschoolers.