If your child is reaching that age where it’s time to start thinking about schools, then you may be considering whether to send them to a public school, or if homeschooling would be a better option.
It can be a very difficult decision to make that causes a lot of stress for parents, and yet it’s also very important. So if you’re coming to that time, try not to worry too much. It doesn’t actually have to be as daunting as you think, especially if your child is still young.
Homeschooling doesn’t mean isolation
One of the most common opinions about homeschooling is that the child will end up not having any friends, being socially awkward, and not being able to make conversations with others their age. This is wrong. In fact, homeschooling doesn’t need to be done at home anyway.
There are plenty of communities out there of parents and children that homeschool. They often come together and share activities and lessons. And if you don’t find that you identify with the groups in your area, you could always just make your own. Then you can organize a field trip, or sports days, or playgroups – whatever you choose.
So know that your child will still be mixing with others their age – they will still make friends, and do things on the weekends. They don’t miss out on anything that you can’t arrange to do with other homeschoolers in your area.
Homeschooling doesn’t need to take up more time
A lot of parents will assume that homeschooling is something that requires one hundred percent more time that it does if they attended a public school, but this isn’t how it necessarily works.
If you put your child in public school, you will still be putting in hours afterwards. Helping them with their homework, and driving them every morning to drop them, and every afternoon to pick them up. As well as going to all the parent-teacher meetings, and assemblies, and sometimes even school trips.
All of these things add up and a lot of time and effort has to go into them. So much so that it may even result in being more time than you would end up spending if homeschooling.
Remember that whatever type of education your child has, it will still be a big investment of your own time. But know that with homeschooling, it is still highly possible to keep your child at the standard grade level, if not above.
With the same amount of time that you would be putting in on homework alone at a public school. And if anything, when homeschooling you are able to be a lot more flexible to suit you.
You’re a lot more prepared than you think
If your little one is still pretty young, then things will be a lot easier for you than waiting until they have attended a few years in public school first. When they’re little, as a parent you are most likely already doing activities with them.
Like reading books, painting or drawing, and playing outside with them. And essentially, this is what they would be doing at school anyway. So this way the transition between early childhood activities will be smooth and easy into the learning aspect of reading and writing, because you already cover those things together. So you’re a lot more prepared than you may have originally thought.
Just keep an eye out for signs that your child is ready to move onto something a little more challenging once they’ve got the hang of the basics, as this is how they will improve. Then you can bring out textbooks for guidance like this website provides.
Ensuring you go in the right direction. You will also have an insight into how your child learns best, and that way you grow in confidence as a teacher too because you have a true understanding of their needs.
If your family follows the Christian faith and you attend a particular church within your community, you can also have your children participate in Bible study sessions.
These sessions are another great way your kids can meet other children their own age. These weekly events are a great way for your children to enhance their social skills, form lasting friendships, and strengthen their faith.
Encourage your children to write down their experiences during these sessions. You can get them personal journals or these handy sermon notebooks, which will be a great outlet for their thoughts, feelings, and experiences, especially ones they aren’t quite ready to share with you yet. As a bonus, this will help them organize their thoughts better and improve their writing too.
You can cater better if your child has learning difficulties
If you opt to homeschool your child that has special needs, you may worry that you won’t be entitled to having the various state-sponsored services that are provided by local public schools. But this isn’t the case, you just might have to drive to the school once in awhile to receive some of the services available.
The level of assistance depends on the area that you live in, as it can vary from different states. But regardless of whether your child attends a public school or not, you are still entitled to use them.
Having said that, you may not need these services if you homeschool. Many children that have a learning difficulty can find sitting in a busy classroom with noisy classmates very challenging. Not only that, but they may not get the one on one care they need by their teacher because there are too many children to manage.
At least at home, you will be able to give your child your undivided attention, with a calm environment, and accommodate to your little one’s unique needs and requirements a lot more easily.
Nothing is set in stone
One of the most important things to remember, is that your decision isn’t set in stone. If you start out with all these hopes and dreams, and then realize that homeschooling didn’t meet your expectations and you may have made the wrong decision – that’s okay. It hasn’t determined how your child’s life is going to turn out, and it’s not too late to change your mind and have them attend a public school.
You still have all the options that you started out with originally, and know that public schools have to provide children with the appropriate education.
Regardless of whether they went down the homeschooling route to begin with and missed some months or years. And don’t worry about your child not being able to fit in. Of course, it will be scary the first few days as ‘the new kid’, but everyone starts out this way – they will soon settle in and make plenty of friends.