7 Ways To Prepare Children For Homeschooling
Author: David Dabney with Firefly Tutors. Aug 2nd, 2021
Homeschool and alternative learning options have been quite popular since COVID hit the United States in 2020. Homeschooling has risen from 2% in 2019 to an amazing 10% in 2021 via numbers from (admissionaly.com) With Covid continuing on into 2021, the options to homeschool are becoming more and more common. We dove into some of the statistics on why parents are turning to homeschool over public school.
Studies have shown that homeschoolers have a 10% higher graduation rate than those in public schools via a University of St. Thomas study. A 2015 study shows that homeschool students performed up to 30% higher on standardized tests compared to public school students regardless of the education of parents.
How common are the ages for homeschoolers? The percentage of homeschool students' ages vary from 5-17 and are spread out pretty evenly within each of these age groups although there are slightly higher percentages of 14-17 year olds compared to younger ages.
Income and education of parents is also a factor when considering homeschooling, studies show. Generally parents above the poverty line and have at least some technical or undergraduate studies completed were more likely to homeschool their children.
Families in rural or urban areas are twice as likely to homeschool their children outside of those who live in cities.
Now that you have read some numbers behind the statistics, it's time to decide whether your child is right for homeschooling. There are many different ways to approach homeschooling, but here are 7 we think make the list;
- What Are My Options?
Educating yourself is a great way to ensure you are making the right decision for you and your family. Research homeschool magazines (we suggest (Homeschool Magazine, Practical Homeschooling, and Homeschooling Today) as good resources to start. Follow a popular homeschool blogger on social media (we like Homegrown Learners Blog, The Homeschool Scientist and Raising Up Wild Things). Another avenue is listening to homeschooler podcasts and websites (via the Learning Mama) “The Homeschool Solutions Show” is one you can find with a simple Google search.
- Join A Local Facebook Support Group
This closely relates to doing more research in the first category on this list. Joining a Homeschool group can open the door for possibilities when it comes to resources for your child. It also works as a great place for study groups, tutor referrals, or extracurricular opportunities for the child. Don’t limit yourself to only Facebook as there are much more on other internet or local community boards that may not be on the internet. Find other parents locally who have already homeschooled their children to get a better sense of what comes with the territory. Join a monthly or bi-weekly meeting with other homeschool parents to find common frustrations and solutions for any issues that you may be experiencing.
- Learning Homeschool Requirements
Some states are stricter than others when it comes to homeschool requirements. This essentially means ensuring parents abide by the rules of education and testing according to the state they reside in. You can find all of the requirements via a quick Google search, but it can be confusing with the many resources out there. You can find a consistent resource via Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA.org) to find your specific state’s requirements. They also offer easy to digest Youtube videos for each state’s laws which help for those who need visuals.
- Organizing a Specific Learning Space
Parents can sometimes rely too much on the comfort of the home and not think about the distractions it may produce. There can be many distractions for a young student especially in the home space. It is important to allocate an area of the home, such as a desk or table where the bulk of the school work can be done. This gives the student a space where they know it is time for school work and outside of that, everything else. A great way to utilize the home space is creating wall calendars for important goals needed to achieve. Cabinet space with baskets to hold an abundance of school supplies are important ways to utilize tight spaces where otherwise a classroom would hold all of these items. The most convenient options we found were dollargeneral.com or teacherlists.com where you receive a box of supplies at your doorstep. School supply sales are the highest in August so if you are looking for a deal, the best time of the year is right before the school year begins.
- Defining the Student Curriculum
It can be overwhelming if you as a parent are trying to create a curriculum from scratch. It may be easier if you are a teacher or tutor as your career, but most others may find it more challenging. That is why there are numerous resources out there to ensure you are staying on top of what is needed. (Study.com) has Grade 3 -12 homeschool curriculum available for a monthly purchase or plan. Time4Learning.com has an affordable monthly plan of $20 - $30 a month per student depending on the grade level.
When homeschooling is well planned out via a curriculum and goals are set, this is when it is most effective for the child. It is important for them to not only have goals but participate in extracurriculars such as sports and community events. This gives them the opportunity to create important social bonds that they miss out on if they were in public school.
- Set A Time For Household Chores
Learning the ABC’s to the pythagorean theorem isn’t the only thing that your children should be learning. Chore time can be a valuable stepping stone to becoming a responsible adult. This time can include doing chores for a weekly allowance or doing one difficult chore per day to earn extra video game time the next week. Chores can lead to a sense of more responsibility and ownership of their space. And hey, it will help you get more things done around the house (you already do everything else.)
- Routine, Routine, Routine!
Setting a daily routine can make each day that more valuable. Keeping a schedule and knowing what comes next will ultimately bring success to homeschooling your child. Don’t expect everything to go perfectly. Routines take a lot of repetition. And thinking that making the math club right at 3pm after a day of learning how to write their first fictional story and doing the chores you wanted them to do, think again! What works is setting a list of expectations and not necessarily an exact schedule of time. Once you get better, add more items to the list to achieve.