Your Guide top Homeschooling Requirements
With the pandemic, most parents across the country are probably completing some form of homeschooling at the moment. It is a good thing too, as completing school at home may become more of the norm. Here are some homeschooling requirements to keep in mind.
Do You Enjoy Homeschooling?
A strange thing has happened with many of my friends that have their own kids during this quarantine: they are reaching out to me to ask homeschooling questions. In fact, many of them are actually enjoying the experience so much that they are contemplating homeschooling their children from here on out.
And why wouldn’t they? Homeschooling is an attractive option for parents who are concerned about some of the issues that are troubling all school districts nowadays. School violence, drugs, bullying and less than desirable classmates are just a few of the reasons. Plus, homeschooling allows you to present a curriculum that is based upon your child’s direct needs without factoring in a class of 29 other students. To put it simply, your child can move at their own pace.
However, they are unsure if they are doing it correctly. For instance, one parent was asking if it was okay to put her child in front of Sesame Street to help her learn letters and numbers. Parents are wondering just what the requirements are for homeschooling in the U.S. and how they can go about ensuring they have the option in place if they choose to follow this path in the future.
Educator and Parent
People are seeking my advice because I have been in Education for well over a decade now. I have taught at all levels (elementary, junior high, high school and college), have my Master’s degree in Reading and Literacy and was a journalist and editor for 10 years as well. If there is one thing I know, it is that research has to be completed before undertaking something as big as homeschooling your children.
It is best to know straight away that almost each state has its own special requirements for allowing parents to homeschool their children. These requirements do not really differ too much state to state, so here are the basics to focus on at the moment before you research your state further.
Educational Requirements Needed by the Parent
It may be surprising to know that you probably already possess the parent qualifications needed for homeschooling. This is one of the main concerns for most parents I speak with. However, for 11 states, all that is needed is a high school diploma or a general educational development (GED).
In fact, 39 states have absolutely no educational requirements needed from the parent. Plus, for the most part, it does not matter if the student is in early elementary or in high school. The parent educational requirement really does not change.
What Subjects Need to Be Taught and for How Many Hours a Day?
Another concern for parents interested in homeschooling is the number of hours a day that are needed to homeschool and what subjects should be covered. Basically, it depends on the state. There are states that require no input about the child’s academic ability at all. It is all placed in the parents’ hands.
There are states that allow the parent to essentially pick out the subjects they are to teach and the assessments they plan to use. Still, other states require the children to take comparable standardized assessments to the ones used in schools, so they can determine if the child is, indeed, receiving a quality education at home.
How Do You Know What to Teach Your Children?
The subjects taught during homeschooling should be the same subjects taught in most school districts, but you can also add more topics on top of it. For instance, presenting a technology lesson every single day for young children would be a great idea. In addition, having a typing class for 15 minutes a day would benefit most kids for life as well.
If you are homeschooling, you are ultimately allowing your child to learn at their own pace. Since it is one-on-one instruction, this will mean most of the time they will be experiencing accelerated learning.
It would be a good idea to ask your local school district if they have a curriculum map that you can follow that details what each grade level should be learning, but keep in mind that you are preparing these lessons with your child’s capabilities in mind.
Or, even better, there are numerous free homeschooling resources available that will not only provide you the lessons, videos and assessments without charging you a dime, but they will also detail what your child should be learning at each grade level. There is no guesswork involved with these programs.
As you can see, the requirements for homeschooling your children are not that difficult to meet. The question that most parents need to ask themselves is if they have the ability to homeschool their children on all subjects.
It may be much easier to teach them simple math when they are younger, but are you ready to try to tackle teaching them algebra II when they are in high school, if you want to continue doing homeschooling for their entire education?
For most of us, it would be an education not just for your child, but for yourself as well. Still, who is to say that you won’t provide a better education in the long run than the public school system?