If you’ve been following the blog, then you know that I’ve been seriously considering homeschooling my 10-year old son. Although there are many, many concerns that need to be addressed before I make such an important decision, chief among them are the issues of time and resources. Although I work from home, I actually do put in a lot of hours, so much of Billy’s learning would need to be self-guided. And, like everyone else these days, we are clamping down on our household budget, so we don’t want to hand over large sums of money for a homeschooling curriculum. Thus, to address these issues, I set out to discover what information and resources are available online for homeschoolers. As promised, I’m passing on my findings so that anyone else who might be contemplating home-based education can benefit as well.
The legal requirements for homeschooling vary from state to state, so the first thing you need to do if you’re considering teaching your child at home is to find out what the guidelines are for your state. Thanks to the Internet, you can locate this information with just the click of a mouse. For starters, you can look for your state on this handy map from the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA). This will let you know whether or not homeschooling will be a legal headache for you. Lucky for me, I’m in a state with low regulation, which means I simply have to notify the school of my intent to homeschool.
Information and Support
There is a ton, and I do mean a ton, of information about homeschooling online. I found this to be both a good and bad thing. While it’s nice to have so much knowledge at my fingertips, I have to admit that it was a little overwhelming as well, especially since there are many different methods of homeschooling, mountains of research, and thousands of websites featuring curriculum resources and support for homeschooling families. Of the many different portals for information out there, I was most impressed by Homechool.com. The site is chock full of helpful information, but it’s organized in such a way that it’s very easy to navigate, making it easy to find exactly what you’re looking for fairly quickly.
After conducting a little research, I’m convinced that there will be plenty of online resources to choose from if and when we decide to embark on our homeschooling journey. I am still concerned about the time factor, however. I’m not naïve enough to think that I can simply plop Billy down in front of the computer with instructions to “learn something” (though he would probably love that!), so I know that I’ll need to invest a lot of time in planning the overall curriculum, not to mention the day-to-day management and instruction. But, since I’m a teacher by trade, I definitely have a head start. Deciding whether or not to run the race? Well, that may just be the toughest part.