Monday, December 12, 2011

Homeschooling FAQ

As a potential homeschooling parent you no doubt have plenty of questions. Or maybe you know someone who homeschools and you are curious. Each of these are real questions that most of us have been or will be asked at some point.

1. Is homeschooling legal?

The short answer, yes it is legal. The long answer is, well, long. Some states regulate homeschooling quite a bit, some states a small bit, and some have no regulation at all. The best place to find the most current homeschooling law is Just click on your state’s picture, and the laws and current legislation (if there is any) will be shown to you.

2. Is your day like “regular school?”

Well, first we have to define “regular.” In my house what we do is normal and “regular.” But, if you are referring to the standard eight hour day, with multiple times of standing in line, getting permission to go to the bathroom, waiting in line 25 minutes to go to lunch and then only getting 20 to eat that lunch, then the answer is no. But, this is different for every home schooling family. Some people may want to school for eight hours, I personally only do three. Some people may want their kids to stand quietly in line for 25 minutes for lunch. We just try to do this at the checkout at Kroger.

3. Don’t you have to have a degree to be a teacher?

Well, if you are teaching in a public school the answer is yes. But, since we are answering questions about home school, I will refer you back to question number one. It depends on the state you are in. Some states have different opinions on this.

4. How do you handle all their classes when you have children in multiple grades?

Again, the answer depends. If you take a unit study approach you may school all the children together – you know like they did waaayyyy back when public schools were started. Everyone sits together and hears the lessons for the day, and then will break apart to work independently in areas like reading and math. If you take a work book or text book approach, then each child will have their own set of materials, and you would work with each child separately, at different times. See how the answer to this is dependent on the individual homeschooling family?

5. How do you differentiate being a teacher from being a parent?

Being a parent is no different from being a teacher in that, we are both responsible for the instruction and encouragement of the children we are responsible for, however, as a parent, we have a bigger responsibility to our children, for we see immediately the results of the children learning and unlike a teacher who manages a classroom of 20-30 children, that changes every year. As parents, we have both the time and emotional investment to understand and learn how our children best learn and are able to more easily adapt to each of our child's needs without having to sacrifice the needs of the individual over the whole.

6. Don’t you think they need to be in “real” school?

Ahem. I will try my personal best to not to be offended. After, all my kids are learning “real” phonics and “real” math. I am not really sure what answer to give here, as the question is not asking anything specific. It is more like a derogatory statement about homeschooling in general. Ask a real question, get a real answer.

7. How could you possibly homeschool if ____________? (Fill in blank with whatever circumstance you can think of.)

If someone wants to homeschool, they can generally figure out a way. This question is typically referring to different circumstances like single parenting, special needs children, gifted children, etc… I have a special needs child. I have a friend with an extraordinarily gifted child. Our homeschools look different. Some people may need to school when they are not at work, so their school may be in the evening. I school during the day most days and during the late afternoons when I have morning appointments. So, you really learn how to work it out according to the needs of your family.

Got something to add? Be sure to let me know and I will keep this updated (serious and snarky questions allowed hehe)!

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1 comment:

Brenda said...

Is have wanted to homeschool my 2 & 4 year olds desperately, but can't afford to quit working to allow time. Our sitter just graduated from school and is a now teacher. We have asked her to take on schooling them & she is beginning in January! We are so excited! Different situations for different families.....:)
We use all of our day to day activities as learning opportunities already, but she will be able to do some of the extras we are unable to.