I, Mark Roemer, know that education is constantly evolving. Schools a century ago and schools only a few decades ago were significantly different from schools today.
The way children learn, the speed at which they know, and the approaches they use to acquire knowledge are all changing and developing in tandem with the world around them, posing a significant challenge for the teachers, parents, and guardians entrusted with their care and education. After all, there are extracurricular activities to consider, test scores to consider when applying to colleges, and the delicate balance between education, social life, and mental health.
In the end, many variables play a role in a child’s education, and they are constantly changing, moving, and developing as the child’s relations and needs change.
Homeschooling is a standard method of education in the United States and around the world. Approximately 5 million students enrolled in homeschooling in the United States as of the beginning of 2021, a substantial rise from the 2.5 million students in 2019. Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic has inspired many to turn to homeschooling, but the homeschool population has been growing at a rate of about 2-8 percent per year since before the pandemic.
If you’re considering homeschooling your children for a year, a few years, or their whole grade-school career, don’t be put off by the abundance of knowledge available online and in your area. It can be daunting, but there are numerous tools available to help you determine what is best for you and your kids.
I won’t detail what goes into a homeschool program because it will take years to cover. Instead, I’m just here to provide some advice from someone who has been through the process of homeschooling. My mother successfully homeschooled my siblings and me during elementary school, and we turned out pretty well if I do say so myself.
Not for Everyone
Consider homeschooling as the third choice for education, alongside public and private. It would be best to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of homeschooling in the same way you would for public or private schools.
Because of its growing popularity, homeschooling parents have access to an increasing number of services. The homeschooling community has a lot to give any family, from conferences to curriculum to groups to competitions and much more. As a result, homeschooling, like public and private schools, can be a viable choice for everyone.
That said, homeschooling might not be what your family desires or needs, and that’s perfectly fine! It’s not for everybody, but that’s part of the appeal: you get to decide what’s best for your family. There is no correct or incorrect answer.
Not the Same as Schooling from Home
A popular misconception about homeschooling is that one may recreate the environment of a public school at home. However, this can lead to frustration and ambiguity when implementing the process.
Both public and private schools must adhere to a set of rigid schedules and guidelines that extend to all students, regardless of their unique needs. Homeschooling allows for a program and plan tailored to the child’s individual needs and the instructor’s (your) availability.
Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to scheduling, but that isn’t what I’m here to tell you. The argument is that you can discover that some subjects need more time than others, and herein lies the benefit of homeschooling. You can tailor each subject’s time, place, and speed to meet your child’s needs. Attempting to recreate a public school’s exact experience at home rarely works out as planned, so throw that idea out the window right away.
Not the Definitive Means of Education
You might be waiting for some time if you’re looking for a sign that will tell you precisely what you can do for your child’s education. There is never a single purpose that will offer you permission to proceed; instead, the decision to homeschool is a culmination of many seasons, both large and small, that pave the way for you to choose this choice.
These reasons are personal to each family, so don’t feel obligated to follow others’ advice. If you’re homeschooling for educational, family, religious, or financial reasons, the factors that make it suitable for you will almost certainly be a combination of several smaller ones.
You Don’t Need to Know Everything
Homeschooling can be daunting for parents and caregivers because they feel obligated to master every subject to teach it. That is, thankfully, not the case!
You’re there to learn alongside your child as the homeschool facilitator. It’s essential to prepare yourself sufficiently to teach and guide them but take each year one at a time and find books appropriate for your level of knowledge. If you’re a math whiz and can quickly assist your kids, there are math curriculums that enable you to be more involved. If you can’t seem to get your head around chemistry, there are books available that include teaching aids, extra tools, and plenty of assistance. Another alternative is to form a group of homeschooling parents and take turns facilitating different subjects.
The argument is that you don’t have to know everything and that no one will ever really know everything. You’re promoting their learning subjects as a homeschooling parent, not having a Ph.D. in them.
You Are Never Behind
A common concern among homeschooling parents is that their child will fall “behind” other public school system students. It’s difficult not to compare as the whole public school system follows the exact uniform schedules, testing, and standards.
However, tailoring a child’s educational experience to their individual needs and speed is an essential aspect of homeschooling. There’s no point in pushing your child along to “keep up” with standardized schedules if they need more time to grasp crucial concepts. Nothing, not even time, will deter your child from knowing what they need to see if they have a robust support system and a positive attitude.
Homeschooling is a highly individualized type of education tailored to your specific needs and those of your family. Allowing someone to tell you what is right and wrong is pointless because you will always know what is best for your kids. Hopefully, these pointers shed some light on the complicated beast that is homeschooling. I, Mark Roemer, wish you the best of luck no matter what decision you make!