Has the slower pace of being at home during COVID-19 led to any reflection in your family? Many families have enjoyed the extra time together so parents have been contacting me with questions about keeping their children home next year too! Here are 10 questions to ask before homeschooling:
- Do you work outside of the home? If all parents or guardians work full-time outside of the home, it would be difficult to homeschool. You can try to find someone else to homeschool your kids but most families that homeschool do it themselves. At least one parent needs the flexibility to do so.
- Do you work from home? If so, make sure you have ample time and space to allow you to do both. I balance working from home and homeschooling so I assure you, with some effort, it can be done successfully!
- Do you have help? Whether you work or not, things can arise where you need your own time, or you need to be somewhere. Do you have a family member, friend or neighbour that can jump in and help if needed? My mother-in-law helps us whenever needed and her support is vital to us. You can also join a homeschool parent group for support – check out our resources page for a list.
- Why do you want to Homeschool? It’s important to know the reasons you’d like to homeschool and keep those top of mind when you’re planning your homeschooling. See our post on reasons to homeschool here.
- Is everyone in your family on the same page about homeschooling? I’ve met parents at odds because only one of them wanted to homeschool. Also, some children are hesitant to leave their school friends. Find a solution that everyone can agree upon, such as a homeschool trial period. To be successful, everyone must be on board.
- Do you have the physical space? You will be with your children for most of the day when you homeschool. Having enough room for personal space and a backyard for physical activity are helpful towards long-term success and wellness.
- Do you some extra funds for activities? Some families pay for homeschool gym classes or other activities to supplement what they’re doing at home. Also, you will need to buy items such as a printer, art supplies etc. There are many free homeschool activities too, so with a bit of creativity, you can homeschool on a budget if funds are tight for your family.
- Do you have the patience and flexibility to homeschool? Sometimes it’s hard to be around your children all day. Do you have the patience to deal with this? Do you have someone to talk to when you’ve had a hard day? Also, if your children argue a lot, you need a strategy to deal with it. Homeschooling requires patience and flexibility. A homeschool day doesn’t always go as planned and often those are the best days. Instead of worrying about it, embrace going off track as a fun learning experience!
- What is your homeschooling philosophy? There are many approaches to homeschooling so you may want to think about yours. Some families use workbooks, others do everything online. Some families teach their kids themselves; others register their children in online courses taught by others. There are also families that “unschool”, which is an informal learning approach whereby your children lead their own learning process. We’ve changed our approach many times so don’t worry if you start one way and then go in another direction. For example, we originally used a schedule and now we use a loose plan that goes off the rails often! Lol!
- What are the regulations in your country around homeschooling? In Canada where we live, homeschooling is accepted in all provinces. Every country has its own rules around homeschooling so you’ll want to research those before moving forward.
No matter what you decide, every decision is reversible. There is no downside to try homeschooling! You can always send your kids back to school at any point. I recommend trying it for one year before making a final decision. There is a lot of trial and error in the first year of homeschooling to determine what works best for your family.
These 10 questions to ask before homeschooling will be helpful towards making your final decision. Also, here is a site with answers to other homeschool questions you may have.
We’d love to hear your reasons for wanting to homeschool, or any questions you may have, in the comments section below!
Quote of the Day:
“Children are not a distraction from the most important work. They ARE the most important work.” – C.S. LEWIS, AUTHOR
Lisa & Mara