We understand that deciding to homeschool your student is a complicated choice. There are plenty of factors that go into that decision, including your family size, income, values, location, etc. Some would homeschool no matter the obstacles, while others would refuse no matter the opportunity. It's a personal choice that should be weighed out and talked through.
What we would like to offer is some simple explanations to common questions and fears about homeschooling. This list is by no means exhaustive, but will be a step in the right direction to making an educated decision.
Surprisingly enough, homeschooling was illegal in most states as recently as the early 1980's. It wasn't until John Holt, an american author and educator, began publishing work that criticized the public education system, which in turn grew into a movement known by many as "unschooling". He wrote as many as 11 books on education from 1964 until 1990, which helped fan the flames of public sentiment, culminating in 1993 when the final 3 states (Michigan, North Dakota, and Iowa) legalized homeschooling.
In today's world, yes, homeschooling is completely legal and recognized as a valid form of education. However, some states are highly regulated when it comes to homeschooling, while others are more lenient. Understanding your state's homeschooling law is crucial for your student's education.
In regards to college, studies show that homeschoolers on average have higher high school retention rates, higher SAT/ACT scores, and higher college graduation rates. In order to get accepted into a college, they simply need a transcript and an SAT score.
Of course they'll have friends, as long as you give them lots of brothers and sisters. Kidding. The myth of the anti-social homeschooler stems from the assumption that the child sits alone at home all day, locked in their rooms, with periodic exposures to sunlight. It simply isn't true. In fact, we know from research that most homeschoolers tend to do well in their social skill development, both in social norms with their age group, and cross-generational interaction.
Many homeschoolers have active social calendars and large social networks. Their weeks are usually filled with extra-curricular activities such as team sports, field trips, music lessons, homeschool co-ops, outings, and even dual-enrollment classes at their local public school, college or university. These students tend to transition into college without a problem, and are usually well liked by both fellow students and faculty.
Of course, personalities play a part in this as well. There are socially challenged public schoolers, as well as homeschoolers, regardless of the amount of peer contacts. Studies have shown that home schoolers are not “at risk” socially (as compared to a similar group of public schoolers), in terms of the total numbers of people with whom they interact. But if you're willing to give them the opportunities to develop and grow in their social skills by actively expanding their social
Creating an ideal environment for your child requires an active parent mentality; driving to different events, actively searching for groups to join, participating and being engaged in many scenarios. If that isn't your thing, it will make creating an ideal homeschooling environment more difficult (although not impossible).
You probably didn't get a masters in education. You're most likely not an expert in "teaching styles" or "learning styles", and you haven't been in a classroom for at least a decade or two. How on earth is your student going survive in the real world? What will people think if your child doesn't know the four properties of a rhombus? Will this destroy their future, forcing them to live under a bridge, which may or may not be in the shape of a rhombus? But they wouldn't know, would they?
It's okay. It's going to be okay. You're going to make mistakes. You're not going to be perfect at this. You're going to learn through the process, and your student is going to turn out just fine. The overwhelming majority of homeschool parents are not trained educators. They simply go over the lesson ahead of time, and try to explain it when it gets too confusing. You can relearn 2nd grade math, right? Plus, once your child is old enough to use a computer, the amount of free education tools online would blow your grandma's socks off. You don't need to be great at Algebra in order to press play on a laptop, and let someone else explain the wonderful world of functions, equations, and cubic polynomials. See? feel better?
There's a lot of information out there, and it can feel overwhelming when deciding what to teach your students. Thankfully, many people have gone through what you're going through, wrestled with these questions, and have successfully put together sets of curriculum to guide their students through k-12th grade. What has been difficult is the platform to share that knowledge, the ability to rank and review, and the helpful and simplified information to understand it all a little better. That's why we're here.
We've designed Study Scope to help you in this journey by making it easy to create, share, and review curriculum sets. Come alongside other homeschooling parents to see what they recommend, ask questions and get answers. We believe in the power of community, in the advice of tried and true methods, and in the number of recommendations.