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Things to Consider Before You Start

Did you know that at least 10 US Presidents have had some form of homeschooling? These include   Thomas Jefferson,  George Washington, James Madison, Franklin D. Roosevelt,  William Henry Harrison, Abraham Lincoln, John Quincy Adams, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Barak Obama.

It has been widely reported that President Obama was homeschooled for several years by his mother who woke him up early to teach him before going off to work. This is documented in at least one of his books and also mentioned in a speech he gave to public school students a few years ago.

So it is entirely possible that your homeschooled child could go on to greater things.

However, this is a big undertaking and there are lots of things to consider before you make the final decision about homeschooling your child.

The first thing that you need to think about very carefully is your child’s personality.

Could he accept being taught in his home environment? Not all children will be able to adapt to the change in their life, particularly if they have previously been part of the state school system.

Some children may love going to school and learning with their friends, whilst others would love to be home educated. Ask your child to give you his thoughts and ideas about being homeschooled.

Another thing to consider is the impact that homeschooling will undoubtedly have on family life.  You will have to give over an area in your home to the ‘school’ and you will need the time to plan your lessons.

Do you have the self-discipline to be able to stick to your lesson plan to give your child the very best education? Do you know the best teaching method for your child – each child has a different way of learning. Some children excel when their education is theory-based whilst others do better with practical learning.

Are you able to deal with discipline issues if your child refuses, or doesn’t want, to do a particular lesson that you have set? What will you do in these circumstances to ensure that your child completes the work?

Homeschooling is very much a balancing act between home and education. Everyday scenarios can easily be adapted to form part of your lessons. For instance, a walk in the park is an opportunity for a nature lesson, a road trip is an opportunity for a geography lesson and even simply baking is an opportunity for talking about measuring and counting.

Another thing that you will see people discussing is the social aspect of homeschooling. A lot of people seem under the impression that homeschooled children will, in some way, be less able to cope with day-to-day life as they get older. In my opinion, this is garbage, after all, you are not likely to chain your child to a table for him to study. He will be still getting out and about meeting a variety of people, maybe he will be going to football practice, swimming, or even just a few hours at the local park.

With homeschooling you will be able to monitor who your child associates with during the formative years thereby reducing the chances of him getting bullied, getting involved with gangs and drugs, etc.

Another very important thing to consider is the laws in your state. Always check what your state requires before you make the final decision to homeschool.

Before you make the final decision about homeschooling your child, spend as much time as you can researching and talking to other homeschooling families to find out from someone who knows the pros and cons of homeschooling so you can make an informed decision. Find out if there is a homeschooling co-op in your area and join, you will be able to meet other homeschooling families and get advice on curriculum, field trips, etc.

If you do decide that homeschooling is right for your family, you, and your child, I hope it is a rewarding experience for you all.