Raki from Outside The Box Mom has written to me and asked me a series of questions in regards to homeschooling. I’m going to do my best to answer these questions to the best of my ability based on my four years of homeschooling experience. She has two kids who are 6 (Kindergarten) and 13 (7th grade) and she’s considering homeschooling her kids, but she wanted her questions answered first.
Her Homeschool Questions
- Do I think it’s a good idea for her to homeschool her kids? Honestly, I do feel that homeschooling ones’ kids is a remarkable idea because I treasure the fact that I get to have the ability to be with my kids all the time and watch them learn and grow. I love knowing that I have played a major part of their learning process.
- How do I get started? I recommend you start by getting to know your child’s learning methods. Observe them and see which kind of learning style they respond to the most. You can also have them take a learning style assessment test to be able to know what types of curriculum plans are going to work best for them.
- Do I have to be certified to teach? That depends on your state’s regulations. You can look that up by going to the HSLDA website.
- How do I get my kids excited about this? That’s a bit of a tricky question for me because my kids were excited about the concept of being homeschooled prior to us starting just because their school situations were terrible. They WANTED to do it on their own. With that being said, if I had to get my kids excited about homeschool, I’d show them all the advantages to homeschooling.
- How do I teach both of them at once? In order to answer this question, it’s actually based around the type of curriculum you decide to use. Considering the ages of your kids, I’d say it may be a bit more difficult to do that. However, if you get them to be independent learners like mine you may find that it’s easier to manage. We get curriculum that allows them to work on their own and gives them to ask me questions as they have them. We’ve used P.A.C.E.S. but found that they weren’t really learning much. So, next year we’re giving Switched On Schoolhouse a try. Plus, all the additional products we get to review through Schoolhouse Review Crew that also helps.
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- Do I have to be certified to teach? I can only answer with a guarantee in relation to SC’s terms and conditions. In SC, we just need to have a high school diploma or GED in order to teach our kids. I honestly feel that is enough because if nothing else you can learn with your kids.
- How do I grade? Again this is a personal decision. I have some friends who keep a grade book just like teachers do in a public school classroom. Then there are those like me who did midterms and see how much their kids have learned or not learned based on their scores with those tests. You can buy your own standardized testing for each school year for less than $40.00. Or you can make your own tests using programs like Help Teaching.
- How do I document what we are doing so my kids have a transcript? I would recommend that you document all the courses your kids have taken in an Excel workbook. Also, be sure to document their grades for each class. Plus, in a student portfolio bin or binder make sure you keep some of their best work in it.
- What do I buy? Honestly, you’d be amazed at the amount of things you can get FREE to help you with homeschooling your kids. I believe I could honestly teach my kids for FREE 100% if the decision was left up to me 100% about what curriculum they were going to use and how they were going to learn for the year.
- What subjects should I teach? The law requires you teach, the basic instructional areas of reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies, and in grades seven through twelve, composition, and literature.
- Is there a place I can get lesson plans, textbooks, assignments, etc? There are far too many wonderful resources for me to begin to list them all! I don’t want to steer you only in one set of directions when it may be the wrong choice for you. I do recommend that you read as many homeschool curriculum reviews as you can.
- What schedule should I have? For me personally, there is no schedule because have had to learn to homeschool through life’s interruptions far too many times. If you can get a set schedule, that’s wonderful news! Each state has different requirements as far as how many hours a day a child is REQUIRED to do school work for it to count. Be sure to check with your local laws in that regard.
- Do we take holidays off, teacher work days, etc.? Your kids are required to be in school 180 days a year. How you break down those days depending on your state laws is up to you. In our state, provided we are using Option 3 (which I am), then you can have your kids earn those 180 days’ worth of lessons when I deem they need to do school work.
- How often should we go on field trips? Again, that’s another personal decision to make. Personally, I’ve found that my kids learn a great deal when they get to see the various aspects of their education up close and personal.
- How can my kids learn to socialize with kids their age? Take them to local events at your library, churches, and join homeschool groups in your area. I’ve found that socialization concerns should actually be the least of your worries!
- Will people think we are weird? I want to laugh at this question, but it’s not a funny question at all. It’s funny that it should even be an issue to start with. We are ALL weird in our own ways! Yes, you will receive some grief from somebody or lots of somebodies for making this choice. However, if you feel it’s the right decision for your kids then by all means jump on board and stick with it.
Homeschooling your kids is a journey that is filled with many adventures for you and them. However, it has become one of my biggest blessings in life.
I love being able to help my kids fully grasp and understand concepts. I like watching them growing up and knowing that I don’t have to worry about outside influences causing them to be less than they can be as much.
It’s not an easy journey, but nothing worth having in life is easy!
Thank you Raki for your questions. I hope my answered helped you out.
Do you have any additional questions you’d like to add to this list?
2 comments on “Homeschool Question and Answer Session”
This was a fantastic article! Well done answering her questions so thoroughly and yet succinctly! Thanks so much for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday last week. I’m sorry I’m late getting around!
Thank you for checking it out. I hope it helped you in some way too.