We are living in unprecedented times, and COVID-19 has given every parent in America an introduction into homeschooling, whether they wanted it or not. Nationwide school closures have teachers scrambling to push traditional lesson plans online. All teachers are working hard and doing a fantastic job, but the current model may not be a great fit for everyone.
Whether you had considered educating your children at home before or not, now might be the perfect time to make a change. But, this choice may not be for everyone. Before you move forward with this life-altering decision, here are a few questions you should ask and answer.
Why do you want to homeschool your children?
Take a minute or several and think about what is attractive about educating your children at home. Some of the benefits of this choice that homeschooling parents describe include:
- You take a more direct role in your child’s education.
- You build stronger relationships with your children.
- You can include vacations and other outside activities in your curriculum.
- You can schedule vacations and time off at your convenience.
- Children face less social pressure, exposure to bullying, and other issues that can impact self-esteem.
- There are fewer distractions from other children who may not value learning.
- Children can move through material at their pace, which often results in accelerated learning paths.
- There are more opportunities for real-life skill-building.
What are your concerns, if any, about homeschooling?
Even if you’ve become convinced that homeschooling is the right choice, it’s a good idea to make a list of any concerns that you might have. A common one is that many families may have to rely on a single income going forward.
Another concern that many parents have relates to socialization. Will your children have opportunities to meet and socialize with other kids their age? Many parents find that they do through neighborhood, church, and community sports league connections.
What obstacles will you need to overcome to be successful?
If any of the downsides to homeschooling have become obstacles, see if there are ways to overcome them. For example, you might be able to make financial ends meet by cutting your household spending and creating a tighter budget. If both parents still plan to work, is there a way to share the homeschooling duties on a reasonable schedule?
What regulations do you need to follow?
Finally, it’s important to understand the requirements for homeschooling where you live. This is governed by the state, and South Carolina has a long list of rules. Fortunately, you can stay within the lines and get the resources you need by choosing one of the legally-recognized options for homeschooling in the state, which is membership in SCAIHS.
The SC Association of Independent Home Schools (SCAIHS) delivers guidance, educational counseling, and state-recognized recordkeeping to homeschooling families in South Carolina. Whether you are new to homeschooling or a current homeschooler that is looking for additional support, learn more about how becoming a member can help with your journey.