cover - homeschooling kids - dad painting with son and daughter

20 FAQs In Homeschooling Kids For Beginners

Many parents are considering homeschooling their kids because of the pandemic. However, is it really right for your kids? Where do you even begin? To help you figure things out, we answered these 20 FAQs in homeschooling kids.

Homeschooling kids: 20 FAQs of beginners

Should I homeschool my child? 

homeschooling kids - mom and daugher learning on laptop
If the situation direly calls for it, prepare to go through submitting paperwork and requirements.

If you have a willingness to complete the requirements, patience, and tolerance, then you can definitely consider homeschooling kids. Also, if you want them to complete a curriculum at their own pace, then, by all means, consider homeschooling. Don’t homeschool your kids if either of you is unsure or is just feeling coerced. 

Where do I start with homeschooling?

Before you even decide to pull your kid out from school, delve deeper into research. Find out about your city’s local homeschool community. Having a community as a homeschooling parent is the key to survival. It could also help that you read books or subscribe to email newsletters about homeschooling kids. Investigate as much as you can. 

Is it easy to homeschool your child?

No, it’s not. You will deal with many setbacks, especially if you’re not prepared or not 100% committed to homeschooling kids. And even if you have a budget, you’ll still deal with unexpected challenges. These setbacks are not impossible to overcome, though. Just avoid thinking that you’re alone in this and ask for help from your community. 

How do I enroll my child in homeschool?

First, check your state’s homeschooling policy. Some states like Texas and Oklahoma have friendlier laws for homeschooling kids than New York and Pennsylvania. Also, you might have to submit requirements like your high school diploma to qualify as a homeschooling parent. In California, meanwhile, you can hire a private tutor at home or enroll in a home-based private school. 

Do you need a curriculum for homeschooling kids?

No, you don’t always need a curriculum for homeschooling kids. However, we highly recommend getting one first to give structure to your kids’ learning. You can even make your own curriculum, one which best suits your child’s needs and pacing. Just research useful resources and get help from your local community of homeschooling parents. 

Do homeschool kids take standardized tests?

This depends on your state’s laws. New York requires it, while Florida only offers standardized exams as a means of progress assessment. Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, they require parents of kids in grades 3, 5, and 8 to go through standardized tests approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. 

Can I homeschool my child and work full time?

Yes, but the difficulty in homeschooling kids will also depend on their ages, needs, and preferences. If they still need constant supervision, you have to set a class schedule around your job. This way, you can dedicate a certain period of time to teaching them. Meanwhile, if your child is old enough to study and answer exercises on their own, then you can teach them during your free time. 

Can I temporarily homeschool my child?

Yes, but you may want to consider distance learning, first. In this kind of program, they will be under the supervision of a teacher who will teach them via Zoom or any virtual classroom software. Of course, that’s not the only method of distance learning. However, it’s the most viable option if you’re unprepared and you just want to homeschool them temporarily because of the virus. 

How many hours a day do you homeschool?

That depends on your child’s age. Children in elementary years can learn for 1–2 hours a day. Add one hour if they’re at the middle school level. If they’re high schoolers, they can spend 3–4 hours each day learning at home. As for the days, you can either teach them three to five days a week, as long as you follow the state-required number of days for homeschooling kids. 

What does a typical homeschool day look like?

blonde mother teaching her daughter at home
Everything that happens before and after your class should be included in your homeschooling schedule.

It’s different for everyone. However, the pro homeschoolers include waking up, tidying up, eating breakfast, breaks, and dinner in their homeschool schedules. That’s because homeschool is not just about “having class at home.” It’s about cultivating an environment for the kids that stimulates learning and responsibility. 

What are the negative effects of homeschooling kids?

One of the most daunting challenges of homeschooling kids is that you have heavier responsibilities. Besides that, in every decision that you make in your personal or work life, you will have to consider how it will affect your kid’s homeschool schedule. And, of course, if you don’t plan around homeschooling properly, it will also affect your kids’ socializing skills.

What are the positive effects of homeschooling kids?

Homeschooling kids brings many benefits to the whole family. First, it’s more flexible and efficient since it allows you to create your own schedule. Second, you can make sure that your kid gets the right kind and amount of attention they need. Third, you will have more time to bond and connect more. More importantly, homeschooling adds that sense of security. You know your kid is at home learning, away from strangers and bad influences.

What qualifications do you have to have to homeschool your child?

It depends on the state where you’re residing at the moment. Right now, a handful of states are modifying their homeschool policies to accommodate parents. That means you may submit fewer requirements compared to before the school closures. So, it’s important that you search for the latest changes to your state’s homeschool laws. 

What is the unschooling method?

Unschooling is the more informal version of homeschooling. In this program, children are encouraged to choose what they want to learn, instead of going with a curriculum imposed on them. The core belief of this program is that when children like what they’re learning, they are more likely to retain knowledge. It’s often criticized for having less structure than homeschooling.

How do I transition my child from public school to homeschool?

First, you have to make sure you’re qualified to teach your children at home. Next, if you have done enough research, secure your kids’ documents or records from the public school. After that, you can discuss the transitioning process with their school. Don’t forget to include your kid in this—their opinion matters, too. 

Does homeschooling look bad on a college application?

No, however, you can’t help that most colleges look at homeschooled students differently. For example, they might assume that the kid has different or less social skills than kids who went to public school. Interestingly, more homeschooled students graduate college compared to public school students. So, in terms of college preparation, homeschooling kids is not a bad idea.

Do colleges accept homeschool diplomas?

Yes. In fact, kids don’t need a diploma or a GED to get accepted into a college. However, you still have to prepare a few requirements. You need to ready their letter of recommendation, transcripts, school reports, and SAT/ACT scores. As for their transcripts, you can either create one, tap a service that creates them, join a homeschool group that offers transcripts, or work under an umbrella school. 

Does Harvard accept homeschoolers?

Based on their website, Harvard treats homeschooled applicants just like the applicants who went to public school. Similarly, you have to submit your kid’s requirements and supporting documents immediately. They still need to submit their standardized test scores, transcript, and letters of recommendation. You can also submit a transcript you made on your own. 

Is homeschooling more effective than public school? 

In some ways, yes. Homeschooling kids ensures that you or their virtual teacher can focus on teaching them at their pace. They also learn to become more independent and resourceful since they don’t have anyone around to influence their judgment. That is unless they belong to a home-based private online school. Homeschooling also allows you to experiment, giving you the change to change what doesn’t work. 

Are homeschooled children happier?

little girl opening her painted palms to the camera
Several studies have proven that homeschooling kids make them eventually well-rounded adults.

Yes, especially if you work hard in providing them with a balanced social life. However, in terms of long-term happiness as adults, studies found that homeschooled people are happier. That’s because some of them weren’t losing sleep to beat deadlines. Sleep deprivation has a huge impact on overall health, so if you’re losing sleep, then your physical and mental health will decline as well. You will be less happy. 

Conclusion

As you can observe from our answers, research is crucial if you’re a beginner in homeschooling kids. Who knows? Upon your investigation, you might find out more viable learning options besides homeschooling.

Get more resources and tips in homeschooling kids on All Digital School. 

All Digital School has a rich library of resources for homeschooling kids. Plus, whether you’re a beginner or not, you can get and share ideas with other parents in our community forum

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