Homeschooling Yes or No? Tips to Succeed before you start

Homeschooling Yes or No? Start in 2021/ 22 – Part 2 of Series for Beginners

Aren’t sure whether to start homeschooling yes or no? Let’s address your struggles right here. Struggles that so many others face, as well. Inner struggles that don’t allow for an easy answer. Be sure to get ideas from someone who’s been in your shoes at some point, too.

Fears Before You Start Homeschooling

Check some of the above headlines first, and find the ones that resonate with you the most.

In Part 1 of the Series on Finding Your Homeschool Style it was all about homeschooling from cero. Now in here, it’s about inner tensions to switch to a parent-regulated education style (see link in related post) and get practical help. It’s aimed to clarify on your decision whether to jump into the homeschooling adventure, or not. Find some common struggles listed here:

  • Maybe you don’t feel confident to work and at the same time, be the homeschool leader your children need you to be?
  • Nobody you know personally is doing it.
  • However, the internet is full of information from and for homeschoolers that seem to do it – so you might, too?
  • Where to start, if at all?
  • Will I succeed?
  • What does my family think about it?
  • How to convince my husband, mother, children, friends that this is the right way for our family?
  • How can I be sure that we won’t fail?
  • Will my children miss out anyhow?
  • How can I juggle it all – work, household, hobbies, friends, voluntary engagement, care for a family member AND homeschooling on top of it all?
  • Is homeschooling harmful for social-emotional education?

Anyone who considers homeschooling as a option for his or her family for the first time, faces one or more of these questions. And every individual faces them to different degrees. What might challenge you the most, might be totally easy for someone else. This is why homeschool peers become important down the road. There’s always someone with similar struggles, someone to connect, someone to ask.

Find out Your Initial Motivation to Consider Homeschooling an Option for Your Family

Now, the interesting point is: What’s it you experienced that moved you to such a position where you’re now? Asking yourself whether to homeschool or not. Have you met homeschoolers and found their life style intriguing? Have you been worn out by hybrid classroom settings, and just want to recover independence of ever-changing routines due to outside control?

In other words, apart from all the concerns listed above there’s some kind of initial spark that lightened the fire within you to consider homeschooling as valid option. Yes, you may feel uncertain about whether you’re able to succeed, or not. The struggle you’re facing is real. And to calm your emotions down a bit: it’s what ‘every’ homeschooling family goes through before they’re starting out.

Global Health Crisis as Catalyst for Homeschooling – is That You?

It has been even more so before the global health crisis and school lockdowns worldwide that homeschooling has become such an option for many more to consider, indeed. Now, the question whether to homeschooling yes or no has challenged many more families globally to possibly switch from public or compulsory education into alternative education. Families who were obliged to adapt to the new situation, at first.

Families like yours that thought it was more than scary, and frustrating to move on homeschooling. However, over time it turned to the surface the many advantages homeschooling brings.

Instead of a global health crisis, it may be any other personal crisis that challenges a family to think in alternatives, including in education. To think out of the box. To think differently, to act in new ways – to start homeschooling?

Advantages of Switching to Homeschooling

  • You may follow your family’s schedule instead of outside prescriptive limitations;
  • You may share your children’s joys and successes;
  • You may help a child that has health issues or learning problems individually;
  • You may impart values that are important to you, and your family’s tradition;
  • You may adjust teaching methods to your child’s individual learning style – at least, over time with experience;
  • You may stress certain content to learn or skills for your child to achieve;
  • You may not only adjust what days to study but also what times in the day are best,
  • …and so many more.

You’re still not convinced? Still feel the ongoing struggle? Sure – it’s a decision that is not easily returned once you’ve changed your path from that crossroad, where you’re now.

Homeschooling Yes or No? What if You’re the Only one who Homeschools in Your Wider Family?

Family will accept it, just as friends. They may come up with questions, especially if your children don’t lack peer contact on the way. Yes, that’s something to watch out for. When children turn 6 years of age, peers become more and more important. You may either connect with local homeschoolers and homeschool groups if they’re out there. Another option is to plan in regular afternoon activities for your children to meet others.

Family members or friends not familiar with homeschooling might come up with their earnest concern that your children will miss out on social contacts. That’s what we as family have come across quite frequently. In this case, this article includes two contrasting personal opinions, partly based on experience, on the social effects of homeschooling.

Homeschooling Yes or No? What if you Don’t Know Where to Start, at all?

Need a general outline? Find a link above to related post on starting homeschooling. Also, you might want to consider a membership, like with a global organisation, or subscribe to their free newsletters that usually are available for members and non-members alike to get started somewhere. A third option is to join online forums or social media groups to connect with experienced homeschoolers to get your individual concerns answered and move you forward.

What if Your State’s School Agency Will be Confrontative? 3 Practical Tips

Yes, you need to be prepared for an official challenge. How may you prepare well at starting out? 3 quick tips for beginners:

Tip 1. Become a Member of the Homeschool Legal Defence Association, especially if you live in the U.S. They’re advocates for homeschool families throughout their nation, and globally. However, filing lawsuits is rather limited to American homeschoolers within America, to my knowledge. Find out more in my related article on home education.

Tip 2. Buy a planner that goes with the school year, starting in August/ September. It may be a planner for pupils/ students, or even a teacher planner. Once you’ve got an outline for your school day’s routine, write down every lesson you do. Take these notes daily. Include: Subject, Book, Page, Task, Video link,… Be as precise as you can be. That’s the proof you might show any official that you’ve been diligent following any obligation to educate your child. There can be said more to this but let’s have it simple for you, at this point. With many children, I suggest a planner for each child.

Tip 3. Set a routine for your family to follow. Do follow it. As for a start, go to this related post, which includes a sample schedule. You may adapt it to your needs.

Homeschooling Yes or No? What if you Don’t Feel Confident how to Proceed and Follow Through Year After Year?

I heard from experienced homeschoolers once that their family struggled with exact the same question. They came up with one working solution: We do it for one year. Just one year. And they told themselves that they always could give up again on homeschooling after that year. – Then, they would find themselves doing the 2nd year. However, they were always open to give themselves the freedom to opt out after that school year, or the following, or whenever needed in the future.

This approach might help you in your situation. Just try to at least finish one school year. That way you smoothly prepare for changes instead of jumping from one teaching format and life style into a totally different one ‘over night.’

You might feel like a ‘loser’ considering stepping away from homeschooling ‘again’ before you’ve even started out. It’s actually a legitimate weighing of pros and cons, instead. If you can imagine to just homeschool for one year and then, returning to public or private education as option it all becomes easier. The decision whether to begin homeschooling, at all may come obvious, even. It’s even more so when a major change in the family lies ahead, like a move in a year from now, or the need to switching from primary to middle school. These natural changes allow for experiments within the family routines and turn any possible step back rather into a step forward.

What if you Feel you Already Struggle With Child Education, and Homeschooling on top was Just too Much?

Well, maybe it turns out to diminish struggles in the relationship between you as parents and your children. Homeschooling opens up for a different life style where you as parents are much closer observants of your children’s struggles, fears, and successes. You’ll understand them much better as they reveal themselves to you through that journey. Sure, it’s not an assurance but a probability that this closeness will strengthen your family instead of increasing tension.

An important part is also the well-planned approach, see above. Avoid lack of control or indecision by deciding before the homeschooling journey what kind of schedule your family will follow through the coming year. And secondly, don’t just stumble from one resource to the next. Decide for a curriculum that works for you, and follow it through the first year, at least. More on deciding for a curriculum, to come in part 3 of the series. If you need quick help on homeschooling online with virtual schools go to the related article. One different curriculum (from different organisations) for each subject is just as fine. It’s about a systematic presentation of content, see more in the coming part 3 of this series.

Homeschooling Yes or No? This is an easy question that waits for a dedicated answer – either way.

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