Curious about getting started with homeschooling? Wondering if some of your questions are the same as the top 10 homeschooling FAQs?
At least the top 10 homeschooling FAQs that I receive!
While at the grocery store, the bank, walking the dog, and cruising the aisles at Target, I am asked many of the same questions on a regular basis. In fact, several of them are so common that I’ve come to refer to them as the Top 10 Homeschooling FAQs!
And I have a hunch you might be wondering about some of these too!
Here are answers to the top 10 homeschooling FAQs, perfect for beginners!
1. Is homeschooling legal in the USA?
Yep, it sure is!
Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states. However, you need to be aware that each state adheres to its own laws regarding homeschooling. You can find all of the specific legal information from the HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association.) This site is very user-friendly and a great go-to for general and legal questions.
**Please note that homeschooling is NOT legal in all countries!
2. Is homeschooling expensive?
Well, that depends.
It certainly doesn’t have to be!
A public library card and internet access open up endless educational possibilities. Believe me, I know this from firsthand experience!
There are also LOTS of FREE high-quality, online resources for homeschooling!
Additionally, many museums and other venues offer substantial discounts to homeschoolers. These opportunities provide tons of inspiration for affordable field trips.
Regardless of how much you spend, it is always a good idea to create a homeschool budget and stick to it as best you can.
3. What about socialization?
Ah yes, the famous socialization question and one we homeschoolers get asked ALL THE TIME!
When asked this question, my first response is usually, “What do you mean by socialization?”
If the person asking assumes that the ideal form of socialization for children is spending time with same-age peers all day long, I explain that this is not our family’s ideal.
Instead, we consider quality socialization to involve a variety of ages and environments.
For example, all of the homeschoolers I know spend time with immediate family members, neighbors, community vendors, instructors, sports teammates, and other homeschooling families.
This is the type of well-rounded socialization that comes to mind when I ponder socialization.
Furthermore, unless you are drawing your blinds and not leaving your house, (and I know ABSOLUTELY NO homeschooling families who do this!) then chances are, your child is going to get plenty of socialization.
Socialization is available in many shapes and forms outside of a brick-and-mortar school environment.
4. How do you know if your child is on track academically?
You will be able to determine so much of your child’s progress, simply by being present with them.
Additionally, most curriculum comes with assessment instruction to track progress. Quizzes, tests, and projects are common methods used to assess comprehension and mastery.
Also, if you choose to outsource certain subjects, (for example, an online history class or a writing class taught at a local homeschool co-op) these teachers serve as your partners in evaluating your child’s progress.
I always encourage outsourcing any subjects that feel daunting or overwhelming!
5. What about standardized testing?
Many states in the U.S. do require that homeschoolers take standardized tests at certain grade levels, but not all states do. This also varies from country to country.
Remember to check out the HSLDA website for information regarding requirements for where you live.
6. don’t you have to be really patient?
I don’t think of myself as a patient person AT ALL!
And I would hate to think that the only thing keeping you from homeschooling is thinking you’re not patient enough. Believe me, we all have our exhausted, overwhelmed days.
However, I do think it’s important to enjoy being around your children.
Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way suggesting that you want to be with them ALL OF THE TIME! I am an introvert and therefore become easily drained if I’m surrounded by constant noise and energy.
But generally, I do really like being with my children. I find them interesting, curious, creative, and thoughtful. If I didn’t enjoy their company as much as I do, homeschooling would definitely be MUCH harder.
PLEASE don’t let your assumption that you’re not patient enough, keep you from considering homeschooling!
7. Do you think everyone should homeschool?
No, I don’t.
I believe that homeschooling is a fantastic educational path for many families. But it certainly isn’t for everyone.
And to be clear, there should be absolutely no shame in that!
Homeschooling requires dedication, determination, and flexibility. It often involves a financial sacrifice as one parent usually commits to doing the bulk of the homeschooling as their primary job.
While I have often worked part-time throughout our years of homeschooling, I have never worked full-time. There is no way that I would be able to juggle a full-time career and full-time homeschooling.
Then again, I know some people who have juggled working full-time and homeschooling.
Each family must consider the individual needs and limitations of their family members, their priorities as a family, and what they can afford before deciding whether or not to homeschool.
8. What about high school?
I find it interesting how many people look at me with wide eyes and sort of half-gasp, half-whisper, “Are you going to homeschool in high school?”
My first thought is usually, “Well, why wouldn’t we?”
There tends to be this misconception that I will need to know the subject matter for EVERY SINGLE SUBJECT covered in high school.
Um… no way is that going to happen!
And the truth is that it’s also completely unnecessary.
There are countless opportunities for various experts to teach my children the subjects required for high school graduation. Outsourcing is a beautiful thing!
In fact, the older my children get, the more we find ourselves outsourcing. For example, we currently use a fantastic online math program, have outsourced science for quite some time, and regularly use plenty of local experts for various classes.
There are phenomenal resources out there that are really quite affordable and easy to find. Online courses, community college options, classes offered at a variety of venues in your area…there are so many opportunities for enrichment.
At the same time, my husband and I are always open to what our children want to do in the future regarding their education. If they decide they want to attend a traditional high school, we’re definitely open to discussing that as a possibility.
We will navigate the decision-making process together as a family, just like we always have.
9. What if YOU change your mind?
Homeschooling DOES NOT have to be a forever decision!
It is so important that you understand this!
Because sometimes I think this fear keeps a family stuck. Instead of giving homeschooling a fair shot, a family dismisses it altogether, thinking it’s not feasible long-term.
I know families who have pulled their child from school mid-year to homeschool. They ended up falling in love with the lifestyle and continued through high school.
Alternatively, other families homeschooled solely through middle school or high school.
Still, others opted to homeschool during elementary school and then their children transitioned to traditional middle school.
What I’m trying to say is, please don’t think that you’re going to be stuck. Because you’re not going to be!
10. What curriculum is the best to use?
This will depend on both you and your child.
Spend some time reviewing your options and see what resonates with you. There are different learning styles and many different ways to homeschool.
And while all of these different options might feel overwhelming initially, it truly is good news because it means you have lots of OPTIONS!
Do you have any other questions about homeschooling? Particular concerns? Please let me know – I’d love to help!