Homeschooling is legal in every state and province. Many people send their kids to school because they are unaware of this alternative or feel that they don’t have the time or resources available to properly educate their children at home. The truth is, you don’t have to be a certified teacher to be a great teacher in your own home. If your child is ready to start school, you’ve already taught them a lot, even if you don’t realize it.
Depending on where you live, there may be certain requirements you will have to follow to legally homeschool. Some school boards will try their best to scare or persuade you to stay with them or enroll your child. That’s why you need to look at the laws that are in effect in your area.
“This serves two purposes: You will know what you need to do to fulfill requirements; and you will know when an official is requesting something that transcends the bounds of the law and be able to defend your position.”
Even if you are not required to keep records of what you teach, it is a good idea to document learning. One way to do it is to record what you did after the fact. You don’t necessarily have to write lessons and unit plans. You can use what the author calls, “my tried-and-true ‘backwards’ method.” Here’s how it works. . .
“Jot down notes after something is completed.”
This changes “the focus from a plan book to a record of accomplishment easily transferred to a required progress report.”
What a great idea!
You also don’t have to force your kids into a schedule that doesn’t work well for them.
“Sometimes children are neither ready nor interested according to the typical school schedule. While this brings in the psychologist cavalry and leads to disability labels in school, it’s often just the naturally occurring difference of children’s internal timetables. Liberated from the school’s narrow timetable, your homeschooling child may follow her own.”
And you don’t have to repeat the same material over and over again like they do in school. The curriculumn that teachers are required to follow has them teaching the “same skills over and over throughout several years.” The spiral curriculum used in math has students returning to the same concept every year but with an increased level of difficulty. It would be easy to teach a single student several years worth of math in just a few months.
When I taught Grade 3, I found that most of my students were ready for the probability formula that isn’t introduced until the following grade. We often went a little further than we had to, because they were ready and eager. Teaching my own child, is the same. We can fly through material and get as in-depth as we want. We aren’t stuck with one grade level.
“Think about it: In homeschooling you know exactly what your child has learned. You note acquired skills and build from there. You have absolutely no need to repeat the same lessons year after year.”
Here’s a story from a parent about teaching a math concept in a very natural way.
“I wasn’t aware my daughter was ready or that we’d already been teaching her,’ explains Celia. ‘One day before we started homeschooling we were playing marbles. I had won, and she told me I had more marbles than she did. I saw the opportunity and taught her ‘greater than, less than, and equal’ on the spot.”
It’s remarkably easy to homeschool your way. You’ve been doing it all along as part of your parenting so why not keep doing it? Keep your kids at home and keep educating them with a personal and loving approach.