Five questions to ask yourself before homeschooling your kids

You might have heard about homeschooling children from a friend, relative or even a neighbour. They might have told you how exciting it was homeschooling their own children. From having fun doing so, to creating a programme that suits their children, proponents of homeschooling have made some believe it’s as simple as ‘ABC’. But is it?

The practice of educating children at home rather than at school is rather appealing to many. Each year, more parents are joining the bandwagon. That said, is it for you?

There are some questions you need to ask yourself if you are tempted to join the homeschooling community. From the obvious ‘What should I know about homeschooling?’ to ‘Where do I start with homeschooling?’, the questions will help you decide whether or not you’ll homeschool your children.

An even poignant question to ask oneself is whether you should homeschool your children. The truth of the matter is that most children will do just fine in a normal school setting. But what if you strongly feel that your children will be better off when you homeschool them? Well, you need to do your research well to arrive to a good decision. The following are the five questions to ask yourself before homeschooling your kids.

1. Do I have support from a homeschooling group?

Homeschooling isn’t a magic bullet to the deficiencies of the education system. If it was, all parents would be homeschooling. Challenges abound starting from the home front. Your family’s support will mean a lot to you. If you don’t have their support, contact a homeschooling group. They’ll give you invaluable support and insights into becoming a successful homeschooling parent.

2. Am I ready for the challenges?

The attitude that it would be smooth sailing just because you know your children better than anyone is misleading. Of course there are days you’ll be having fun while teaching and interacting with your children. However, there are days you’ll feel as if you are a failure. What will you do when your child doesn’t understand a certain concept not matter how many times you’ve repeated it?

3. Why do I want to homeschool my children?

Some parents homeschool because they are teachers by training and feel they can do a better job. Others are motivated by other families’ success in homeschooling and want to experience it too. For others however, they feel they understand their children better than anyone, especially when a child has behavioural problems. Whatever your reason, make sure it’s strong enough if you are to meet the challenges.

4. How long do I want to homeschool my child?

Homeschooling as we’ve seen is not a panacea to ‘fixing’ your child or the system. It needs commitment from you. Will you school your children for two years and then enrol them in school afterwards? An ideal homeschooling routine requires time. This might mean you’ll probably get into a perfect routine in about two years or so.

5. Can I meet the expenses incurred in homeschooling?

Nothing is entirely free. You will invest both your time and money if you want good results. Things like the curriculum, subscription to online learning, suppliers, field trips, etcetera will need you to invest.

As observed, homeschooling isn’t something you go into blindly. A thorough research will spare you unnecessary frustration. If after doing your research you believe you can handle it, then well and good. However, if you change your mind after your research, your kids are better off in a normal school setting. For any deficiencies, consider hiring a private tutor.

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