Choosing to home school your children is not a decision to be made lightly. This is a very personal family decision that you and your spouse (along with your children of course) will need to make. When determining whether or not you should home school your children, there are a number of things to keep in mind. Just like any other major decision, you should weigh the pros and cons. Understand that homeschooling requires a major time commitment. It is not something that you can do just a few hours each week. You will need to spend most of your day teaching your children to ensure that they stay caught up with their specific grade levels. Homeschooling is not simply taking field trips or visiting the library. It is a long-term commitment.
You will be spending your days with textbooks as well as experiments and projects. You will have to prepare lessons and grade papers and still make time for field trips and music lessons, sports and other subjects as well. Parents who home school their children should understand that they will have little time to themselves throughout the day. You will be with your children around the clock.
Homeschooling may be a bit less expensive than public school and is certainly less expensive than private school. Homeschooling does require that one parent be at home at all times. This means that you will not be able to work outside your home. If you work from home then this could be the perfect situation. However, if you do not work from home and you require both you and your spouse to be working full-time then it could be a problem. You will need to sit down and discuss your financial situation with your spouse to determine if it is feasible for one of you to be without work or if one of you can find a job working from home to help support the family.
Children who are home-schooled tend to have very good academic success. However, understand that socially, your children will be at a disadvantage. They will not have that normal interaction with other classmates. You will need to make it a point to help your children socialize and get together with other children their age. There are a number of local home school associations in many cities today that will help you to get your children together with other children. This is an excellent idea, particularly for older children.
Stop and think about your child. Is he or she willing to be home schooled? While the ultimate decision is yours as parents, you should at least consider your child’s opinion on the matter. If your child absolutely refuses to be home schooled then your job is going to be much more difficult. You can choose to home school only a year at a time. This gives you the opportunity to see how well your child adjusts and whether or not you can handle the responsibilities of teaching your children.
It may help you to speak with other parents of home schooled children. Find out why they decided to home school and what obstacles they have faced since beginning. This will help you to determine whether or not you need to pull your child out of public school and give you some insight into what you should expect if you do decide to home school your children.