In the wake of school systems going virtual for spring 2020—and likely into fall—you may be considering that if the kids are going to be home anyway, perhaps you should forget about “regular” schooling altogether and take up homeschooling. You may also feel slightly panicky at the idea. Can your kids handle having you as parent and teacher? Can you handle that level of responsibility?
For more families than you might expect, the answers are “Yes.” While you’re investigating legal and curricula requirements for your area, here are some hints for more personal concerns.
If you work full-time yourself, you’ll have more schedule challenges than the stay-at-home parent. Still, you don’t have to rule out homeschooling as an option. Try:
Legally or practically, you don’t need formal “education in education” to teach your own kids—knowing them personally is training enough. If you can get them interested in an art project on boring weekends, you can teach them whatever they need for success in life.
Don’t underestimate yourself—or overestimate the value of “traditional” academics. Hundreds of societies have thrived with children learning exclusively from parental instruction and example.
Numerous studies have confirmed that homeschooling is as effective—often more so—in helping children master reading, mathematics, and everything else taught in public schools. Check that your own approach includes the factors most conducive to success:
Although many kids cite seeing friends as a favorite reason for “going to school,” actual socializing in most traditional schools is limited to before-and-after-the-school-day chatter. And for many kids, their real friends are elsewhere: they share few interests with their classmates.
You can provide perfectly adequate socializing opportunities by:
Finally, think positive! Focus on the benefits of family education, rather than indulging in “what if” fretting. The example you set for your kids, in that area, may prove the most valuable lesson you ever teach them.