Those of us with kids who are school age have already had experience homeschooling. As schools shut down during the coronavirus pandemic, many parents were forced to educate their kids on their own, and I was one of those.
I didn’t intend on the kids being homeschooled this upcoming fall. The schools will be open where I live, but even in the “loosest” regulatory scenario, I have found the new schooling system is a wholly unacceptable place for my children to spend several hours each day.
I drew a line a long time ago if I’m being honest. I never wanted my kids in public school but they wanted to go so they could make friends. Now that they aren’t even allowed to play with other kids or give them high fives, it’s pointless to send them back. Others may be afraid of the virus and considering homeschooling for that reason. However, personally, I am far more concerned with how the school intends to treat children than I am with them getting sick.
Considerations when researching homeschooling programs
Truth be told, I had no idea what I was even looking for. But my first suggestion is to go for it! Just fire up Google and start typing! Very soon, you’ll see certain keywords and phrases that may interest you, such as “no common core,” a “self-development curriculum,” or “standardized testing.” I found that I wanted a program that would allow the kids to learn on their own time and the way they each learn. I also found out that I wanted them to learn the long lost art of critical thinking and be able to ask questions about why they have to do the things they are doing.
You will also want to consider your child’s’ learning style. Some cannot learn unless they are in a hands-on environment, but others might do well listening to a video lecture and completing workbooks.
Then, you should take into account your teaching style. Do you prefer to show the kids how to do it? Do you “coach” better? Or do you prefer something they can learn almost completely on their own?
Also, consider the areas your child may need help with. Since we had a few months of learning together earlier this year, I was able to figure out that my son hates writing, but loves to read, and he really is good at math. My daughter loves writing, and art, and anything that requires a bit of creativity.
There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to homeschooling. In fact, I know I’m not the only parent who doesn’t want my kids to go into a state-sponsored prison where they can’t even drink from the water fountain if they get thirsty and forget a water bottle. I also find it abhorrent that they are disallowed from socializing with other kids. If this is a concern, network with other moms, and work together when it comes to homeschooling! A few moms I know had the idea to take turns at each other’s home (one mom teaches Monday, another Tuesday, etc.) so it isn’t so overwhelming. This is a plan we intend to try, and it will definitely be a little different than what we are used to, but worth it to us. Plus, by having others who you know getting involved in homeschooling, the kids will get to do a lot of fun things! One mom suggested using Fridays as a day to hike and look at plants and trees as the season changes and explain how that happens, why, and what our Earth is doing as it makes its laps around the sun. Clever ideas like that are what makes having a homeschooling team so great!
That led me to this program. This one may not be right for everyone but it fits all of my criteria. It’s reasonably priced and it’s mostly “self-taught” for kids above grade 3. My daughter can be very motivated on her own, and it seemed like a good fit, and as a lefty and often “oddball,” by som will be able to do things that work for him as opposed to just following the orders of the teacher.
If you are new to homeschooling, don’t panic!
I know it can be daunting, trust me. It was for me too. But once you get the curriculum chosen and purchased, there’s a certain sense of freedom that comes with knowing you get to help your children learn morals and principles that are important to you, and not someone else. Another benefit is the scheduling freedom. I plan to keep my kids on a schedule, but if we decide to pack up and visit grandparents in Oregon or Colorado, we can just go!
For me, especially this year, the pros far outweigh the cons, since the only pro to public schooling for me was the socialization aspect. Again, with that gone, there are no pros to me.
Share your homeschooling programs, tips, and advice below to help the Ready Nutrition community.