I was scouting through my Facebook groups and I keep noticing all the questions about homeschooling, especially in our homeschooling groups. Why not compile them here for some quick answers. If you have any others that I haven’t mentioned please feel free to message me, comment or email. I’m going to start with the most common questions we would get pre- pandemic and work my way down.
1. How do you socialize and don’t you worry about it?
I can’t not express, every homeschooling parent feels me on this, how many times we get asked this. It’s the number one question as you can see. Let me start off by explaining that my son M, was diagnosed with autism, sensory processing disorder, adhd and anxiety when he was 3. We struggled with interaction long before we were officially homeschooling (by our state laws) but he had his few friends, and family he connected with. When he went to pre – k he did make some more but when he was pulled out in kindergarten to homeschool (I’ll explain more below), we lost those connections. However, we still frequented the local playgrounds, went to co-ops, library, field trips and his sensory gym and camp where he made many more over the last few years. It’s harder during the pandemic but that’s what I would normally recommend.
2. Where do I start?
Let me preface, this partially depends on the age/grade of your child but all the same you need to do your research.
– know your state laws. You can google them. HSLDA is another great resource. No state/country is the same.
– understand your child’s learning style
– figure out your curriculum/ teaching method. Not everything will be a one size fits all. You may find you will have to change method/curriculum throughout the year and that’s totally okay.
*Side note, I often seen moms and dads of preschoolers asking this question the most. Often far too young to register in your state. Play, sing, read, explore. You can follow our themed ideas. Those were what I used when I taught preschool but most of the day was playing*
3. What if I’m not qualified? Or what do I need to be qualified to teach my child?
This all depends on your state but as far as I know, most states on,y require that you graduated Highschool or have a GED. Maybe you want to pursue higher education for yourself or maybe not. Double check your state law. You can however choose a curriculum with online teachers, hire a teacher/tutor and or join co-ops with others who are better suited in teaching a subject.
The fact that you want to take your child’s learning into your own hands is one of the greatest and smartest things. You will also learn as you go. Even those of us who have degrees are continuously learning about new things.
4. How do I teach math when I struggle myself?
All too often I see people say they hate math. Fact is math is everywhere. You use money don’t you? You measure things? You cook or bake? Nature is math is surrounding you, even art. Crazy right? But look I get it. Certain topics I just can’t grasp in math either. You are far from being alone on this. Pinterest is great for worksheets, khan academy, YouTube, teachers pay teachers, DLTK, Scholastic and so many other great resources for videos and worksheets. Not just for Math either. Google will be your friend. However if you are interested in helping with any topic/subject I would be happy to do a video (or get a guest post for it) so please comment or contact us which you need.
5. I work Full time, can I still homeschool? How?
I was once there. Working full time, going to school and still homeschooling. It’s tough to be sure. You will need to figure out your schedule. Can you switch off with your significant other? Have grandparents? Nanny? Teacher? Or maybe switch days with another homeschooling family/co op. Assuming your child isn’t old enough or reliable enough to be home alone. If you have a teenager maybe you trust them to get the work done while your gone. Trust me when I say if you want it badly, or need it, you will make it work.
6. Why? Why homeschool? What is your reasoning?
Everyone has their own reasons and stories. For some it is because they always wanted to. For others it’s because of bullying or their child/children are special needs. Others want a secular learning, some it’s about sports, music interest. There are so many reasons to homeschool and each family is different.
Our story is that I loved the idea. We homeschooled through preschool (and I mean he was playing, reading, crafting etc with me). He went to pre- k at a school in nyc. It was a dual language class where he learned mandarin and English. There were 10 kids and 2 teachers. He had an awesome year. But then came kindergarten and it was full of problems that even I, the co president of the PTA, couldn’t fix. (No that doesn’t give me special privileges but knowing the ins and outs and having other families complain of the same issues it was impossible to rally for thanks to certain staff and district employees). M was bullied, not just being picked on but physically choked daily when the teacher wasn’t looking. He was regressing socially, emotionally and academically. It was so frustrating to see him go through this. A class of 25 with 1 teacher full of 5-6 year olds and she wasn’t able to keep the safe from eachother. I don’t blame the teacher, I blame the principal and the district who denied and ignored all issues at hand. I finally had enough and pulled him out. I would love to express how healing unschooling has been. He’s still traumatized but he’s back to his happy self. He’s right where he should be socially, emotionally and academically again.
6. How much does it cost to homeschool?
Everyone’s budget is different, besides learning style and method, this will also help factor in supplies, field trips and co-ops/classes. You can spend $0 or your can spend $$$$$$. Personally if I ad that kind of money we would be traveling the word learning but since I do. I make use of or resources. There are so many free or low cost resources out there. Make connections. You got this.
7. I need a secular curriculum? Online curriculum? Curriculum for special needs? Etc.
Here is a link of the curriculums out there. I may have missed one or two. You can also make your own, which is what we do.
8. So I need to test in homeschooling?
That is up to you, as for assessments, please double check your state laws of which tests are allowed and when for your state. Some don’t require and some do. CAT is highly recommended if you need one.
9. What are the grade standards and what if I want my child to return to school?
– click on each grade and you will get the end of the year goals/standards. As for returning back to school. Contact the school and ask what they need, each is different and you will need to comply should you choose to return.
10. What is your space like? What is your schedule like?
Here are my schedule posts.
As for space, each one is unique. Some live in an apartment, others a big house, some an RV. Truth is the world, city, town is our school. As for actual space. I recommend a table or desk, access to a tablet or computer with internet if you can, and a book case. Where you place such things is up to you and your space.
11. How do I school with siblings?
This should really be up at the top. Now I only have M so I can’t speak on my own personal experience but we’ve been Homeschooling long enough to know many families who do. Here are the suggestions that were given.
– play, read, do art, gym music together if you can. You can vary projects by age.
– you can get a curriculum that will work for all the children or work independently and switch off. This will depend on their ages.
– co ops and classes will be your friend.
12. How are you Crisis schooling? Is it the same as homeschooling?
Once again on this blog I’m going to state very clearly. Crisis schooling and homeschooling are NOT the same. Everyone was forced to school at home, aka Crisis School. School districts and the government, poorly and quickly put into to place this schooling method. There wasn’t much thought to it. Even us homeschoolers are being effected and have to adapt due to the pandemic. Homeschoolers are usually out of the house, socializing, at classes, field trips etc.
13. What do I do if my child stops being interested or focused? How do I get my child to do work?
Ah, we all struggle some days. Maybe your method isn’t working? Maybe it’s the curriculum. That’s totally okay. You can switch it up. Maybe spend a day reading, or watching movies, going for a hike, or cooking. Everything in life is learning, whether it’s a topic or a skill. Let your child lead.
Thank you for reading through. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with anymore questions. You got this. You are stronger than you believe