How Does Homeschooling Work?
With the advent of the Internet and the infiltration of technology into all areas of life, homeschooling is no longer some obsolete concept. Homeschooling is on the rise, and for a good reason. It allows students to move at their own pace, learn things they actually care about learning, and overall have a more productive and effective education.
What is homeschooling?
Homeschooling is exactly as it sounds, parent- or student-led education that takes place in the home of a student or another family's home. In 2021, there were about 3.7 million homeschooled students in the United States, that's about 7% of the K–12 population.
Is homeschooling a fit for your family?
People choose to homeschool their children for a number of reasons, including:
Homeschooling gives the student — and often their parents — the freedom and flexibility to choose their curriculum. This means the student can learn about things that they have an interest and passion for while skipping over some of the more traditional subjects that could be outdated or not applicable to their future career path.
This freedom allows students to take their learning out of the classroom, whether it's a trip to the zoo, job shadowing at the local hospital, or even a field trip to a nearby city.
The traditional school day comes with a lot of distractions that students don't face at home. In a homeschool environment, students are free to fully be themselves without worrying about what others will think and without being distracted by other students. This makes their education much more effective.
Rather than learning from a decades-old curriculum with the sole purpose of doing well on tests, homeschooled students have the benefit of taking a more meaningful approach to learning by studying things that matter to them. This helps them actually learn and retain information for life rather than cramming it all in, taking a test, and forgetting all about it five minutes after the test.
What to Look for in a Curriculum
Choosing a curriculum, or the roadmap to your child's education, can be one of the trickiest parts of homeschooling. When choosing a curriculum, you should consider:
- Learning styles: Not all children learn the same way. This is one of the most significant pitfalls of traditional curriculums as they often leave children with non-traditional learning styles behind. Does your child learn best by creating things? Talking to people? When you choose your homeschool curriculum, first, you should determine whether your child is a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learner and then find a curriculum that best suits those needs. You can also focus on the appropriate learning materials. Use textbooks, e-books, picture books, video clips, and even games to enrich your child's curriculum and education. This is where your child's learning style will come into play. For example, if they're a kinesthetic learner, check out learning games that will get their mind and body involved. If they're a visual learner, look for video and picture resources to help them retain information in the way that works best for them.
- Interest-led learning: Can your child identify a dinosaur by its bones? Or maybe they can name every make and model of trains, but when it comes to retaining their multiplication facts, they just don't stick. In these cases, opt for interest-led learning that focuses on broadening your child's passions with subjects and life skills like cooking, finance, coding, or even zoology and marine biology.
- Post-graduation plans and interests: If you have a middle schooler who is dead set on opening their own auto repair shop or a high schooler who has been counting down the days to college since kindergarten, it's important to keep their post-grad plans in mind when creating their curriculum.
The transition to and from homeschool
Another common question about homeschooling is how grading works and if transcripts are transferrable. There are a few essential things to know about the transition to and from homeschool.
It's important to know that each state has its own homeschool laws. So, you'll need to check with your state's laws on how to withdraw your student from traditional school, which usually comes with some paperwork.
You'll also need to set up your homeschool curriculum in accordance with state laws.
You can create your own homeschool transcripts. Just make sure they include:
- The student's name and date of birth
- The homeschool address/phone number
- The student's projected graduation date
- The course name and grade received
- The number of credits the course is worth
- Grading scale
Once all this information is complete, you should have no problem transferring your child's homeschool transcripts to another institution.
Outschool is an excellent resource for homeschooling. We have more than 140,000 interactive online classes for your child to choose from. Outschool has a class for everyone.