We can’t take away your worries about how your child will turn out, but we can teach some principles of how to homeschool without fear. It’s something every parent needs at some point along the homeschool journey: reassurance.
You can do this!
7 Most Common Fears About Homeschooling
When it comes to whether or not to homeschool, parents tell us that they have some pretty foundational fears in common with one another.
- The fear of not doing enough or doing too much
- The fear that their child won’t listen and/or won’t learn well from them
- The fear that children won’t socialize well with other kids
- The fear that they, as parents, don’t have the patience or time
- The fear that they will make the wrong curriculum choices
- The fear that they will not be able to provide what a school provides
- The fear that colleges won’t take their child’s transcript seriously
As you read through this list, which one resonates?
Parents today have plenty of concerns to occupy their minds. (We get it. We’re parents too.) So why would homeschooling be another thing to add to the list? Plenty of parents find that homeschooling gives them added margin for family activities, lower stress levels because there are fewer trips back and forth to school, and their children thrive in a smaller setting with more one-on-one attention.
In this article, we will explore:
- Common reasons to homeschool
- How to homeschool without fear
- Resources to help you get started
Common Reasons to Homeschool
While the decision to homeschool is based on multiple factors that are different for each family, here are some of the reasons why many families start looking at how to homeschool.
- They try a different format of school that doesn’t work well for their child or their family.
- They want to allow their children to do more exploratory learning and have a more flexible schedule.
- One or more of their children has unique learning capabilities that aren’t well provided for at other schools.
- One or more of their children struggle with mental health issues that are best managed in a small learning environment.
- They want their child to have more autonomy in what or how he or she learns, especially as children get older.
- Parents want to take a more active part in their child’s learning.
- Families want to travel more than a traditional school model allows.
- Families want to be able to explore faith questions together and have time to do that in a home setting.
Of course, these are just a few of the many reasons parents can homeschool their children. According to the Home School Legal Defense Association, every state in the U.S. allows some form of homeschooling. The HSLDA website has plenty of resources about how to homeschool in your state.
Even if you live in another country, the HSLDA may be able to resource parents who want to know if homeschooling is an option for them.
How to Homeschool Without Fear
Sometimes, even if your child is struggling at the local school or at a private school, you might be afraid to consider homeschool because it seems overwhelming, alienating, and impossible to do without an education degree. Those fears are unfounded by thousands of homeschool parents every day who never saw themselves going the homeschool route.
Parents like Elizabeth are saying that the choice to homeschool has been “a game-changer” because it’s reduced family stress and allowed one or more children to learn in a setting that works for them. Some students just do better in a smaller environment with one-on-one support — whether you are a trained teacher or not.
It’s easy to underestimate ourselves as parents. We naturally see our faults. But we try to encourage parents not to give in to the common myth that in order to teach, you have to be a classroom teacher. The most important thing to remember about homeschooling is that you know your child best.
First, there is not a classroom teacher who will ever get to know your child as well as you do. That gives you an advantage right away. Second, your ability to homeschool is not based on what you studied in college or if you did well in high school geometry. Plenty of parents from a variety of educational backgrounds teach their children, and their children go on to lead successful lives, contributing to their communities. Third, not all parents who homeschool fit the homeschool-parent stereotype that you and I may have grown up with. Quite the contrary; homeschooling has grown in popularity by 75% since 1999.
How to homeschool without fear?
- Do your homework. Research your state or country to find out what the homeschooling laws are.
- Decide what would work best in an ideal world for you and your family. Consider your work schedule, if you are a one- or two-income family, your other children who may or may not be homeschooled, and your willingness to partner with others to educate your child in a way that works for you.
- Arm yourself with allies. One of the most common fears is about loss of socialization — in children and in the parents who teach them. The best way to do that is to find a community of families who, like you, have chosen to homeschool and/or to make sure you are continuing in the relationships that you already have. Does your child play soccer? Keep it up. Do you belong to a monthly book club? Don’t quit now. Continue to follow your interests and the interests of your child. This is the No. 1 way to ensure you’re homeschooling happily.
- Don’t join everything. One of the common missteps we see is when an eager parent tries to do too much too soon, attempts to join all the homeschool groups in their area, and/or assumes they will have a similar approach to other families who homeschool. You want to enjoy living as well as homeschool, right? Keep it simple. You can always add what you need over time. It doesn’t have to be a perfect setting right away.
Resources to Help You Get Started
One of the best ways to learn how to homeschool is by finding a partner. Learnwell’s Navigator Program serves as a partner to take the more cumbersome pieces of homeschooling off your plate. We plan the lessons for you, we choose the curriculum, and our teachers guide you through the curriculum, giving you tips and pointers along the way.
We equip you to homeschool your child, but you own your child’s education.
- We don’t keep or collect your child’s grades.
- We don’t tell you that you can’t use a specific resource or piece of curriculum.
- We also do not mandate how you homeschool. If you want to do an hour in the morning, an hour at lunch, and an hour just before dinner, that’s up to you! Our teachers can make recommendations, but you are the driver of your child’s education.
As you consider if homeschooling is a good fit for your family, here are some resources to help you learn more:
- What is the best homeschool curriculum?
- How do I approach middle school?
- What if I fail my child or my child fails?
- How do I stay organized and make sure my child is on track?
- I’m not sure about homeschooling. How does it compare to traditional models?
- What if I feel like it’s too late, I missed the boat, and/or I’ve already tried and I messed up?
We hope these resources kick your fears to the curb and help you decide what is best for your family. If you live in the North Georgia area, and you are thinking about a hybrid school option, we’d love to share more about hybrid schools with you.
If you live outside of Georgia, we’d love to partner with you for your child’s home education. Check out our Navigator Program where we get you started — and stay with you — on the homeschool journey.