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Is homeschooling right for you and your child?

Kori Ellis is an editor and writer based in San Antonio, TX, where she lives with her husband and four children. At SheKnows, she writes about parenting, fashion, beauty and other lifestyle topics. Additionally, Kori has been published i...

Homeschool happiness

Making the choice to homeschool your children is a major decision. Every child and every family is different. What's right for one can be completely wrong for another.

Weigh your schooling options. Consider both the benefits and drawbacks to home education, and open your heart and mind to all the possibilities.

Why homeschool

Families have a variety of reasons to want to homeschool their children. When deciding whether to dive into homeschooling, talk to your spouse and kids about the reasons you want to homeschool your children.

Religion

Religion can't be taught in public schools, and private schools are extremely expensive. Many parents want to homeschool to make religion and faith part of their children's everyday education.

Quality

The quality of the schools in your area can be a big factor for parents who are contemplating homeschooling. With overcrowding, increasing violence and lower teacher-to-student ratios in many public schools, it's no wonder homeschooling is becoming a more viable route for many families.

Pace

With homeschool, children can work at their own pace -- getting the attention and time they need with difficult subjects and avoiding boredom in areas where they excel. Whether you have a gifted kid, a special needs child or children somewhere in between, with homeschooling you can tailor your teaching to fit their learning styles.

Read about why so many parents are choosing homeschool >>

Benefits of homeschooling

The benefits of a home education are numerous. When deciding whether to homeschool, consider how important these benefits truly are to your family. You can:

  • Control not just what your kids learn, but when and how they learn it.
  • Provide your children with one-on-one attention in subjects with which they struggle.
  • Challenge your children with unique coursework, projects and activities.
  • Nurture your children's talents, whether they are scholastic, athletic or artistic.
  • Protect your children from negative influences and instill your belief system and moral values.
  • Provide a positive environment for your children to learn and grow.
  • Create a school schedule that fits your family's needs and lifestyle.
  • Take field trips and vacations whenever you like to supplement your children's education.
  • Develop close bonds as you spend quality time with your children every single day.

Realities of homeschooling

Homeschooling isn't all roses and lollipops. The reality is that home education is not suitable for every family. Before jumping headfirst into homeschooling, consider the possible downside.

Finances: Obviously you can't have a full-time job outside your home if you are homeschooling. Are you prepared to live on one income to educate your kids at home? Also factor in the cost of curriculum. Though not as expensive as a high-end private school, homeschooling doesn't come without costs. You can find free and low cost homeschool curricula, but it doesn't come without time and effort.

Lifestyle changes: In addition to the cost, homeschooling can be emotionally draining for the parent if you don't have the right mindset or personality to deal with it. To be a successful (and happy) homeschooling mom, you need to be organized and disciplined. Understand that many times you will be with your kids 24 hours a day. You are will have to teach whether you are stressed, sick or bored. If you lack self-discipline or don't want the stress on your personal time, then perhaps homeschooling isn't the best option for you.
Socialization: It's a myth that all kids that are homeschooled are socially inept. Homeschooling can provide socialization opportunities, but it's up to you to take advantage of them. Some parents and their kids take part in co-ops with local homeschooling families. Other children join boy and girl scouts, church groups, sports leagues and other extracurricular activities. You must also take into account your child's personality. Some kids need daily interaction with children their age, while others can be satisfied with weekly or more infrequent socialization.

Find out: Are homeschooled kids really lacking in socialization >>

Homeschooling can be an amazing experience for parents and their children. Over two million kids are being homeschooled in the U.S. Before you take the plunge, do your research, consider your family's best interests and decide whether homeschooling is right for you.

More about homeschooling

The homeschooling debate
Homeschooling gift ideas
Electronics for homeschool students

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