Homeschooling programs have been increasing nationwide as the national education system continues to focus on teaching every child the same way. Unfortunately, this methodology sets children up for failure.
There are many factors to consider when choosing among the available homeschooling programs for your child includes deciding between the numerous homeschooling methods to use, which learning style to focus upon, how much additional support you will need, pricing for the program, and what form the instruction will take. Every child is different and deserves to learn in the way that will assist them in succeeding to their highest possible level of achievement.
for your state
The first order of business when determining which program to choose from is to research the homeschooling laws for your state. What subjects must be taught, and which are optional? What degrees or certifications does the homeschool teacher need to legally be able to teach your child in a home setting? Some states require that any person teaching your child hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, even in a home environment, while others just require that a certified teacher in that state review the homeschool curriculum. State accredited homeschool programs can bypass the education requirements for the homeschool teacher, so consider this option if you do not meet the minimum requirements for homeschooling. How often must the state receive a report on your child’s progress? Review all homeschooling laws pertaining to homeschooling to ensure that the programs on your short list meet all of the requirements.
Homeschool methods and learning styles
It is incredibly important to consider your child’s needs when choosing among homeschool programs. Of the homeschooling methods, determine which method is the best fit for you as a teacher and your child as the student. Also, consider you child’s learning style and look for a program that is a good fit. Find out what interests them and build a curriculum that they love in order to keep them engaged. Learning styles can easily be determined by administering a short learning style based test that will pinpoint the percentage of visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning your child needs to succeed. Homeschooling methods and learning styles certainly vary by student, and must be considered when choosing the right program.
Level of support
Consider the level of administrative support that is made available to you when choosing among homeschooling programs. Will the homeschooling program provide you with a grading method that is easy to track, or an online grade book? Do they perform any recordkeeping of your child’s homeschool education? Do they make sure that the state has received the updated records and grades as required? These are all important things to consider as without them, considerable time and hassle can be added to the homeschooling process. Any time spent doing unnecessary administrative tasks is precious time away from your child.
One of the most important things to consider when choosing between homeschooling programs is that particular program’s accreditation. Accreditation makes it easy to ensure that the entire curriculum meets state standards. An accredited homeschooling program will provide easy re-entry into the public or private school system, should you decide that these systems are better for your child at a later point in time. Many accredited homeschooling programs provide administrative support in terms of tracking grades, as well as legal support by reporting the necessary information to the state on time.
Pricing is a consideration for many families, and although it is of far less importance than your child’s needs or happiness, some families must make cost a primary factor. The easiest way to determine the true value of a product is to comparison shop and draft up a cost benefit analysis. Write down each of the homeschooling programs of interest, what is provided with each in terms of support or materials, and the cost of each. Accredited programs tend to provide the most support and materials, thus the highest value, for a reasonably low cost.
The Internet plays an important role in our everyday lives. Information is accessible at your fingertips and one consideration for educating your child at is to use an online homeschool program. Homeschooling online takes several different forms and is an alternative to the book and paper way of homeschooling. The number of online programs is increasing and parents have a lot of choice. Depending upon you core beliefs and values, you may choose a religious homeschool program or a secular program. Consider homeschooling online as another option, depending upon your child's needs, your comfort level, and your budget.
Remember, this is about your child’s needs and nothing but the best will do. Make sure to choose a program that allows for some flexibility, is based around the needs of your child, meets all state law requirements, and allows you to spend the time you desire with your child. Not all homeschool programs are created equal; so make sure to choose an accredited homeschooling program that guarantees your child is learning what they need to thrive.