Does Homeschool Fit Into your Family's Formula?

Many parents may be interested in homeschooling their children, yet unsure if it is right for them. Read on to learn how you can decide if homeschooling fits into your family's formula.

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Homeschooling is a major commitment and a family needs to make the commitment together. While it is obvious to most parents that homeschooling is a major decision, they sometimes overlook important details that can have an effect on their homeschooling success. The factors that influence success include: finances, time commitment, commitment of the family and teaching expertise.


School supplies like text books, paper, pens, crayons and binders add up quickly. Curriculum guides and teaching books are expensive. Field trips to museums, the symphony and the ballet could impact your budget.

Homeschooling is feasible on a tight budget, it just takes more creativity. Instead of buying new resource guides, search used book stores or libraries for the same or similar books. Other homeschooling families in your area may let you borrow books and guides they have used in the past. Symphony and other arts tickets are sometimes available at discounted prices for students. Many performing arts centers offer free day time concerts


Most states have a minimum number of hours a homeschool student must spend in 'school' each year. Research your state's homeschooling regulations to learn exactly what is expected of you and your child. Many families have working parents or are led by a single working parent. While it is possible for families to homeschool when the parent or both parents work, it takes firm scheduling and discipline. Older children are able to stay at home and complete their homework and reading assignments when their parents are at work. These families often continue school when mom and/or dad get home, taking the evenings for science labs and other activities. Be prepared to work with your children on the weekends as well. It's important that your child completes their required hours and learns all of the essential skills as well.

Family Commitment

Before you make the switch to a homeschool environment, make sure your entire family is dedicated to the new schooling method. This means that both parents must agree this is best for the family. Even if the parent who is not teaching has apprehensions, it will affect the outcome. Parents must be able to provide each other with emotional and mental support when teaching children at home. The children must also agree to homeschooling. If the child prefers not to be removed from their current school then homeschooling will not be as successful. Discuss with your child all of homeschooling's pros and cons. See what each family member is looking for in the student's education.


A huge hurdle for most parents is the actual act of teaching. A common misperception is that parents must be an expert in every subject in order to effectively teach their children. Formal education training is not needed to excel within a homeschool program. Often, a homeschooled student will take the initiative to teach themselves. Teaching resources available online, in bookstores, and in libraries. Online tutoring is also available to teach children math or reading if parents are not comfortable with these subjects.

It's Not Forever!

When homeschooling your child, remember to take one school year at a time. You can still put your child back into private or public school if you find it's the right choice. Stay in touch with the requirements of your school district. You will want to know the process involved in enrolling back into the school system and you will want to be have a clear understanding of the grade level in which your child should be placed.

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