You want your child to get the best education possible. However, the schools in your area aren’t great, or maybe they are good. Private schools can be expensive. You’ve thought about homeschooling too. How do you know which option to choose? Here are some points to consider:
- Is there someone available to teach?
If both parents currently work and both need to work, then obviously a full-time homeschooling curriculum isn’t for your family at this time. However, don’t forget that learning can happen at any time, so take advantage of opportunities when they arise.
- Is someone capable of teaching?
Even if you have someone at home to teach, does that person have the right personality, not only to be at home with the children all day, but to teach as well? It involves a different mindset and structure of the day.
- Are the kids all right?
Even if you would like to homeschool, are your kids interested in it? They may enjoy the change of scene involved in attending a traditional school, playing with their friends, and enjoying their parents only as parents and not as teachers. Or, they may prefer or even thrive at a less structured or rule-based learning situation. Keep in mind: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
- Supplementing works.
No matter if you decide to homeschool or not, supplementing your child’s education is always a good idea. For example, if your child goes to a traditional school, you still may want them in organized sports or take music lessons. If you are homeschooling and you want your child to learn a language that you don’t know, you can locate expert resources to help.
- Do your research.
Before jumping into anything headfirst, make sure you examine all possibilities. For example, regarding traditional schooling, do you like the school and its teachers? Do you like their policies and curriculum? Is the school safe? For homeschooling, you can connect with other homeschoolers to learn their strategies and curriculum to find out what will work best for your child.
- Change is good.
Whichever stream you decide to take, it doesn’t have to be forever. If a traditional school isn’t for your child, then explore homeschooling. On the other hand, if your child doesn’t take well to homeschooling, then try a traditional school. You can even try homeschooling for one year only and evaluate its effectiveness for both your child and for your family as a whole. There’s nothing wrong with changing your mind if the situation isn’t working.
- Is it working for the family unit?
While your child may be thriving from the selected method of schooling, how does it work for the family as a whole? For example, traditional schools may require drop off and pickup times that are hard to meet given parents’ schedules. Homeschooling may take so much of the teaching parent’s time that there is little time for the other members of the family. Education is important, but it has to balance out with the needs of everyone to work satisfactorily.
There is no one definitive answer. Many children benefit and even enjoy traditional school while others can thrive in a homeschool environment. Examine all of the possibilities and choose one that works best not just for your child, but for your family to predict success.