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Homeschooling in Wisconsin: Top 5 questions answered

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The topic of education comes up every day and many parents are exploring alternative options for their children’s education. With that, his article will be the first, of many, on homeschooling in Wisconsin. Homeschooling is growing in popularity every year and with this comes many questions. In this article we will discuss the top five questions many homeschool parents and organizations are asked.

1. What is homechooling?

Out of all the educational options available, homeschooling is the most flexible. There are a variety of homeschooling styles to choose from, making home education convenient for most families. Some home educators use the traditional approach, where students study the same subjects as the public school system. While some use the ‘un-schooling’ approach which is less structured.

With that, a great deal of home educators are taking advantage of the digital age by utilizing DVD teachers to virtual schools, making for a plethora of educational options. Many districts, not wanting to lose students, are adding online education as an option as well.

2. Is homeschooling legal?

Yes, homeschooling is legal in all fifty states. However, each state has their own laws, some more illogical than others. Wisconsin is one that is less intrusive on the laws behind home schooling.

Here in Wisconsin, according to the WI Department of Public Instruction, you must: first, file for PI-1206 and meet two major requirements. Requirement one, provide 875 hours of education each calendar year. Requirement two, provide a basic educational plan for: reading, math, English, social studies, health and the sciences.

3. How much times is need and what is the cost?

Instructional hours are accumulated in a multitude of ways and accrue more rapidly than one would think. Any time spent learning; whether from reading a book, online, on a trip or even making supper for the family, is counted as instructional ours. While you can be very structured and have a daily schedule, remember homeschooling is flexible.

As for the cost this depends highly on your homeschooling approach. With that, it can cost nothing more than a library card or can be thousands of dollars a year. There are many public resources available and since you are free to explore any time, they will be less occupied as well. Cost may come into play more with students in high school if they would like to take advantage of the offerings of local colleges.

In conclusion, you have ultimate control on the cost and quality of the education you choose to implement. There is a wealth of resources available, which I will explore further in future articles, for implementing a successful homeschooling education.

4. What about social interaction?

We have heard the whispers, “those children need to be in school for socialization”, making this a frequently asked questions. Yes, children do need to have socializations, but public schooling is not the only way to achieve this. Children who are educated at home have more opportunities to explore the diverse world around them, since they are not behind a desk for 4-6 hours a day, meeting new people with various backgrounds and interests. Furthermore, studies have shown, homeschooled children are more confident and less peer dependent than their traditional schooled peers.

5. Can they get into college?

It was once believed those who were homeschooled were uneducated making them less hirable. Truth be told, this is as far from reality as one gets, the opposite is true. With that, even college recruiters look for homeschooled children all the time, they deem them desirable candidates, as it has been shown they out perform their public educated peers in all standardized tests.

The bottom line is yes home schooled children are more than welcomed to apply to any university they would like to attend, just as their public schooled peers can.

I am close with an interesting fact, the first president of the United States of America, George Washington, was homeschooled as a child too. My next article, “Homeschooling in Wisconsin: Where do I start?”, is in the final stages and will be up in a few days.

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