With homeschooling becoming more and more popular, many parents are starting to wonder whether or not it is a workable option for their families. Maybe their public school system isn’t the greatest. Maybe their kids don’t function well in a traditional classroom. Maybe they just like the idea of having their own schedule every day. Whatever the case, it sounds tempting…until they get serious about it. Then, it just looks terrifying.
So the question becomes…how much of a commitment does it really take to homeschool your child (or children)? Is it worth it? At the end of the day, is there time left for anything else?
Homeschooling is a serious commitment. If you’re going to homeschool, you’re going to have to “do” school pretty much every day, whether you want to or not. Your children will be coming to you with all of their questions, all of their difficulties. You’ll be the one making sure that they’re on task, and the one making sure that the lessons get done, and the one making sure that they really understand what they’re doing.
All in all, a homeschooling parent can expect to spend several hours a week planning; several hours a week grading; and several hours a week actually teaching. The amount, of course, varies from one parent to the next. How in-depth are the lessons that you’re designing for your student? How rigid is your schedule going to be? How many “complete” subject areas have you been able to find in your curriculum?
The easiest way to start, of course, is to pick up a boxed curriculum that already contains everything that your student will need. The lessons will be readily available, and all you have to do is keep an eye on progress and completion. You don’t have to pull together information from scratch, or spend a lot of time referencing state standards to make sure that your child is seeing everything that they need to see over the course of the school day.
On the other hand, few parents are perfectly happy with one boxed curriculum set for everything. The more different pieces you find yourself needing, the more difficult it becomes—and the more supervision your children will need.
Homeschooling is not for everyone, and it does require a serious commitment—but it can be done, and by almost any family. Instead of asking yourself how much of a commitment it will be, try this instead: how much will your family benefit? Then, you can decide for yourself whether or not it’s worth it—even with all the time and effort involved.