Are you happy with your child's current education? If they're in public school, you may not even know exactly what they are expected to learn throughout the year.
If you're currently homeschooling your child but aren't quite happy with your program, it may be time to shop for a new one.
That's what’s great about homeschooling; you can choose your child's educational program.
If you're like most parents, unsure exactly which route to go when it comes to choosing a program, we're here to help.
In this article, you'll learn what you should consider before opting for a program to make the best educational decision for your kiddo.
- There are many types of homeschool programs, such as online, hybrid, boxed, and unschooling.
- When choosing a homeschool program, it’s also important to comply with your state’s curriculum laws.
- There are many benefits to providing your child with a homeschool program, such as flexibility, comfortability, customized pace, and advanced learning.
Check With Your State for Curriculum Guidelines
First and foremost, it's important to check with your state to see if you are required to teach your child certain subjects. We've met parents who didn't know their state had some degree of curriculum standards and had to restructure their programs later on.
It's important to be prepared and save yourself a headache while keeping your child on track.
Some states, but not all, ask homeschool parents to teach their kids essential subjects like mathematics, language arts, reading, and history. Luckily, these subjects are commonly found in most homeschool programs, so finding one to fulfill your needs is usually quite simple.
Of course, some states may also have a few subjects specific to the state, or less common than others, and when that's the case, you can find homeschool programs that include that unique subject matter.
It's also important to determine whether homeschool parents have to be certified teachers or if they only need a high school diploma or GED. Each state has its own laws regarding who can teach their children and what qualifications they need.
Once you've figured out what subjects your child may or may not need, it's time for the fun part!
Many online homeschool programs teach all sorts of subjects designed for your child to go at their own pace. Homeschool parents appreciate these programs because they allow you to oversee your child's work and check in on their progress.
Online homeschooling takes up little space; all it requires of you is a desk and a few supplies for your child to work on their lessons throughout the day.
These programs have fun and captivating video lessons to keep your child engaged, provide tests and assignments to see how well they've followed each lesson, and some programs even have technology that automatically circles back on information that your child may need a little more time on.
Online homeschooling programs are great for independent students who enjoy learning on their own, have the ability to stay on track, and take responsibility for their school work.
Are you unsure if having an online program is right for your child? There are other options available.
A hybrid homeschool program includes both online teaching and traditional classroom-style teaching. This means that your child may spend part of their day working through lesson plans on a computer, and the other half you or another homeschool teacher teaches them.
By providing a hybrid schedule, you enable your child to have a homeschool curriculum that is specifically catered to their needs. We find that students excel in subjects that are easily taught online, while your child may benefit from learning the more challenging ones in a traditional setting.
Of course, only you and your child can find out what works best. Many parents will first start with an online school and see how their child performs. Then, if they need to make any necessary changes, they are free to do so.
One of the most convenient ways to homeschool your child is through a boxed curriculum. While this curriculum option may not be the best choice for high school students, it is especially great for younger children who may not be ready to start learning online.
When you opt for a boxed curriculum, you receive just about everything you need to teach your child all in one package. The box includes reading material, assignments, and study sheets.
Not all boxed curricula are created equal, so it's important to shop around a bit and find one that includes everything your child needs to succeed.
A less common form of homeschooling is the unschooling curriculum. While this program isn't necessarily doable in all states, it can still be a great way to encourage your child's growth and development.
When you were a child, were there subjects you wanted to participate in that you never had the chance to learn? Or were there subjects you were forced to learn even though you struggled with them and didn't relate to the material?
This is why unschooling curriculums are a powerful tool for some homeschooled families. With unschooling, you can include online learning programs, boxed curricula, hybrid programs, or a combination of all three.
The key is letting your child decide what they want to learn. This is fueled by their own passions and interests, allowing them to explore any subject they desire and not force them into a specific curriculum.
Younger students are often the best candidates for this teaching method as they aren't used to traditional schools and are able to adapt to this new structure more easily. It's also great for teenagers that already have a clear idea of what they want to do for a career.
Whether you have a high school student or elementary kiddo, always ensure it complies with your local or state homeschooling laws before trying to provide an unschooling curriculum. Homeschooling in Michigan will be a drastically different experience than Texas homeschooling programs or any other state.
Why Homeschool Programs Are Superior
What gives homeschool programs the upper hand in providing your child the best education possible? If the subject matter is similar, how will these programs make a difference in your child's success?
Going At Their Own Pace
If your child is struggling in traditional school, a virtual school gives them the opportunity to go at their own pace. Sometimes, the reason a child struggles in school is because they aren't able to keep up in class.
They get stuck on one subject, the teacher doesn't have enough time to dedicate towards helping your child fully understand the lesson, and this cycle continues until they are lost, and their grades begin to struggle.
Homeschooling online lets your child say, "I think I need a little more time with this one." Then, they can circle back to a lesson as often as needed while having it presented to them fully and effectively by the online curriculum.
Whether your child is in elementary, middle school, or high school, homeschool programs can help them get back on track.
Does your child struggle to wake up in the morning? Do they have an easier time focusing in the afternoon?
Homeschooling programs allow your child to learn at a time that works for them. Some parents may choose to provide their child with an online public school, but many times these classes are still at a public facility and revolve around a set schedule.
A homeschool program lets you work on lessons when your child is ready and alert. They also allow your kiddos to take breaks when they need them. Children aren't necessarily meant to learn for 8 hours straight. Breaking up the school day is a great way to keep your child engaged and focused while learning.
Many homeschool programs have an award winning curriculum and provide your child with more knowledge and better skills than they receive in public schools. The best online homeschool programs provide a well-rounded learning experience and include information that sets your child up for the future.
Depending on which program you choose and your child's age, you can even find college prep work to get them ahead of the curve towards the later stage of their high school career.
A traditional brick and mortar school has to follow strict curriculum guidelines, but with homeschooling, you have much more flexibility and ownership over your child's education.
A public school environment doesn't support the needs of all children. Some children don’t learn well alongside 30 other children. When you homeschool your child, you do so from the comfort of your home or a familiar place that provides a comfortable environment for them to learn in. You can also customize their environment to support learning.
Find a Program That's Right For Your Child
Do you have all the homeschooling resources you need to choose the best program for your child? Reflect on the items in this article to help you decide which program is right for you and your kiddo, and read up on any state laws that may influence the program you should choose.
No matter what age your child is and what stage of homeschooling you're at, it's never too late to find a program that works. If you're still unsure of which route to take, reach out to other homeschool parents and see what's worked for them.
You now have the opportunity to take your child's education into your own hands. With the right program, you're giving them exactly what they need to succeed!