Are you searching for a new homeschooling program for your child?
The internet can feel like a melting pot of too many options and far too little instructional information, which makes finding a program confusing for first-time homeschool parents.
Even if you're well-versed in the homeschool game, you may find it difficult to find a program that fits your child's needs.
Finding the right program isn't as hard as you think.
Here's our secret to finding great programs...
Figure out what learning style your child needs to thrive!
That's it. That's all you need to do in order to find a homeschool program that works for your child.
To learn more about this process, follow along to find out.
- A homeschool program is a program, group, or service that teaches your child.
- Use your child's strengths to determine which program is best for them.
- There are online, book, and in-person programs for your child to participate in.
What is a Homeschooling Program?
What's your understanding of what a homeschooling program is? Does it involve curriculum, classes, books, tests, quizzes, or some other form of learning? Is this program online, book-based, or a combination of the two?
Homeschool programs come in all shapes and sizes; that's the beauty of providing your child with an alternative education. You can choose homeschool classes and structures that fit your child's needs and are in alignment with your views and values. As a homeschooling family, it's up to you to find a program to which you and your child can hold yourself accountable.
These programs are available in various mediums. Some are geared toward elementary school-age children, while others are geared toward other homeschoolers. Some programs provide a religion-based education, while others do not.
Before deciding on a program, determine the approach you want to take toward your child's learning. If religion plays an important role in your household, you may want to ask around at your church and see if there are any programs that other members can recommend.
If you're not sure where to start or not having any luck finding the right program online, consider joining a homeschool group. Homeschool groups provide a community of other families who have already jumped through the hoops of finding the right program for their children.
You can find these programs by asking around your local school district, finding online forums, or reaching out to parents of homeschooled children you're already familiar with. A homeschool support group is a great way to fulfill any questions that may prevent you from taking the leap toward one particular program. You don't even have to join local homeschool groups if they aren't any in your area; you can find ones that correspond online.
What Curriculum Should You Include?
We can't tell you how often we have parents asking us what curriculum they should provide for their children. We always tell them, "What works best for your family?". While it's important to stick to your beliefs, it's also important to consider your state's law.
Did you know that some states require homeschooled children to learn specific curriculum requirements? These are usually subjects that just about anyone can benefit from and nothing too out of the ordinary.
You want your child to learn how to read and write, right? How about understanding science and history?
Most families can agree that these subjects are important, and many states will require you to teach them to your child to some degree.
Not all states have a homeschool curriculum requirement. If you're a resident of these states, you have more range for what your child learns. Of course, don't leave out any important subjects that encourage their development. This is especially important if you plan to homeschool a child from a young age.
Your child needs proper preparation.
Are they planning on going to college? If so, they need to learn certain subjects that they will be expected to know when they enroll.
Luckily, most homeschool programs include all these essential subjects to ensure your child receives the education they deserve. You can skip through certain lessons if they do not align with what you want your child to learn.
How Should Your Child Learn?
Is your child already enrolled in public school, or have they participated in a more traditional education setting? If so, this is actually beneficial to determine which learning style works best for them.
Your child has likely worked on various mediums in a traditional classroom, such as a typical classroom setting, from a book, and online. Since they have this experience, you can use their preferences as guidance when choosing a homeschool program.
Sit your child down and ask them about their classroom experience. Get a feel for what allowed them to thrive and where they had issues. Homeschool students may do well with working with various mediums to give them a well-rounded experience, but it's not necessarily the route every child should take.
Some homeschool programs include enrichment classes that may veer from standard lessons. This gives your child electives that are helpful for getting into college and developing their skills.
Does your child already have an idea of a career path they want to take? Homeschool programs can set your child up for success by giving them classes specific to these careers or ambitions and give them a foot ahead of the curve.
How to Find Homeschool Programs Near Me
Homeschool programs provide your family with an individualized learning experience. One of the perks of these programs is that they don't technically need to be anywhere near you for your child to participate in them.
Many programs are online and teach your child through captivating video lessons. These lessons can be learned from the comfort of your home and at your child's pace.
Does your child perform better in the afternoon than early morning? No problem.
Online homeschool programs let your child work during times that allow them to be productive. Another great feature of these programs is that your child can do them on the go. If you're on vacation or going on an unplanned trip, you don't have to worry about your child missing out on their school work.
Homeschooling families enjoy online programs because they have automatic features such as testing, lessons, and the ability to circle back on information that your child needs more work on. Whenever you want to monitor or check in on your child's progress, these online programs make it easy to review their work. Some programs even allow parents to create their own accounts to check in whenever they please.
A boxed curriculum is another popular choice for homeschool parents. They're called boxed curricula because the schoolwork comes shipped in a box in the mail. Depending on the program or company you work with, you can purchase individual lessons or an entire grade curriculum. You receive textbooks, assignments, paper tests, and online learning tools.
A boxed curriculum is a great way for homeschool families to create a personalized learning experience, picking and choosing what they need and including it on their own or alongside other options.
If your child is young or if you believe they will have a hard time transitioning from a traditional school setting, a boxed curriculum helps make the transition more comfortable. They'll have all the same tools they're used to, such as paper assignments and textbooks, allowing them to learn in a similar way to traditional classrooms.
Like online programs, boxed curriculums come in different styles and subjects. So, regardless if you're looking for a faith-based program or one that encourages career development, the right one is out there for you.
Homeschool Co Ops
Do you know what a homeschool co op is? These homeschool support groups provide opportunities for your child to learn alongside other children their age. There are a few options that co ops provide.
Some parents choose to meet regularly, every day, where the parents teach classes, and the children participate in learning as a group. These groups are excellent for keeping your child social and gaining the support of other parents in the area. Many students form life-long friendships and have a more "traditional" type of schooling while still maintaining a sense of individuality.
As a home school co-op member, you can also choose to only participate in group learning periodically, going field trips, or join extra-curricular activities. Regardless of how you want your child to learn, co ops are here to help them stay connected to children their own age. Chances are, you can find a homeschooling community or co op in your city. Look online or reach out to other parents to see if they can point you in the right direction.
Test Out Homeschool Programs
As a homeschool family, you may find that finding the right program for your child takes practice. Once you've committed to a program, give your child enough time to decide if it's right for them. If this is their first time homeschooling, they may need a longer period to adjust to the coursework. Once enough time has passed, if your child isn't blending well with the program, it may be time to start looking for a new one.
With the right preparation and planning, your child can receive the best education that's available for them through a homeschool program. Take the first step towards bettering your child's future, and start researching homeschooling programs near you today!