Family Portrait

Why are  you homeschooling?

When thinking about homeschooling you have to know your reasons for choosing this as your educational path for your student. Why? This is a different path than many parents who choose public or private schools. You will have well meaning and not so well meaning people talk to you all the time about your choice. Without understanding and appreciating your reason for choosing this it will be easy to give up when it gets hard. There will be hard days. There will also be amazing days. 

 

When students get to middle and high school there are lots of alternative learning environments, schools, charters, and college collaborations that you may choose to explore. Many stop homeschooling at this point because they worry about not being able to be successful. There may be subjects that you feel you can’t teach well or that you never mastered yourself. 

 

My two youngest both want to be engineers. Once my son was ready for Algebra 2 I knew that he needed another teacher for this. We found one that he worked well with and paid for that class. He was still homeschooled but for one class that he needed someone in the field who could do a better job than I could. It worked well for us. He has also taken classes at the college, or other local businesses when I don’t have equipment or skills in a class. He has taken things like woodworking, blacksmithing, ceramics, chemistry, and welding. This lets him learn new skills with teachers who specialize in the skills they teach. 

 

I don’t in any way think this takes away from the fact that they are homeschooled. Having an opportunity to work with other adults and mentors can be a good experience for teens as they look for more role models. This can also give them the opportunity to do career exploration and interact with people who work in those career fields.  

 

This goes back to your reason for homeschooling. If your reason is to give your student the best education possible. Then you have to consider if there are some subjects that are better to outsource especially as career exploration is happening at the high school level. You may not have all the tools or resources and may not want to invest in a subject that the student hasn’t even tried. This will be something to discuss as a family. 

 

Budget and family resources are sensitive topics that need to be honestly discussed. A family with one car, or without a large budget for specials may look at alternatives for transportation and funding. I know the options to take public funds are disputed in the homeschool community. I think this is something that should be discussed as a family and the pros and cons carefully considered. *My family has participated in classes that we paid out-of-pocket for and also classes that we took public funds for. 

 

Each family will have different reasons for the choices that they make about accepting public funds. I think that this is something that you need to consider as a family and decide together. Once the decision is made don’t let anyone who isn’t part of the decision have any sway in your choice. This is your homeschool journey and you need to pick what is best for your family and student. 

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