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How to Answer the Question Should I Homeschool?

by Jessica Parnell | Oct 17, 2017 | 3 min read

If you’ve found yourself reading this article, chances are you’re considering (or reconsidering) homeschooling. You may be excited, you may be terrified. Most likely your current school isn’t working for some reason. Your kids aren’t getting their needs met, are being bullied, have low self-esteem, or are not being challenged. Maybe you’re just tired of the school rat race, of getting up so early, of balancing (or not) school and sports and family time. Regardless of why you’re here, it’s time to ask yourself these important questions if you’re wondering how to answer the question should I homeschool, once and for all!

7 Questions You Must Ask Before Choosing to Homeschool

  1. Should I homeschool? 
    Ok, you’re already asking this question. But, put the emphasis on “I” for a second. Are YOU ready to homeschool? Homeschooling begins and ends with you as the parent and teacher. If you’re not ready, committed, and able, you should reconsider or seek a homeschooling partner for support. If you’re ready but lack confidence, read this. You’re going to do great and you’re not alone. If you’re working full time, you can still homeschool. If you’re a reluctant homeschooler, you can still homeschool! But, if you hate teaching, don’t want to have your kids around you all day, and aren’t sure you are able to handle the responsibility, perhaps you need to consider a homeschool partner or different choice for your child’s education.
  2. Why do I want to homeschool?
    Homeschooling is wonderful. It will give you more family time, a better quality of education for your kids, and more. But, why are you choosing to homeschool? Identifying your “why” will help you to understand if homeschooling is going to work for you or if you simply need to find a different school. If you’re ready to be in charge of your child’s education, to loosen the requirements and increase the family time, to dive deeply into topics and make learning fun, then homeschooling is absolutely the right choice!
  3. What are my homeschooling goals?
    Homeschooling is a lot of work and challenging regardless of how you do it. So, having goals ahead of time is helpful to keep you focused and at ease. Our family goals include more family time, less stress over grades, more fun in learning, and flexibility. Write out what you want your child’s education to look like then evaluate your list objectively. If it includes flexibility, fun, individuality, and safety, homeschooling is the right way to go.
  4. How do my children feel about homeschooling?
    I know, I know, you’re the parent. But, it’s important to have buy in from your kiddos so that your days go more smoothly. So, ask them “should I homeschool you?” Ideally, they’ll be excited to sleep in, get to hang out at home, learn what they want, and have influence over their schooling. Listen to their worries and work out a plan together. If your child is adamant against homeschooling, have him or her talk to another homeschooler in his/her age group. Then, talk some more.
  5. Are there resources in my community and family to help me homeschool?
    Homeschooling can feel isolating, for you and your child. You’re going to want to find a network of people around you or online that can provide support, help, and social interaction. Can’t identify one right away? This isn’t a deal breaker, but you’ll need to keep digging and line up support and interaction. This bigger; PE at your local YMCA, classes at a community college, or an online class. There’s over 8 million homeschoolers in the USA, find some to connect with before you choose to homeschool.
  6. What does my state require of homeschoolers?
    Before you ask should I homeschool, you need to ask yourself if your state will allow you to! This is so important because you’ll need to be compliant with your state requirements in order to homeschool well and stay out of jail (literally, truancy is no joke and can land you in court). Find out what your state’s homeschool laws are and make sure you’re ready to abide by them before choosing to homeschool.
  7. Am I prepared to sacrifice in order to homeschool?
    Homeschooling will be the best decision you make. It will stretch, challenge, and grow you in ways you never imagined. This is a good thing! But, if you’re still wondering should I homeschool, you need to ask yourself if you’re ready to make sacrifices. Homeschooling will take much of your time, energy, and focus. After all, it’s your child’s education and life. Is there anything more important?

On the other hand, it’s your child’s education and life, should anyone be in control other than you? Homeschooling gives you the ability to lead, develop, teach, grow, and pour into your child like nothing else can. The time and energy it takes to homeschool well will reap blessings for generations to come. If you’re ready, jump in.

We’d love to help you get started.

Jessica Parnell
Hello everyone! I’m Jessica Parnell — mom, homeschool evaluator, teacher, and CEO of Bridgeway Academy. In my 20+ years of experience as a homeschool mom and evaluator, I have had the privilege of meeting homeschoolers that take a variety of approaches to their education. It is their many stories and successes that inspire me in my own homeschooling and I love to pass on the knowledge that I have gained from them to other homeschooling families. The one constant that always remains true is that there’s no such thing as a “cookie cutter child.” Each child is fearfully and wonderfully made and as a result, learns and functions differently. It’s our job to ensure that we’re raising each child to fulfill their individual purpose and when we can teach in a way that inspires them, we are on our way to homeschool success. When I’m not writing or teaching my children, I like to ski, write and participate in triathlons. I graduated from Kutztown University with a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Masters in English and I am currently pursuing a degree in Neuroleadership.
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