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How to Homeschool – Choosing a Homeschool Program

by Jessica Parnell | Aug 07, 2015 | 3 min read

Getting started with homeschooling is an exciting time, whether you’re new or a seasoned homeschooling family. Many look forward to more family time, deeper learning experiences, less stress, and no homework! But, if you’re new and wondering how to homeschool, weeding through the forest of options can be overwhelming and add stress to your family. But, choosing the right program for you is critical, because when it comes to learning how to homeschool well, the right fit makes all the difference. You’re not alone in this journey and we’d like to help alleviate that tension by giving you 4 rules to follow when choosing the best homeschool program for your child. So you can focus on enjoying the summer with your family!

How to Homeschool- 4 Must Do’s Before Choosing A Program

  1. Have your whole family take a Learning Style Assessment.  If you’re wondering how to homeschool, the best place to begin is by discovering how your children learn best. No matter how many people are in your family, everyone is a unique individual. And that means you all learn, respond, and teach in different ways. By knowing how each child learns you can find a homeschool program that will help them learn best and communicate in a way they will understand. As for you, the parent and teacher, it’s important to know how you learn so you can modify your teaching style to each of your individual learners. Take this learning style assessment and receive the book 101 Ways To Unlock Your Child’s Potential!
  2. Have each of your learners take a Personality and Environment Test. Even the most seasoned parents who know how to homeschool often wonder just what their student is thinking sometimes! Personality traits matter, like why your child can’t focus in the morning, or why they want to listen to music while they study.  By knowing each of your children’s personalities and how they process information in their environment, you will be able to communicate with them and understand where they are coming from. While some students study best when they are listening to backround music, others study best while swinging on a swing, and still others concentrate best with complete silence. By knowing each of your children’s personality styles and what kind of environment helps them concentrate, you can know your family dynamic and decide the homeschool environment and program that might fit best.  Personality map your family today!
  3. Have each child take a Placement Test. Just because your child is 11 doesn’t mean that they can or should be placed in the box of 6th grade curriculum. By taking a placement test you will see exactly where each of your children are in their learning. Why hold them back if they understand math at an 8th grade level?  And why push them to move forward if they are still struggling with some 5th grade writing concepts? When you pinpoint exactly where your child is academically, you’re in a better position to choose a program and curriculum that will meet each of your children exactly where they are, but will challenge them to move forward once they master the concepts.
  4. Take your own Self Evaluation. Learning how to homeschool well means knowing what you, as the main teacher and parent, can and can’t handle, your own teaching preferences, and how to best motivate your learners. But discovering these things takes some self-reflection. Take some time to ask yourself some questions like:
    • How involved do I want to be in teaching each of my children?
    • Do I want to be in charge of grade reporting and transcripts?
    • If I homeschooled my students last year, what worked? And what were our biggest challenges?
    • Which subjects and I comfortable teaching? Which do I need to find help from an online program or class?

By taking the time to think through these questions, you can start looking at homeschooling programs that can meet your needs and set your family up to thrive.  And this makes learning how to homeschool well so much easier because you’re coming from a place of knowledge and understanding!

If you’re still wondering how to homeschool and would like to talk through some of the program options, please contact us at 800-863-1474!

You’re never locked in to using the exact program all year-long. If you run into difficulty, know that there are options to change or partner with an educational expert, like Bridgeway Academy, anytime throughout the year. But most importantly, have fun leading family’s education and enjoy the flexibility homeschooling offers.

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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