From an outside perspective, homeschooling can seem almost fairytale like, especially with the amount of homeschool influencers sharing their perfect homeschooling posts! It’s hard to get a good grasp of what homeschooling actually is and how homeschooling works.
So, this blog post is going to outline exactly how homeschooling works legally, as well as a few different scenarios for how it might be able to work for your family!
| If you do not know what homeschooling is, you can read more about it here.
I think most people get overwhelmed with the idea of homeschooling because in a public school setting, the belief is that kids are being taught something for six hours a day, with sometimes multiple teachers involved.
But the reality is, there’s a LOT of busywork that happens in public school.
There’s a lot of waiting for other people to be finished, there’s a lot of walking to and from classrooms, there’s a lot of breaks + recess + free periods + questions + distractions…
So when you compare actually time spent learning, to the amount of time spent AT school, you start to realize why HOURS of homework is sent home every day!
Homeschooling cuts out all of the above. Literally. Your kids will essentially have work that needs to be completed that day, and most of the time will get it done in just a couple of hours. Less time than it takes to finish homework from a public school most likely! If you can believe that??! 🤯
The biggest difference in homeschooling vs. public schooling, in my opinion, is with homeschooling… your child’s strongest, loudest, + proudest advocate is right there with them.
Encouraging them, supporting them, helping them find the answer, showing them how to ask why, watching them develop a love for curiosity + learning each day, because they finally have a chance to focus on their education without all the noise.
Homeschooling works because the kids are CRAVING it.
It may not feel like it in the moment sometimes, but hey – we all have bad days! Nevertheless, our kids NEED us to want to be involved in their education. They NEED us to act like we care that they’re learning something. They NEED us to WANT to teach them new things!
I was homeschooled my entire life. My parents both worked full time jobs, so we’d go to my aunts house during the day because she stayed home, and then we’d come back home in the evenings and do two hours worth of school.
Sometimes, we’d even do school on Saturday.
And I’m sure the last thing my parents wanted to do after a long day of work was to come home and do school with some whiney, often ungrateful (at the time) kids, but they did it because our education was important to them.
So, when you ask, “How does homeschooling work?” – The easiest, most relevant answer I can give you is… It works FOR you.
Let’s talk about the legalities of homeschooling.
One of my most shared resources is the Home School Legal Defense Association. They are the best of the best when it comes to finding answers about the legalities of homeschooling, because everything they share is custom to your specific location!
Because every location all over the world has different regulations for homeschooling, it can seem a little confusing when you’re trying to find information on homeschooling in your area.
So my suggestion is for you to head over to hslda.org, locate your area on the map, and take a deep dive into the regulations you may have!
Some locations are more relaxed when it comes to homeschooling, and others are just about as strict as they can make it – If you live in one of those areas, maybe it’s time to move! 😅
But in all seriousness, homeschooling should feel free + flexible! If it doesn’t, there’s a problem somewhere.
So read through your regulations carefully and only track what it’s asking you to. Everything else is icing on the cake and should literally be as fun as eating icing on a cake!
Now that we’ve got what the government wants from you out of the way, let’s chat about what homeschooling looks like for your family!
It is impossible for me to know what your particular family arrangements are, so I’ll be sharing a few scenarios here to hopefully give you an idea about what this could look like for you.
BUT – If you want to chat with me, I am ALWAYS available to help you in any way I can in our Telegram group! You can join us for free + ask me anything you’d like, here.
Homeschooling with both parents working outside the home:
Now, I already touched on this a little, as both my parents worked full time jobs + still homeschooled us. So this may seem a little redundant, however, I know how people skim to read 🤓 So let me share it again here.
Homeschooling works FOR you – SO, find a sitter, or let your kids stay home alone if they’re old enough.
You can do school in the evenings + on weekends if you need to!
You can also leave work like teachers give homework! Let your kids be independent learners, give them the textbook + youtube video links, let them figure it out. It will only make them stronger learners in the end! Then simply have an hour of checking their work in the evenings, show them how to correct any errors, and let them correct it the next day!
This truly does not have to be difficult.
Homeschooling with multiple kids:
Our family has three kids, all in various stages of life. I have a teenager, an elementary-aged kid, and a preschooler.
You have to know your children’s needs individually, and still be able to meet those needs one-on-one. But it is possible! We do group work together, then break off while the little watches something (yes, I’m a pro-screen mama 🤯 ), I’ll work one-on-one with our second grader, and the oldest will do independent work.
After that, I will meet up with my oldest to check the previous day’s work, teach new concepts, etc., while the younger two play or watch TV.
In all, we’re doing school for about two hours each day, with my oldest having the freedom to do school on her time as long as it’s done before the evening. And this works out so well for us!! 👏🏻
Other families with multiple kids may use a group curriculum all together, such as Gather Round Homeschool’s Unit Studies. And yet, other families will work individually with each child the entire time. It’s 100% up to you and how long you want to sit at a table with the kids 🙂
Again, homeschool works FOR you!
Depending on your lifestyle, your TYPE of homeschooling might look different from someone else’s. And that’s okay!!
Here’s are three of the most-used options for homeschooling!
Traditional Homeschooling: This approach includes a lot of textbook / worksheet learning. It mirrors public school methods a LOT and can give some parents a sense of confidence because they know their kids MUST be learning everything thye need to, since this is what they’d be doing in a public school setting anyways.
The issue I have with this approach is that each child is unique. They all have their own learning style + interests, and they often get bored or annoyed with this type of approach to education. There’s no wonder, no curiosity… Just information overload being thrown at them in a certain time frame.
If you live in one of the few places that requires an umbrella school, and you find yourself forced to cater to traditional homeschooling, you should move 🤭 I encourage you to find ways to create a homeschool experience where your child can learn in a way that’s exciting for them!
Use elective credits to let them choose a topic, regardless of how untraditional it is, and let them run with it! This will help them develop a love for learning and that will come in handy when they’re stuck with traditional homeschool program materials.
Interest-Led Homeschooling: Now this is everything it sounds like it should be! You simply ask your kiddos what they want to learn about and you deep dive into the subject!
Curricula such as Gather Round Homeschool (I promise I am not affiliated with them, we just love them so much!!) is perfect for interest-led learning because she provides a topic for you to learn about and then relates all of the core subjects back to the topic! She covers everything except math (which I believe is coming soon!) and it’s SO good!!
Another way to use this approach is grabbing one of her studies and packing it in between your traditional learning. Use it during breaks throughout the year to keep learning exciting and fresh!
Unschooling: This approach to homeschooling stresses me out just a little bit. But I’m the type of person that needs a plan! However, I encourage you to give it a try if it interests you!
Basically, unschooling allows you to look for the teachable moments throughout life and intentionally use them for your homeschooling. Things such as life skills, reading, math through baking, writing through novel copywork, etc. are all parts of the unschool life!
Just be sure to cover the basic regulations at minimum in your unschooling journey and you’ll be fine!
Still on the fence about how homeschooling could work for your family?
If you’re still on the fence about all of the curriculum options + learning opportunities out there, make sure you grab my curriculum guide! It covers all of the above + more so that you can get a full understanding of what homeschooling looks like for your family!
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Also, I’d like to invite you to join the Homeschool Mama Academy! The curriculum guide is included inside the academy at no additional cost, but it’s also the only place to grab my signature course: Start Your Homeschool!
This course is PERFECT for you to truly get a grasp on homeschooling and get started off strong! We chat about learning styles, setting goals, teaching styles, curriculum, consistency, and more!
Plus, you’ll get access to our private community to help answer questions + get more support as you take this next step in your family’s educational journey!
Read more about the academy here.
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