As parents consider homeschooling their child or children, they often have a lot of questions. Here are five of the top questions (and answers) asked by those expressing curiosity and concerns about homeschooling.
Homeschooling Questions? – Our Top 5 Answers
1. Will my child receive proper socialization if I homeschool?
The answer is yes – if parents put in a little effort. In a traditional school setting, parents send their kids off each day and hear about their new friends. For a homeschooled child, the parents take an active role.
Socialization may take several forms for the homeschooled child – interacting with the community as you attend events and local libraries, museums, and so forth; but also getting together with other children on “playdates.” Parents may find that a homeschool co-op is a wonderful source of positive socialization. Homeschooled families go on field trips together and interact regularly.
Most homeschooled children actually have better socialization skills than those in public schools. Homeschooled children are exposed to a wide variety of different age groups and are able to interact with more than just their “peers”.
2. What about yearly testing?
Your particular state board of education will have guidelines and laws about academic assessment. For example, some states require that homeschooled children be evaluated by a certified teacher; others allow submission of a portfolio to a certified teacher for approval; and still, others require that homeschooled kids submit to standardized testing (eg. CAT, IOWA, etc.).
As for tests and quizzes during the year – well, that’s up to the parent! You can include “pop quizzes” or tests as part of your curriculum if you choose.
3. Is it expensive?
The answer to this question varies depending on the curriculum and method you choose; but the short answer is, not necessarily. You can spend a great deal ($500+) if you want to purchase a pre-packaged, full-year curriculum with all the “fixings.” But you can spend a whole lot less than that if you take advantage of community resources (including your local library) and free internet materials. Plus there are many places that sell used homeschool curriculum, either online or in brick and mortar stores. And most libraries hold a sale at least once a year. We were able to stock up on a lot of children’s books for $5-$7 a bag! And we stuffed the bags full.
Homeschooling can get expensive in terms of time – a parent must take time away from a wage-earning job to teach. Living on one salary can be challenging, but budgeting can help ease the burden. We have homeschooled our 3 for many years on just one salary.
4. What about the ACT and SAT?
These tests are college requirements, so it depends on whether or not your homeschooled student is going to go to college, and what college he or she is interested in. Obviously, if the college he or she wants to apply for requires these test scores, then he or she will need to take the tests.
You would have to check with your local requirements, but I believe that most states are required to provide access to these tests. We know that in NC you sign up at the high school to take the test. Our oldest just took the PSAT this year and will be taking either the SAT or ACT next year at the same high school. The hardest part is finding out what date the test is given and when the school is registering. Some will register up to a year in advance, while others only open it up a month or so before the testing.
5. Is homeschooling just for religious families?
No, homeschooling is not just for religious families; there are secular approaches to homeschooling as well as religion-based ones. In the past, sources say, more homeschoolers educated their children at home for religious reasons than they do now. School violence and safety are modern motivations to homeschool, too.
Hopefully, these questions have answered any questions you may have about homeschooling. Anything else you’ve been wondering about? Send us a message and we will find the answer. Like we tell our kids, we may not know the answer to everything, but we at least know how and where to look to get the answers.